Virendra Vishnu, Manager, Corporate IT Operations, AVL India Software Pvt Ltd
"We work mainly on Windows NT and 2000 operating systems. We plan to shift to Windows 2000 completely, but not as of now. We have around 100 people in the organisation and only about 25 per cent of them use computers. We use MS Outlook and MS Office, and most of our work is done on word processors. We use McAfee Antivirus that is updated daily. If we are to upgrade the OS, it would be based on our requirements. We will look at the best software for upgrading. If the business demands it, it will be done, otherwise we simply cannot splurge, as upgradation involves additional expenditure for training, hardware and others-all incidental."
Amay Choudhary, Corporate IT Manager
"We work on the Microsoft platform. The OS comprise Windows 95, 98 and XP. We use Mcafee Antivirus that is periodically updated. While it is not possible for all systems in the office to be updated regularly, all are at par within a month's time. Our office work is spread across 70 locations with nearly 300 machines on the network. Maintenance is mostly done in-house and only maintenance for hardware is outsourced. Our MS Office usage is largely restricted to MS Word and MS Excel. Only if there is an absolute need for our business, will we upgrade the software. At present, the work doesn't demand it. Besides, when we upgrade our software, we will invariably have to upgrade 40 per cent of our existing hardware as it will not support the new software.
"We have introduced Citrix for remote computing and management to save costs. We may not upgrade every system in the office, as some software that works best on 98 may not do so on XP. The decision to upgrade will depend on various factors. More importantly, will there be an increase in productivity after upgradation? If the reports promise an upswing in productivity then it makes sense to upgrade. There must be logic to support the change."
Hemang Desai, Proprietor, IND Advertising
"Most of our work is done in the Microsoft environment. We are currently using Windows 98 and Windows XP. Norton AntiVirus helps keep the systems safe and it is updated weekly. Our network comprises 13 users, so it's not very complex. We have outsourced maintenance to a team of service engineers who also help us make upgrade decisions. They know our systems thoroughly and can recommend what is required. Majority of our in-house designers use tools such as Corel and Photoshop. Currently, we have deployed Outlook Express on all systems. We may opt for an upgrade, provided it helps improve the speed and efficiency of our employees, more so, when we are handling multiple projects and have to cater to our customers' demands. In our line of work, the customer is very important and it is imperative to meet deadlines. We will upgrade only if there is a requirement for the new software and it is cost effective. If the new software helps us deliver better, will it make sense."
Hari Vishwanathan, IT Head, Bhatia Hospital
"We use the Windows NT and 2003 Server in the hospital. There are 100-plus machines on the network and their maintenance is done in-house. I am aware that the support for NT has been withdrawn by Microsoft. Nevertheless, I am confident that my in-house team is well-equipped to handle any problems. As far as I know, the systems on NT are not exposed to any security risks. They are mainly on the Intranet and hence, not as vulnerable. We use Norton AntiVirus and upgrade it as and when new definitions are available. We use only licensed copies of software and there are no pirated versions. We don't mind getting newer versions of software provided there is a demand for it. Training the staff on new versions is not an issue. We will focus on improvement in efficiency and productivity following the introduction of anything new."
Gopal Patkar, Sales Manager, Business Link Automation India Ltd
"We have offices across six metros, mainly used by our technical experts who provide technical support for HP, IBM, and so on. At our office, we have a network of nearly 125 computers. While we work on Microsoft and Linux platforms, we use the former more than the latter. We use Windows 2000 and 2003 Server on our systems. We use Norton Symantec that is updated on a weekly basis. MS Outlook is used for e-mails. Whenever any upgradation has to be done, the first thing we will take into account is user convenience. As far as possible, we would like to avoid down time. Other factors that are equally important include costs of training, support and hardware. All this has to be carefully planned. At the same time, we allocate a budget every year for training and upgradation. We will upgrade only if it is followed by an increase in productivity. An increase in productivity can be achieved only if there is improvement in user efficiency and the end result of all this should be increase in revenue."