Remote PC Management

North Carolina’s Guilford County Schools (GCS) is comprised of 102 schools and four administrative sites. The school system, covering over 2,200 acres of land, includes 280 buildings with over eight million square feet of space. Our schools are both rural and urban, and are part of the landscapes of Guilford
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North Carolina’s Guilford County Schools (GCS) is comprised of 102 schools and four administrative sites. The school system, covering over 2,200 acres of land, includes 280 buildings with over eight million square feet of space. Our schools are both rural and urban, and are part of the landscapes of Guilford County, High Point, Greensboro, and the communities of Stokesdale, Colfax, Summerfield, Gibsonville, and Brown Summit.

With a projected 2002-2003 enrollment of 64,500 students and almost 8,000 employees, the system is the state's third largest school district and the second largest employer in a 12-county area.

Background/Problem

Guilford County Schools’ technical support department consists of thirty people responsible for supporting those 102 schools and four administrative sites, stretched across a 40-mile radius of the county. Previously, when a support call came in, the support staff had to travel to one of the hundred or so sites to investigate the computer problem. Physical site visits encompassed a large chunk of our workday. We were increasing costs for travel reimbursement and were not maximizing the technical department’s resources to its potential. Realizing this, Guilford County decided to seek out a centralized solution that would allow our technical department to work remotely from the main office.

Solution

After trying a large, costly PC management solution with no success, we researched three software products found on the Internet. We tested and evaluated all of the solutions in our test lab of 30 computers. We selected NetSupport Manager remote control software for its high level of security, ease of deployment (including remote installation) and dynamic PC inventory features.

Benefits

We have significantly reduced operational travel costs and increased support productivity since implementing a central PC management solution. We’ve used NetSupport Manager through four software versions and deployed the solution in over 11,000 PCs in less than a year with virtually no problems. Our technicians are able to do more work in less time and our schools receive support in real-time. Most of the time our support issues just have to do with remote software installs, file transfers and updates, and using the remote software has made this job much easier. We will continue to roll out NetSupport Manager deployment across the entire school county. We are currently at about 60-70% and are on our way to covering the entire system.

NetSupport Manager has significantly increased our response time for help requests and saved us hundreds of dollars previously spent on travel costs. There is no longer a need to travel to a site when it's a simple fix. We also do a lot of work with the file transfer feature and are able to utilize the multiple user distribution feature. which saves us a lot of time. NetSupport Manager is definitely a product people are happy with here. We have deployed over 11,000 licenses in less than a year with virtually no problems.

Environment:

Windows 2000 Domain
Windows 2000 and Windows NT4 Servers
Client machines are mostly Windows 2000 Professional
We do still have some Win9x machines.

Jenni Hilton
Patrick Figgatt

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