Park Hill School District had already deployed 1E’s NightWatchman, the market leading software solution for PC power management, and had started their search for a complementary solution that would integrate the deployment capabilities of Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) with a user-friendly interface for as a software distribution service.
“We were already using SCCM for large scale deployments across the network,” says Brad Sandt, Director of Technology at Park Hill School District, “But we were looking for a more user friendly interface to handle ad hoc requests because we wanted to give users more choice and flexibility in the software available to them.”
The School District had a slow manual process to manage user requests for new software via a help desk ticketing system and it frequently took several days for users to get the applications they needed. With slow, expensive and resource intensive processes, it was clear to Park Hill that something needed to change and it looked for an enterprise software distribution solution.
“We needed a simple-to-use software deployment software interface, which integrated with SCCM and Active Directory, but which also offered our users the freedom and flexibility to choose and download the software they needed there and then, through an automated process, without any help desk intervention,” he adds.
Park Hill School District deployed Shopping across all fourteen of its schools in just one day, making more than three hundred applications available for download to its staff and faculty users. “Shopping was incredibly easy to deploy, in fact I think we had it up and running across all our sites on the same day,” says Sandt. “The real beauty of the application for our users is its simplicity. It’s more like using Amazon or iTunes then a traditional intranet portal, so our users have picked it up really quickly.”
Shopping has now handled nearly 6,500 user requests since installation and frequently manages one hundred or more user requests in a matter of seconds, taking the burden off the IT team at Park Hill School District. Not only does Shopping manage the installation of user applications on-demand, but, should sign-off be required, it also dynamically manages the approval chain for software requests, keeping the user informed of progress every step of the way.
“Using Shopping, we will be able to give our students the ability to download the applications they need, together with access permission, printer drivers, and, when they need to, even request replacement hardware” says Brad Sandt “It is doing everything we’d hoped for,” says Sandt. “We often hear users telling colleagues to ‘go shop for it’ when they ask about new software.”
Park Hill School District has also employed Shopping to manage more than just application downloads, for example by allowing users to shop for printer drivers and access permissions. Shopping has also been deployed to further support Configuration Manager by managing the delivery of self-service OS migrations, allowing users to decide for themselves when it’s most convenient to download and install the update.