Ever notice how many problems are caused by drivers or firmware? Ever notice how often Adobe releases a new version of Reader or Flash to solve a security issue, and how many legacy versions are running on your network – thus making your Windows Updates process pretty irrelevant? Ever wish you had a way to centrally deploy fixes for those problems?
One of the nice things about System Center Configuration Manager and System Center Essentials is that up can potentially distribute updates for just about anything. For example, SCE 2010 has a wizard for adding catalogs for Dell, HP and Adobe products. That means their system updates become something that can be distributed via Windows Updates!
Note: You would not want to do this for Hyper-V hosts – remember to treat them like change controlled mainframes. Use your ability to filter update approvals using groups to control which machines will receive these updates automatically via Windows Update.
You are not limited to catalogs from the above companies. You can even create your own catalog using the System Center Updates Publisher. And some companies like IBM provide catalogs that you can add using their provided URLs.