Q & A with AJ Tek’s Adam Marshall

by | Published on 2020.06.24 | Blog

Adam Marshall is a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer who specializes in security. As an IT Specialist, Adam takes care of everything IT related including hardware, software, networking, firewalls, backups, desktops, servers, Active Directory, Exchange, Dynamics GP and InforCRM. 

After years of working with WSUS, he searched for a way to automate the maintenance tasks so he could free up his time to work on more pressing issues. When he wasn’t able to find a solution, he set about to create software that could help everyone in the IT industry. WAM is now the industry leader in WSUS automated maintenance and is used worldwide.

Today, he takes some time to answer questions about WSUS, WAM and the state of the IT industry in general.

Q: When did you come up with the idea for WAM, and how was the process of developing the software?

A: A combination of factors lead to the creation of WAM. I was researching solutions as issues arose and I had very few recurring issues. As I love helping others in the community with their issues, I found that I was spotting certain issues that were recurring across different environments. The issues never recurred with the same user, but on the whole, the community was indicating that there was a problem and that a specific solution would fix the issue. 

I was able to visualize the problem and thought that there had to be a better solution. I started to build the concept of the software and started with the basics of processes and built it out from there. I chose PowerShell as the language of the software as Microsoft’s push was PowerShell for the future. 

As the software was being built and used, I recognized that not everyone uses WSUS the same way. Some use it efficiently, some use it based on reading the internet, some use it based on their interpretation of the GUI, some use it to exercise more control, some use it for just reporting, and some don’t know how to use it so they decide to get a junior admin to manage it. Because of the variety of methods of managing it, I recognized and implemented different features that were either being asked or that I recognized would help others. 

As people started to use WAM, I started to see fewer issues. The issues that the users had before using WAM would disappear and more importantly, stay resolved due to regular maintenance.

Q: What makes WAM stand out from other WSUS maintenance solutions?

A: The big one – IT’S EASY! It’s easy to install, easy to use, and only gets more complex if you want to learn about what you can do with it. The defaults are perfect for pretty much everyone out there but WAM is all about providing flexibility and customization.

Q: As a Microsoft MVP, how has your relationship with Microsoft helped to make WAM better?

A: One of the benefits of the MVP program is that it provides a network of support with other knowledgeable MVPs, as well as having direct contact with the principal program managers and developers at Microsoft. Their combined experience, direction, and information sharing have been a great help to a number of features implemented in WAM.

Q: What kind of feedback have you received about the software, or what is the best WAM success story you can think of?

A:We have a number of clients who’ve graciously given us their testimonial to put on our website. They are the ones who’ve had the best success; some of them also have earned their spot in our Removal Records which can attest to some of our customer’s successes.

Q: Is this the final version of WAM, or will you be adding to it?

A: We’re always working on adding new features. A new version of WAM is coming in July, with some notable updates including: 

  • Feature: Add-Notice – for adding recommendation notices, and future alert errors and informational notices to the reports.
  • Feature: Add-Notice if the Application Pool Memory is lower than 4GB.
  • Feature: Redesigned the Remove Declined Updates Stream completely.
  • Feature: Added Domain Controller and Hyper-V systems to rename with RenameOSDescriptions.
  • Feature: Added support for Windows 10, 2004 to the RenameOSDescriptions.
  • Installer: Add system requirements detection and present a new screen that better informs the user when system requirements are not installed.

Learn more about WAM or purchase a yearly subscription.

WSUS Automated Maintenance (WAM) system was developed by AJ Tek and is used by system administrators worldwide—from Australia to Antarctica. With over 50,000 unique downloads, it’s the preferred method of WSUS maintenance worldwide.

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