The city of Västerås in Central Sweden needed a cost-effective PC management tool to improve how it manages and secures its classroom PCs. It chose Windows Intune to perform software deployments and enhance the security of its schools’ PCs by
using a web-based console. Now schools in Västerås can focus on what they do best—teaching students.
Västerås is a city in Central Sweden, northwest of Stockholm. Its education department has jurisdiction over the education of the city’s students. Computers have played a central role in education in the city for many years. Today, the city of Västerås
maintains classroom PCs running Windows-based programs. However, educator Thomas Lehnberg began noticing that classroom PCs were not always maintained at optimal levels in terms of software updates, security, and performance.
“The Swedish Education Act is undergoing a process of reform, the goal of which is to provide students with truly world-class schools,” says Lehnberg. “At the same time, teachers are finding that they have less time at their disposal. This means that computers
and software must be in good condition because there is no time to deal with malfunctioning machines.”
According to Magnus Haglund of Advania, a member of the Microsoft Partner Network with three Gold competencies, the problem had become acute. At one school, Nybyggeskolan, computers had been managed manually and without clear guidelines since 2009. Nybyggeskolan
is attended by approximately 650 students in grades six through nine and has a staff of 85 people.
“Västerås schools had computers that hadn’t been systematically overhauled for four years,” says Haglund. “No one was taking responsibility for security or software updates, and everything was being managed manually using a Microsoft Excel spread sheet.”
||The schools don’t experience downtime in their core processes to anywhere near the same extent as before, so I know that our efforts are producing efficiency gains. I’m delighted we’ve found Windows Intune.
| Shawn Akrawi
To ensure computers were in optimal working order, Lehnberg created a check list in early 2012, prioritizing the PC management improvements he wanted. In addition to administering student computers in a more controlled way, he wanted a solution to simplify
software licensing and provide an up-to-date inventory of the department’s desktop environment.
“We wanted to find out which computers were in use in schools, which students were responsible for certain computers, and what type of software was being used,” says Haglund. “It was also important for us to be able to manage this process ourselves and not
be reliant on an external vendor.”
To achieve these goals, the city of Västerås chose Windows Intune, the cloud-based PC management service from Microsoft. Staff at Västerås can use the web-based Administration console in Windows Intune to run PC management tasks remotely, including software
distribution. All that is required is a standard Internet connection, a browser running Microsoft Silverlight, and the Windows Intune client software installed on the PCs at the schools. The client returns information on the PC, including software and hardware
inventory, and endpoint protection and update status to the Administration console.
“We've used Microsoft software for a long time, and Windows Intune was a perfect fit for our requirements,” says Shawn Akrawi, E-strategist for the city of Västerås.
The city of Västerås evaluated Windows Intune through a pilot project in June 2012 at Nybyggeskolan. The results exceeded expectations and, just before the end of 2012, the city of Västerås decided to subscribe to Windows Intune so that it could manage all
of its schools’ PCs.
Today, approximately 3,600 students and teachers in Västerås are benefitting from Windows Intune through the enhanced security and reliability of their classroom computing resources. Not only does the city of Västerås Education Department save time and
money managing its classroom computers, but it is also strengthening its ability to comply with the Swedish Education Act reforms.
Remote PC Monitoring Enhances Security
By using Windows Intune for endpoint protection and to schedule regular virus scans, the city of Västerås can ensure that the PCs at every school have up-to-date virus protection. If Windows Intune detects malicious software, then IT staff members can
immediately remove it, reducing downtime in the classroom and protecting the city’s network.
“Another advantage of Windows Intune is its ability to monitor the health of each computer and to implement security measures or manage antivirus protection without having to bring the computer in for servicing,” says Lehnberg.
Simplified Desktop Management Reduces Costs
According to the city of Västerås, better managed computers equate to a reduction in IT staff administration costs, thanks to automated software updates, virus scans, and security updates.
“Windows Intune saves us a lot of time, primarily during school holidays when computers must be cleaned and updated,” says Lehnberg. “Now that this is a continuous process, the service life of each computer is extended, which in turn generates significant
cost savings. Our computers are healthier than ever before.”
Improved Inventory Standardizes Educational Software
The city of Västerås also uses Windows Intune to maintain an up-to-date hardware and software inventory to simplify licensing management and to ensure that every student has access to the same educational computing resources.
“Windows Intune gave us control of, and visibility into, our education software and hardware resources,” says Haglund. “We can take steps to make sure that every student has the resources they need to succeed.”
Improved PC Reliability Boosts Learning
Because all software updates and computer administration is now managed by the Administration console, the city of Västerås has noticed an improvement in uptime. Less time is spent on computer administration, allowing more time to be spent teaching.
“The schools don’t experience downtime in their core processes to anywhere near the same extent as before, so I know that our efforts are producing efficiency gains,” says Akrawi. “I'm delighted we’ve found Windows Intune.”
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