Z.E.N.works, is a breakthrough desktop management tool that leverages the industry's most stable and widely used network directory, Novell Directory Services (NDS), to simplify network administration and lower the total cost of owning networked PCs. Z.E.N.works stands for and delivers Zero Effort Networks for users by automating software distribution and desktop configurations and letting network administrators monitor and repair PCs from a central location. Director of marketing for Novell, Michael Simpson, said: 'Z.E.N.works is a whole new way of management. 'The financial and human resource returns to businesses are enormous. It's not just about fixing problems, but making the PC and network experience seamless for users and thereby making the administrators' job easier.' Jamie Lewis, an analyst of the Burton Group, said: 'Overall, Z.E.N.works is another in a continuing series of encouraging signs from Novell. 'Z.E.N.works requires a commitment to NDS, and so will appeal primarily to existing NetWare 4.x customers. But it will also help Novell build a more credible case for the NetWare 5 upgrade and in its continuing battle with Microsoft. Because it leverages NDS, Z.E.N.works proves the concept that directory services will be an essential enabler of more effective management tools.' Neil MacDonald of the Gartner Group, said: 'Z.E.N.works aims at reducing total cost of ownership by providing users with access to their customised desktops and applications, enabling electronic software distribution and providing help-desk tools to reduce the amount of despatched support. Many enterprises committed to Novell Directory Services should find this product compelling.' Information about the network and its users, such as what applications a user requires: printer, driver, desktop and configuration preferences and remote access rights to a computer are all maintained in NDS. By leveraging NDS, Z.E.N.works makes networks easier to use and manage in three important areas: Application management and distribution: When applications need to be updated or installed, users simply click on the application icon and launch the new program. Z.E.N.works allows applications to be configured for individual users. Desktop management: Users can log onto any computer on the network and still have their familiar interface and printer access available to them. Network managers can keep up to date with workstation hardware inventory and can view and configure any PC in the network, wherever it is. Desktop maintenance: Users no longer have to answer technical questions about user profile or hardware configuration to obtain help desk support. When a problem occurs, the user simply clicks on the Help Request icon and an e-mail can be sent to the support person. The distinguished name of the workstation is automatically included in the e-mail and error messages can be added, making resolution easy and quick.