Sir George Monoux College is a state-maintained Sixth Form College for about 2,000 16 to 19 year-olds in Walthamstow, London. The College works hard to help students achieve their best academically, artistically and vocationally.
More than 80% of its students come from minority ethnic groups living in East London. The College offers A & AS levels, BTECs and GCSEs, with students enjoying a wide range of leisure and recreational facilities.
The college needed to securely and remotely manage more than 350 mobile devices used by students, staff and governors.
Our solution used Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager, Intune, and the College’s existing infrastructure to create a consistent management platform.
“We wanted something that would allow us to have the heterogeneous environment where we could manage all devices, and that’s what led us to Intune.” Senior IT Specialist Sir George Monoux College
The College acquired 350 Surface tablets. These invaluable mobile devices were to be distributed to staff, students and governors. But the College quickly realised that they had a significant challenge on their hands to manage them all securely, as well as other devices, iPads and Androids, which students were bringing in. They needed to allow users easy access to the right apps at the right time, control the way that the devices could be used, manage software updates, and act in cases of loss and to keep sensitive data secure.
Rapture Orafu, Senior IT Specialist from the College, approached ThirdSpace with an urgent question: how can we effectively manage and control the use of the new tablets and other devices? ThirdSpace’s technical consultants met College staff. They discussed the challenge and came up with a number of options, using both technologies the College already had in place, and employing new technologies to overcome specific problems.
Mat Richards, Head of Enterprise Mobility and Security at ThirdSpace recalls: “In the Cloud, we used Microsoft Intune for integrated, cloud-based client management service, which offered tools, reports and upgraded licenses to the latest version of Windows.”
It allowed the College’s IT staff to manage the mobile devices on the College’s network directly through Intune. And it handled iOS, Windows RT and Windows Phone devices.
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ThirdSpace consultants integrated this with the College’s own on-premise Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager. This created a consistent management experience; the ability to manage applications, service delivery, automation and infrastructure management from one console. Staff could remotely monitor, administer and remediate the hardware and software, and ensure statutory compliance.
Mat Richards states: “It’s was a great solution for an especially mobile and challenging environment. For example, any data that resided on a device could be encrypted if the device got lost, and the IT department could immediately initiate a device wipe and remove any data that may have been sensitive. This effectively restores it to default factory settings.”
Rapture Orafu of the College said: “We already had some infrastructure there that we could use to achieve what we had in mind. ThirdSpace had already implemented an identity solution with FIM. It was very clear to understand what we were putting into place and what the processes were. The whole process from proof of concept to going live and distributing the tablets to students and staff, was seamless. It has been a very, very good experience for us.”
ThirdSpace consultant Darren Bonehill says: “The College IT team were a joy to work with as they always strived to implement the latest technologies to put the College at that leading edge. They allowed me to work freely on the technology bringing them up to speed once implemented and functioning.”
“There were a number of positive things for us,” says Orafu. “Being able to provide our remote users with a secure connection to College resources and Intune meant we could join devices to our domain. And being able to provide an environment where staff can work on their documents on their mobile devices using Workplace Folders instead of using Dropbox or USBs.”
The components in ThirdSpace’s solution combined to create an incredibly smooth experience for students, staff and governors. Users got resources and access when they needed it, and the College’s IT staff could maintain effective control and security. They were able to control access and password complexity and length, and deploy custom-built applications for the devices with ease through an organisational portal.
Now the College has a consistent management platform that allows them to maintain control of all their assets: data, mobile devices, desktops, servers…the lot!
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