The University of National and World Economy (UNWE) needed a solution that would enable its IT department to be able to quickly install and update core and user-specific applications, based on a centralized and standard process. By using several
Microsoft solutions such as Windows 7 Enterprise, Office 2010 and System Center 2012 Endpoint Protection, the University was able to achieve its goals and cut costs in the process.
As one of the leading institutions of higher learning in Southern Europe, the IT department at the University of National and World Economy (UNWE) faced several challenges. One of its major responsibilities is to give support to the university’s more than
20,000 students and 1,500 employees by providing them with the necessary software applications in their PCs, including maintenance. Because a lot of their users had specific requirements, configuring a PC had to be done manually. This meant that the IT department’s
employees spent a lot of time performing this task. Furthermore, it made the process of supporting these machines cumbersome and required a lot of resources, which the IT department did not have. The lack of standardization and monitoring also posed a serious
challenge for the IT department.
||Using a combination of Microsoft solutions have allowed us to cut costs, standardize and optimize the deployment of applications and updates, as well as enhance the security of our IT infrastructure.
| Prof. D.Sc.(Econ.) Valentin Stephanov Kisimov
Head of Department for Information Technologies and Communication
“We did not have a standard configuration for computers being used at the university. The fact that we had to custom-tailor every single PC was very time-consuming and stressful for our IT staff. Because we were supporting a large number of computer models
with a different number of software applications, it made supporting our user’s PCs very difficult. Unfortunately, this increased the risk of errors, which was totally unacceptable,” says Prof. D.Sc.(Econ.) Valentin Stephanov Kisimov, Head of Department for
Information Technologies and Communication at UNWE.
“Because we often receive a lot of requests from employees and students at the university, we only have a very short time to re-image a lot of computers as well as install the different applications. On top of this, we did not have a centralized way of managing
and updating the high number of applications being used by employees and students. The fact that we have a heterogeneous IT infrastructure made our work even more challenging,” he added.
It was clear to everyone that a solution needed to be found before the IT department would be totally overwhelmed in dealing with the long backlog of cases and requests.
In order for the IT department to be in a better position to provide services much more quickly than ever before and have a complete overview of all applications being used, it was important that several key issues needed to be addressed: a standardized
and centralized procedure for deploying and managing applications including updates, automate the process of installing and updating applications in order to provide short turnaround times, be able to easily identify vulnerabilities and improve protection.
Furthermore, having a single interface for managing and monitoring all applications was critical for the IT department.
“We were looking for a solution that would simplify the overall process of installing, updating and monitoring all applications. Additionally, we wanted to speed up the process of installing software on a PC through automation. It was also important that
we would save time and money in the process,” says Prof. D.Sc.(Econ.) Valentin Stephanov Kisimov.
The IT department explored a number of possible solutions available on the market. After a thorough review, the University selected several Microsoft solutions, which included: Windows 7 Enterprise SP1, Office 2010 SP1, Windows User State Migration Tool
(USMT) 4.0, Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2010 and System Center 2012 Endpoint Protection.
“We realized that a single product was not enough. Therefore, we needed to take advantage of a suite of Microsoft solutions in order to achieve the best possible outcome.” Because of the importance of this project, UNWE engaged the services of Microsoft
Consulting Services (MCS). We have previously worked with Microsoft Consulting Services (MCS) on a number of projects. Their high level of professionalism and expertise has always ensured a successful implementation. We had no doubt in our minds that MCS would
be the most ideal partner for this endeavor,” adds Mr. Kisimov.
Microsoft Consulting Services worked closely with the university’s IT department to ensure a smooth execution of the project. “Implementing Windows 7 Enterprise SP1 and Microsoft Office 2010 would allow us to deploy a standard set of applications using a
single operating system. Furthermore, System Center 2012 Endpoint Protection provides us with the tools to manage all applications and updates efficiently as well as improve desktop security.”
The IT department then created a single master Windows 7 image that would support different computer models. A standardized user-driven approach for deploying applications was also developed. The creation of a single deployment package based on Microsoft
Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2010 Update 1 Lite-Touch was implemented for a faster distribution of applications. Finally, Windows User State Migration Tool (USMT) 4.0 provided the ability to support different deployment and migration scenarios.
“Previously, we had no way of properly managing and securing desktops and applications. Because of System Center 2012 Endpoint Protection, we know exactly which PCs are adequately protected as well as those that are at risk. This gives us a decided advantage
in identifying and resolving security issues such as viruses, malware and other threats. Additionally, its ability to identify and block malware and other threats ensures that our user's PCs are well protected.”
Previously, installing an operating system with the necessary applications was a laborious task for the IT department. With the creation of a master Windows 7 image, it is now easier and faster for the system administrators to deploy a standard operating
system together with core applications for all computer models.
Faster Turnaround Time
The staff at the IT department has experienced a considerable reduction in the time it takes to configure a PC. With more than 20,000 students and 1,500 employees to service, every minute counts. “It would usually take our system administrators more than
a week to install the necessary operating system and applications in a PC. Now, it only takes us one day to do the job,” he adds enthusiastically.
Simplified Configuration Management
The centralization in managing clients and applications have made it easier for the IT department to configure PCs with user-specific applications. It is also made the process of updating applications to the latest version much more user-friendly. This initiative
has proven to be a resounding success for the university.
“Using a combination of Microsoft solutions have allowed us to cut costs, standardize and optimize the deployment of applications and updates, as well as enhance the security of our IT infrastructure,” concludes Valentin Stephanov Kisimov, Head of Department
for Information Technologies and Communication at UNWE.
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