June 18, 2004

New Group Policy Task Force (GPTF) Organization Formed to Coordinate Efforts between Vendors Who Enhance Group Policy

Ten Industry Leaders Team to Form Common Standards for Microsoft Windows Group Policy Management

Press Release

Wilmington, DE

The Group Policy Task Force (GPTF) was launched today, with ten leading technology companies joining forces to show support for the Microsoft Group Policy standard for Windows Management.

Each founding member of the GPTF adds value to the group with its technical knowledge of how to best leverage Group Policy within Windows. The GPTF members all offer complementary solutions that leverage the manageability already present in the Windows / Active Directory platform.

Founded as a non-profit organization, the GPTF is located at www.GPTF.org to reflect this status. The Task Force is intended to be an information-sharing resource amongst the members, rather than a general marketing effort. After emerging standards are agreed upon and codified by the members, they will be publicly posted and announced on the GPTF.ORG web site. Other announcements pertinent to the Group Policy user and administration community at large will also be available at GPTF.ORG.

There are currently ten members of the GPTF:

  • Quest Software
  • AutoProf
  • FullArmor
  • GPanswers.com
  • InstallShield
  • Special Operations Software
  • Microsoft
  • NetIQ
  • ScriptLogic Corporation
  • Vintela

All members of the GPTF have equal participation in the direction of the efforts.

The vision for the GPTF was outlined by Jeremy Moskowitz, from GPanswers.com / Moskowitz, inc. “Before the Group Policy Task Force, there was no way to ensure that products created today would work with each other. The GPTF helps future-proof emerging products by ensuring common standards. Additionally, members of the GPTF will benefit by sharing the common experiences that Administrators have with Group Policy, and share these with each other, including the creator of Group Policy itself – Microsoft.”

The ongoing coordination efforts are being spearheaded by Jeremy Moskowitz. His official title in this role is Group Policy Evangelist, and he will serve as the current point of contact for outside requests and questions.

“The GPTF is a step in the right direction,” says Michael Dennis, the Lead Program Manager at Microsoft for Group Policy. “Now that vendors, and Microsoft, are in discussions, we can better understand where our customers’ true needs are and what they want next with Group Policy.”

About GPTF Members

The founding members of the GPTF provide a range of products or services that enhance Active Directory Group Policy. They include:

  • AutoProfwww.autoprof.com – Plugs additional configuration and patch management capabilities into the existing Group Policy infrastructure, allowing companies to use Group Policy as their primary computer management system.
  • FullArmorwww.FullArmor.com – Provides intelligence and extensibility to Group Policy.
  • GPanswers.com / Moskowitz, inc.www.GPanswers.com – Provides comprehensive training on Group Policy fundamentals as well as instruction for how to use third-party Group Policy value-add products.
  • InstallShield www.installshield.com – InstallShield offers extensive solutions for application packaging and installation authoring in the Windows Installer (MSI) format, the foundation of flexible and reliable application state management in Group Policy and Active Directory.
  • Microsoftwww.Microsoft.com – Creates the underlying Group Policy architecture and continually improves based on customer feedback.
  • NetIQwww.netiq.com – Provides comprehensive tools for planning, managing, troubleshooting and reporting on Group Policy.
  • Questwww.quest.com/microsoft – Quest Software, now including the people and products of Aelita Software, provides solutions that simplify, automate and secure Active Directory, Exchange and Windows environments.
  • ScriptLogic Corporationwww.scriptlogic.com – Develops software that enables administrators to efficiently manage Group Policy.
  • Special Operations Softwarewww.specopssoft.com – Special Operations Software's products help organizations around the world to enhance and extend their use of Group Policy.
  • Vintela www.Vintela.com – Provides an extensible client-side framework that makes Group Policy applicable to UNIX and Linux hosts.

Other product and service names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.

Additional Executive quotes from GPTF members for 6/17/2004 press release:

Kevin Sullivan, Product Manager, AutoProf (www.autoprof.com): “Any time a group of thought leaders are brought together to explore the potential of certain, focused technologies, the end result is simply value to those who utilize and depend on those technologies. The Group Policy Task Force will bring together those who know the most about Group Policy from a development and infrastructure perspective. AutoProf is excited to participate and bring to the GPTF its expertise in the areas of policy-based configuration and patch management. The outcome of the GPTF will surely make more robust solutions available to the industry, enabling enterprises to realize the value of their investment in Active Directory.”

Danny Kim, CTO, FullArmor (www.FullArmor.com ): “Having been the first vendor to provide a range of Group Policy solutions, we are excited to see the maturity of the Group Policy space with the wide-ranging support and solutions from leading vendors in the Group Policy Task Force. FullArmor’s continued commitment to extending the capabilities Group Policy adds to the list of voices in the Task Force and will help to provide a more complete set of solution offerings for the customer.”

Lynn Sweetwood, Vice President and General Manager of Enterprise Software, InstallShield (www.installshield.com ): “InstallShield believes the key to reliable systems must include proper application preparation and our solutions ensure that IT Administrators can take full advantage of Group Policy for dependable application management. We are enthusiastic to work with so many other industry leaders on the Group Policy Task Force and look forward to the development of common standards that will improve the usability of Active Directory for all of our customers.”

Kent Erickson, Senior Director of Administration Products, NetIQ (www.netiq.com ): “Group Policy is now the ‘killer app’ of native Active Directory. We are excited to be part of an industry effort to ensure that customers maximize this powerful facility by providing advanced management capabilities.”

Brian Small, Vice President of Product Development, ScriptLogic Corporation (www.scriptlogic.com): “ScriptLogic is committed to providing administrators with the solutions and answers they need to make important technology decisions, which is why we're excited to be a founding member [of the GPTF]. Judging by the buzz at this year’s Microsoft TechEd Conference, this is a perfect time to launch the task force and educate the IT community on how to efficiently manage Group Policy.”

Thorbjörn Sjövold, CTO, Special Operations Software (www.specopssoft.com ): “Special Operations Software’s mission is to help organizations around the world enhance and extend their use of Group Policy. By continuing to focus on Active Directory and Group Policy in our Windows Management solution offerings, we add value to our customers and help in making Group Policy the sharpest tool in the Windows Management toolbox. The Group Policy Task Force’s birth and wellbeing is important to reach that goal.”

Dave Wilson, President, Vintela (www.Vintela.com ): “Vintela recognizes the importance of reducing the total cost of ownership for enterprise organizations managing mixed platforms across their IT infrastructure. As a founding member of the Group Policy Task Force, Vintela is committed to providing extensible solutions that integrate Windows and non-Windows IT environments, thus providing the cost saving benefits of having the entire environment instrumented to a single management interface.”

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