How One Organization Brought 800 Desktops into Compliance while Eliminating Overtime, Downtime and Staff Expansion

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I've preached that security and automation go hand-in-hand for the better part of my career. And that good security based on automation can actually improve productivity for both end users and IT. But how do you prove that? I love to get things out of the theoretical and into the real world and in this webinar we are going to do just that.

In this webinar I will interview Jason “Jay” Rappaport who is Directory of IT at Drexel University's Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts and Design. The college prepares students for careers in media, design, and performing and visual arts. Westphal's 2,000 enrollees and 200 faculty and staff members are spread across eight buildings on Drexel's Philadelphia campus, where an IT team of five manages 800 PC, Macintosh and Linux desktops.

Before implementing automated systems management Westphal's IT team were performing manual upgrades on the college's 800 desktops. With students using the computers almost continuously, the team had to confine deployment of upgrades to the one-week break between academic quarters. That meant scrambling from machine to machine, sometimes remotely, to install updates to the operating system, browser, plug-ins and software applications.

No matter how quickly they worked, though, the team members realized that they were unable to deliver on the promise of consistent systems management across the IT environment. They had no way of ensuring, for example, that all machines were running exactly the same version of the design, animation, modeling and creativity applications on which students and faculty depended. Nor could the team easily determine which computers were inconsistent with the others.

On top of this the university's security initiative was adding extra pressure and the team's “spray and pray” approach to patching wasn't meeting the bar. While falling short in terms of compliance their service level quality was also affected. Rappaport says “Our office would almost shut down because we were all so focused on deploying upgrades and patches that we didn’t have time to support our users’ other needs.”

In this webinar Rappaport and I will show you how his team looked for a way to replace its manual processes through automated systems management. The first pain point they addressed with the software distribution, managed installations and patch management needed to keep the college's desktops up to date. But they took it further and began consolidating their ticket system with their inventory asset management making it possible to do things like seeing all the requests associated with a given machine, it's support and update history and what software is currently installed on it.

Please join me for this interesting and real world live case study and get your questions answered from someone back from the trenches. You will briefly learn about Dell's KACE K1000 systems management appliance which is the technology the college accomplished all of this with but what you learn about systems management automation is universally applicable.

Please register now.

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