Texas School District Levels Up with LANDESK Management Suite

Cypress Fairbanks, the third largest school district in Texas, recently signed on with LANDESK Management Suite to keep up with the growing IT demands of their 110 campuses and administrative sites.

“It’s just humungous,” says Technical Analyst Josh Zhang. “We have every service from transportation, health services, a police department… we’re practically a little city.”

The 285-square-mile area does not lend itself to easy fixes where IT is concerned, causing a lot of unnecessary stress and travel time for members of the technology department.

“We weren’t able to support the staff and the students in a timely manner,” comments Manager of the Device, Imaging and Integration Team, Larry Barrios. “Fire-fighting is what we did. We put out fires wherever anyone called from and we’d go out and try to address those issues.”

After a long time dealing with the shortcomings and inefficiencies of their old product, Cypress Fairbanks took the time to evaluate better alternatives. They decided on LANDESK Management Suite.

“With LANDESK Management, I’m able to reach every computer in the district like it was just right next to me,” says Josh Zhang. “That’s saved countless hours in terms of either driving or just trying to get to a machine. I’m able to resolve incidents a lot quicker.”

LANDESK Management Suite is comprehensive enough that incident tickets have gone down drastically, and simple issues are automatically corrected. This has given the department more time and peace of mind. They can now focus their energies on higher-level issues, such as making sure patching is running correctly or that the OS stays updated.

Larry Barrios is happy with their decision to work with LANDESK. “Working with LANDESK has been different than working with any other software companies. They listen. They didn’t just sell the product and walk away.”

Derly Buentello, technical analyst, adds, “They’ve responded quickly. They’ve met our needs. There’s been customization and optimization. To work with a vendor that’s responsive and can meet your needs is golden.”

“I can see that we’ve made the right choice,” says Larry Barrios.

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Mobility Management and its Role in Unified Endpoint Management

It’s an annual event that we look forward to at LANDESK, the release of the Gartner Magic Quadrants (MQ) for our various solutions.  For me, the Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Mobility Management Suites is special.  Not because of the days we invest preparing our response (it’s a lot of work), but the MQ gives an opportunity for those of us who live with these products day-in/day-out a chance to step back realize how fast this area of technology moves, and what it means to our customers.

It makes sense, when you think about it: Users exchange their mobile devices every 12-18 months, and that can cross two generations of smartphone models.  With that compressed lifecycle, and the evolution of functionality that comes with each new generation of device, keeping up with the technology is worthy of an annual assessment like the MQ.  Mobile, on its own (and that’s how the EMM Magic Quadrant is determined) is so dynamic, so when we see the MQ publication, we are always happy to see the market assessment aligning with big challenges our customers are looking for us to help them solve.

One of the biggest changes this past year has been the desire to consolidate the toolsets needed to manage everything users carry – from their laptop (and it could be Windows, Mac, etc.) to their smartphone/tablet/other (Android, iOS, etc.). The term is “Unified Endpoint Management”, and we have been hearing a lot from our customers about the desire for clients of all types (traditional and mobile) to be managed together in this way.  It enables user-centered IT management with huge efficiencies. This is the first time that UEM rankings have been part of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant criteria.

For the IT admin, it offers a single system for configuring and managing everything a user carries.  A truly integrated UEM solution, such as LANDESK Management Suite 2016, delivers this in such a way that make it super easy to see, configure and manage all the devices in a user’s portfolio, together and simultaneously.  For the end user, they can count on consistent access across the screens they use, because the policies are configured uniformly based on their role, not the device itself.  Simple, easy user management.

We don’t want to spoil the fun of reading the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Mobility Management for yourselves, but we’re extremely proud of our inclusion and move into the “Visionaries” quadrant of the MQ (no vendor saw as significant a shift in the positive direction)!  We’re also honored to have been recognized for our Unified Endpoint Management approach, which leverages our historic strength in Client Management Tools, and brings EMM into the same LDMS product for a truly integrated solution.  Take a look Gartner’s assessments, then take a look at all the devices your users carry.  Do you have all the visibility you need to confidently manage it all?

Pound for Pound Strongest Leader in 2015 Gartner Client Management Tools Magic Quadrant

I spent roughly sixteen years practicing martial arts. I learned several styles that included self-defense, stand up fighting techniques, grappling, and how to throw an opponent. I also learned to use several weapons—yes, I do have nun-chuck skills. 🙂 Sometimes I like to watch Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fights, but not because of the violence or blood. I’m really more of a pacifist. I prefer to watch the smaller guys compete in the octagon. They’re faster, more agile, land more strikes, and are far more strategic and technical in the way they fight than the heavy weight competitors. However, you won’t see a fight between a featherweight and a heavy weight in the MMA. It’s just not considered a fair fight.

Battle in the Magic Quadrant Octagon

Consolidating Your Management Tools to Manage the Mac Attack!

Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions and an APPLE!

No, We’re not talking about a McDonald’s Big Mac Attack (do you remember that 1988 commercial? ). Rather, we are talking about the invasion of the Apple Mac OS computer into the workplace. The Mac OS has seen their market share increase by double digits from January 2009 to January 2012, while Microsoft Windows (XP, Vista, and Windows 7) has seen almost a 2% decline in market share over the same period. In Aaron’s last blog, he talks about a new generation of business users that are native to technology and expect a different experience than those before them. Do you know what their preferred operating system is? You guessed it, Apple Mac OSx!

Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions and an APPLE!

I recently worked on a project with a couple students from a local university and they both had a Mac and said they couldn’t imagine going into the workforce and being forced by their employer to switch to a Windows computer. In addition to Mac laptops, businesses are also seeing the challenge of other Apple devices such as iPhones and iPad flying onto their network.

This challenge poses a question: How do you manage those different types of devices in your environment without increasing risks to my business?

When looking at developing your systems management strategy, it could involve including multiple systems management tools (Systems Management, Mac OS Management, Mobile Device Management, Software License Management, etc.) as a way to leverage risk. But having multiple management application vendors isn’t necessarily a good thing for your business, in fact, it could increase your overall risks.

Advocating for a single management systems vendor helps reduce operation, configuration, and management complexity. Reducing complexity also reduces management risks. The end points that are managed are part of the critical business delivery chain for enterprises and need to be considered as a single functional system. If your end points are not efficient, your workforce productivity will decrease. Don’t look at end point management from a component perspective; rather look at it as an end-to-end strategic asset.

Outside of reducing implementation and management cost, having a single systems management vendor helps create consistency in managing different assets. For example, create a single policy that is applied to the user that encompasses all of the devices that the user may have such as a smart phone, tablet, and laptop. Then manage in order to make sure that users have the applications they need on those devices and determine whether they are using those applications. The end goal is to create a unique experience for each user without increasing the cost, whether they are using a Windows desktop, Android tablet, or a Mac OSx laptop.