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Editor’s Note: Strive for Efficiency

Efficiency is the hallmark of a seasoned, effective, well-run IT shop. It’s all about the tools, the techniques and, of course, the IT talent.

Lafe Low

As IT professionals, you’re a pragmatic lot. When faced with a multitude of administration tasks, you’ll figure out a way to manage the process more efficiently. When it comes to maximizing use of resources, automating repetitive IT tasks and streamlining processes, few do it better that those of you in the ranks of IT.

Thankfully, Microsoft provides a host of efficiency and automation tools, especially things such as Group Policy, virtualization solutions and the System Center family. All these tools—individually and combined—help you automate and expedite processes and perform IT miracles across your environment from the comfort and safety of your office and your keyboard.

Few applications are as widespread as Microsoft Office, which makes efficiently managing this ubiquitous set of solutions a priority. In this month’s TechNet Magazine, Brien Posey covers managing Office with Group Policy. Microsoft provides version-specific Administrative Templates to help you manage Office with Group Policy. Because they’re version-specific, you do have to download a new set and define new Group Policy settings, but once you’re done, you are indeed done. Using these templates configured specifically for your environment’s version of Office, in concert with the power of Group Policy, can make your Office management much more effective and efficient.

Speaking of templates, this month we also cover SQL Server Reference Architectures. Stephen Strong examines these new infrastructure templates, which are designed to help expedite and streamline the process of configuring SLQ Server for specific business intelligence workloads with datacenters of varying capacity. These Reference Architectures are comprehensive installation and configuration guides, and even include scripts for hardware configuration. They’re set up to help your infrastructure teams create dependable, repeatable builds. And they’re just another example of the tools and templates you have at your disposal to make your work more efficient.

Check In

What sort of changes are you making at your organization to become more efficient? Are you considering new solutions or new processes? Are you making sweeping changes or minor revisions? Let us know what’s happening and what you think of the coverage in TechNet Magazine. Sign up for our LinkedIn group, send us an e-mail at tnmag@microsoft.com or e-mail me directly.

Lafe Low

Lafe Low is the editor in chief of TechNet Magazine. A veteran technology journalist, he’s also the former executive editor of 1105 Media’s Redmond magazine.