LANDesk Set
LANDesk rollout helps CTS support users

Campus Technology Services has visited more than 900 computers it hopes never to have to visit again.

LANDesk computer management software allows CTS to roll out frequent security updates, install new software and to do over-the-network troubleshooting from a central console. LAN stands for “local area network.”

“Right now, it’s visit everyone (to accomplish those tasks), and LANDesk solves that. This is really big,” said Tim Yager, a technical support specialist for CTS and Penfield Library who chairs the Enterprise Desktop Services Committee.

Enhanced security is a major issue for CTS and the campus, but so is troubleshooting. With a user’s permission, a CTS technician can remotely take over a computer via LANDesk and see the problem for him or herself.

“The operative phrase there is ‘with the user’s permission,’” Yager said. It’s not spyware or an attempt to monitor any campus user’s computer behavior, he emphasized.

Joe Moreau, chief technology officer, said security and cutting down delays for help desk calls are the overriding reasons for installing LANDesk. “It’s really about customer service more than anything,” he said.

CTS plans to have more than 1,300 computers on LANDesk by the end of summer. Over time, it will complete all 1,600 computers, including laptops that may trickle in, Yager said.

Active change

In a separate project, some of whose features overlap LANDesk’s to an extent, CTS is rolling out Microsoft’s Active Directory computer management software on all new or replacement computers. When a building comes up on the voice over Internet protocol (VOIP) computerized phone system, CTS likely will install Active Directory on existing machines, because it’s necessary for VOIP, Yager said.

Active Directory will allow CTS to group computers for standardization and login routines.

Together, LANDesk and Active Directory will reduce trouble tickets for malware and spyware. “Those cases are going to drop dramatically and productivity across campus will go up,” Yager said.

(Posted: Aug 16, 2010)