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Software distribution vs. client management – the differences

In the IT department of companies, the terms software distribution and client management come up again and again.. They describe processes that involve the installation, configuration and control of the software used on a company’s technical devices and the connected peripherals.

But what exactly do the individual terms mean and what differences are there between the two related terms? IDERI enlightens you in this blog post.

Realize efficient installation processes with software distribution

What does software distribution mean?

Software distribution is an IT process that enables companies to automatically deploy software on their employees’ technical devices such as PCs and laptops. In this way, an efficient and complication-free initial installation as well as configuration of the software can take place.


Installing software packages with a software distribution solution is especially useful if your company has a large number of employees and devices . In this case, software distribution is automated under the direction of an internal or external IT expert.

Central software management thanks to client management

What does client management mean?

Client management is a centralized tool that enables IT managers to remotely manage and control all of a company’s software. In this way, an intact working environment is ensured in an efficient manner.


The functions of modern client management encompass the entire plug-and-play of a workstation and extend from software provisioning to authorization and license management for the players in the IT infrastructure. Thus, it succeeds in providing the end user with a perfectly and automatically functioning system.


In addition, client management offers the centralized function of remote maintenance.. This means that IT support staff no longer need to physically visit the affected company computer to make changes to the installed software or to install new software on the clientsin the sense of software distribution.

Software distribution and client management - an overview of the differences

Both software distribution and client management are used to bring more order to a company’s IT infrastructure and to make its underlying processes more efficient.

The crucial difference between the terms is that client management should be understood as a generic term for software distribution . Accordingly, software distribution is a sub-process of client management. It acts as a central method for automatically setting up, changing and dismantling the IT infrastructure.

In addition to software distribution, the following functions are also part of the scope of services of modern client management:

  • License management
  • Operating system distribution (OS deployment)
  • Patch management
  • Inventory of hardware and software
  • Remote administration
  • Helpdesk
  • Security/authorization management

Increased efficiency with client management and software distribution.

Centralized software distribution provides a certain structure in software installation and updating,minimizing errors. In doing so, software distribution simplifies the configuration of many computers by providing a consistent supply of software to clients through automation and centralized control.


However, client management goes one step further by enabling management of all end devices located at a workstation . While software distribution focuses on automating installation processes, client management also controls access rights to software from different computers.


Here, it is not only the computers on which software is provided that are decisive, but also their connection to the peripherals from printers, telephone systems and other devices. In addition to authorization management, the time-based management of access to software as well as removal processes also fall under the comprehensive concept of client management.


If client management and software distribution are applied correctly in a company, the company benefits from numerous advantages such as uncomplicated and efficient software installation on all clients, automated software maintenance, and complete control over programs, licenses, runtimes, and authorizations.


Software distribution and client management are closely linked, but the definitions of the terms differ. Thus, client management is to be understood as an umbrella term of software distribution, which includes not only the installation on the individual devices, but also the complete control of the software in the company.


Frequently asked questions about software distribution and client management

You can find our answers here

The term software distribution refers to the management and deployment of application software on a network. However, client management goes a step further and involves the complete management and control of software used on the corporate network.

Software distribution allows companies to easily install software packages and applications on all their technical devices. With a professional software distribution solution, initial installation and configuration, as well as subsequent maintenance, can be performed faster, easier and more straightforward. Automated processes in the form of a software distribution system form the basis for this.