Software Deployment in Small Business

I manage 3 servers and ~100 workstations across 3 small sites.  I use WSUS to keep Microsoft software up to date but I need a (semi-automatic) means to ensure that Adobe Reader and Flash Player and other typical office software is updated on a regular basis.  I have looked at using Software Installation GPOs but have had limited success.  I need something robust to relieve me from what is otherwise a never ending and time consuming manual task i.e. periodically manually updating software on clients across 3 geographically distant offices.  The environment is Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard servers with a combination of Windows XP and 7 clients.

What is the best method for deploying and keeping non-Microsoft software up to date?

Appreciate any suggestions.



(wasn't sure where best to put this question... this is best guess)
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Gary ColtharpSr. Systems EngineerCommented:
No easy answer here. It used to be possible to get the full installers of adobe products for managed software deployment. Adobe has since removed this ability and you have to use their updaters...a manual process for the user or if their rights are too limited, the administrator.

The only suggestion I can give is to find alternative software that does the same thing that has accessible installers that you can deploy as managed software.

I use a utility called Orca to reconfigured msi installers for GPO managed software deployments and if I cant get it done that way, it is usually possible to do it using a login script and msiexec.

Sorry not much but HTH

vaspAuthor Commented:
I was thinking more along the lines of Dell KACE, or Altiris?  Software delivery/deployment platforms....?
Gary ColtharpSr. Systems EngineerCommented:
I trust you have looked at the price tag of those packages?
vaspAuthor Commented:
Yes.  And they are quite disturbing - Dell KACE K1000 being in the order of £6,000+VAT (for the appliance alone).  It seems a lot of very useful 'solutions' are priced for large business and don't scale down well for <100 nodes.  Although Dell KACE offers many more features than the single one I'm actually interested in.  Hence the question...
Gary ColtharpSr. Systems EngineerCommented:
They typically require some sort of manageable appliance and are cost prohibitive unless you are very a large enterprise. We don't get too many questions from those groups as they usually have staff members who are experts ;).

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