How SureDeploy enabled “the smoothest device roll-out in 18 years” for St Andrew’s

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“Thanks to CNS and SureDeploy, we were able to add 1,400 new devices to our existing environment with very minimal interruption, and without requiring any additional IT staff."

 

"Application updates and security patches are now deployed automatically, and the entire administration process is now far more streamlined and effective.”

Lyle Corvisy, Head of IT at St Andrew’s

 

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Case study overview

 

 

Challenge


  • Unwieldy BYOD strategy that necessitated the management of 1,200+ disparate devices yet delivered a sub-optimal experience for students and teachers.
  • Children were being distracted in class by games, chat and other consumer applications on their personal devices.
  • Support, maintenance, updates and roll-out tasks were slow and time-consuming for the IT team, which was affecting motivation and job satisfaction.

Solution


  • A modern deployment strategy - a simultaneous roll-out of new Microsoft Surface devices for every student, with ongoing support, security, and monitoring leveraging SureDeploy for Microsoft Intune.

 

Result

  • Dramatically streamlined device, and application management and deployment process.
  • 1,400 new devices seamlessly added to the environment, as well as 300 staff devices with 65 applications automatically installed and updated regularly across the fleet.
  • Stable IT team headcount (avoided hiring 2-3 additional full-time staff).
  • Improved security monitoring and remote management of devices.
  • Considerably enhanced deployment and device replacement processes.
  • Internal IT team free to focus on more high-value and strategic initiatives.

 

 

 

St Andrew's Cathedral School

 

Client Overview

St Andrew's Cathedral School is a multi-campus, independent Anglican co-educational comprehensive and specialist primary and secondary day school, located in Sydney’s CBD.
The school educates approximately 1,450 students from kindergarten to year 12.

 

"SureDeploy has been an incredibly valuable solution from the outset, and the support we have received through our implementation has been second-to-none."

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Lyle Corvisy

Head of IT at St Andrew's

Detailed Case study

The Challenge

As a progressive ‘city school’, technology plays a key role in the student experience at St Andrew’s. For many years, the school’s IT team had been maintaining a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy, which gave students the flexibility to work on their own device, whether on campus or remote. Many students were using iPads, bringing the total fleet to around 1,200 devices.

 

While the BYOD policy was initially effective in driving the transition to more digital ways of learning, it was starting to pose some significant challenges for the school’s IT department. As there was no consistent platform or use of applications across devices, it was very difficult for teachers to consistently deliver quality digitally-focused learning.

 

It had also become extremely difficult for the IT team to effectively secure these disparate devices – all of which were connected to the school’s Wi-Fi and home networks on a daily basis – against cyber-attack. The school also lacked the ability to control which applications and websites students were accessing on their devices during school time, as well as after hours while unsupervised. As a result, students were getting distracted by their personal devices in class.

 

Deciding it was time for a new device strategy, the school turned to SureDeploy.

 

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The Solution

 

The SureDeploy team worked closely with St Andrew’s to understand their objectives and requirements.

 

The first step was an in-depth ‘proof of concept’ exercise, where St Andrew’s trialed a range of devices from five hardware partners with a small cohort of students. This included devices from Microsoft, Lenovo, Toshiba, Dell and HPE. By including feedback gathered during this trial with more traditional evaluation data, the St Andrew’s team determined the Microsoft Surface range of devices was best suited to the school’s needs. As the school was already utilising the Microsoft platform for SureDeploy, Intune and Surface were a logical fit.

 

The next phase was a six-month pilot program, where Surface devices were provided to a group of 120 students to determine their effectiveness and manageability.

 

Following the success of this pilot, the SureDeploy endpoint management solution for Intune was then used to roll out the remaining devices to the entire student body. This was executed over a four-week period during the Christmas holidays. When students returned for the new school year, they simply walked into their classroom, picked up their new laptop, logged in, and were able to get started without delay.

 

With SureDeploy, St Andrew’s is now able to ensure:

 

  • - All of the school’s applications are updated regularly, tested, and rolled-out automatically without disruption to users or the IT team.
  • - Deployment and maintenance of devices is seamless and straightforward – relieving the burden on the existing IT team.
  • - Students can easily swap, upgrade or replace a device at any time.
  • - Security is robust and regularly updated and annually penetration tested.
  • - Students never lose a single assignment – with global auto-save every three minutes to the cloud.

 

Importantly, the SureDeploy device package is paid for – on a quarterly basis – by the student body. This includes the device lease, software, support, security, and ongoing monitoring. SureDeploy is also working with St Andrew’s in developing a Student Safety program with applications that provide parents and carers with visibility of, and control over, their child’s online activity on the school-managed device.

 

 

The Results

 

The switch from disparate, individual devices under a BYOD regime to an overarching Surface strategy with SureDeploy has been extremely successful.

 

St Andrew’s now has a highly professional and streamlined device management process, re-gaining security and control over its network, without having to add IT headcount. Thanks to the success of this initial roll-out, the school is moving ahead with a second phase to equip teachers and office staff with Intune managed devices via SureDeploy.

 

The entire fleet can also be updated remotely almost immediately, thanks to SureDeploy, and the school’s IT team can rest easy knowing security vulnerabilities are constantly monitored and automatically resolved.

 

If a problem with a device does occur, it can simply be replaced by a spare device – on the spot – without the student losing any of their cloud-based files or settings.

 

Importantly, the school also has granular control over which applications students can download and access on their devices. Younger students, for instance, are unable to access the internet after a certain time in the evening.

When the school was forced into remote learning due to COVID, the new device strategy was a lifesaver, leaving the school well ahead of most others in terms of preparedness. During the lockdown period, SureDeploy was also used to roll-out Microsoft Teams to every device, effectively and securely, within 24 hours.

 

Updating a single device would previously take the school’s IT team around half a day. They can now roll out 100s of devices in the same period.

 

“SureDeploy has enabled us to keep our IT team the same size. Even though we’ve added 1,400 laptops to our environment, we haven’t had to add any new IT staff. That says it all,” says Corvisy.

 

“This was the smoothest IT roll-out we have ever had at the school – the disruption to students’ learning and the teaching experience was absolutely minimal, and we now have a very consistent, modern and easy to manage devices, applications and security. Gone are the days of troubleshooting for several hours. SureDeploy is part of our landscape now. It’s completely embedded,” he adds.

 

"For a progressive and innovative school like St Andrew’s, providing a high quality technology experience is imperative. SureDeploy has delivered essential automation, security and peace of mind for the school’s IT team, which has been very positive in terms of students’ technology experience."

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Alex Huntington

Head of Technical Services

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