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Dell Launches ITNinja to Provide Best Online Community Experience for IT Administrators

Dell Software Group in conjunction with Dell KACE announced today that it will upgrade and expand its popular online IT community site, AppDeploy.com, under the name, ITNinja. The new community reaffirms Dell's commitment to providing forums for the community to engage and share ideas; and validates the results of a new Dell KACE sponsored Dimensional Research survey, "The Value of IT Communities," which revealed a vast majority of IT professionals are turning to online communities to help do their jobs more efficiently.

The announcement marks a significant milestone for the Dell KACE AppDeploy.com community, one of the leading IT community resources for software deployment best practices, with more than 450,000 monthly visitors, and a community knowledge base that is continually updated by IT professionals. The community will continue to be one of the only product-agnostic communities where anyone can join and share information and answers to the thousands of common problems that make critical IT decisions and support tough.

ITNinja is a deep, content rich community with a strong focus on software topics such as application deployment techniques, configuration settings, and management solutions. Users will be able to leverage the community to find answers and best practices on a range of complex issues.

"ITNinja builds on Dell's established social media success to deliver a valuable community hub in which IT professionals can not only share tips and information but also form new connections with their industry colleagues," said John Swainson, president, Software Group at Dell. "With one of the largest knowledgebases of software application topics on the Web, ITNinja will help the IT community find the answers to their software questions quickly so they can focus on innovation and do more."

The launch of ITNinja comes at a time when online communities, particularly within IT enterprise, have never been stronger. An online survey of IT professionals sponsored by Dell KACE in February 2012 revealed 80 percent of IT professionals engage in online communities with 70 percent of them visiting several times a week. And 95 percent of front-line professionals say they save time and do their job more efficiently by using these same online IT communities. As online IT communities have extended their connections through social media networks, they have become an easy, cost-effective way for IT professionals to engage with companies, access support and knowledge and participate in relevant discussions with peers.

Content from ITNinja can also be leveraged by Dell KACE customers directly through the Dell KACE Appliance Management Console, providing expertise contextually saving IT teams time on common computer administration tasks.

"ITNinja is like having a subject matter expert available 24/7. I use it every day to figure out how to solve common systems management challenges and get even more value out of our Dell KACE Appliance," said Matt May, service desk analyst with Black Diamond Equipment. "It's extremely rewarding to be part of such a passionate community exchanging ideas, tips and information to help us all do our jobs better, it's truly a value add to being a Dell KACE customer."

The new ITNinja upgrade will expand the features and scope of the original AppDeploy community making it easier for users to share and find information, including: 
  • An ever-growing database of hundreds of thousands of software applications serving as topics of discussion for users wanting to contribute questions, deployment tips, shared links and blog posts.
  • A new activity feed highlighting users' contributions and providing a customized view of all software, topics, contributors and blogs that they follow to keep them up-to-date on the content they care about most.
  • An engaging user reputation management system with gamification elements that reward users with points and prizes for their contributions (past and present). Points determine one's "belt" level which is attached to their identity on the site.
  • A new Q&A system that includes rich features for crowdsourcing solutions to technical issues faced by IT professionals.
  • Integration with Dell KACE Appliances - Any systems administrator, regardless of what tool they may use, can access this information through ITNinja.com, but KACE customers can access the same information directly through the interface of their KACE Systems Management Appliance Console offering users a quick reference for common system administration tasks.

To learn more about ITNinja and the impact of online IT communities, join ITNinja's founder Bob Kelly for a free, introductory webinar, "Introducing ITNinja.com: Community-Enabled Solutions for IT Pros" scheduled for March 22 at 10 a.m. PDT/1 p.m. EDT. Register here.

Survey Methodology

Between Feb. 7 and Feb 14, 2012, Dell KACE invited several hundred IT professionals to participate in an email survey by Dimensional Research on the topic of IT Communities. A total of 674 IT respondents completed the survey. Participants included front-line IT professionals, IT managers, IT executives and others. Participants represented a wide range of company sizes and industry verticals. Respondents were not compensated for participating in this survey except to be offered a copy of the final report.
Published Wednesday, March 21, 2012 6:21 PM by David Marshall
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