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Chicago Manages iPads: Talha Basit

 Absolute
Talha Basit2Reviewer: Talha Basit

Position
: Client Computing and Software Systems Manager

District: Chicago Public Schools, IL.

Number of Students in District
: 400,000

Products
: Absolute Software — Absolute Computrace, Absolute Manage and Absolute Manage Mobile Device Management

Goals:

As our school district values integrating technology into the learning experience of our K-12 students, we have deployed more than 10,000 Apple computers. Our students have the opportunity to use technology in the classroom to enhance their learning across our 675 elementary, high school and charter schools. The challenge for our IT staff was how to manage these computers, as well as an initial deployment of 5,000 iPads.

Our goal in using Absolute Software’s three products was to enable our IT administration team to deliver a fast, cost-effective and secure computing experience for our users – freeing our administrators, teaching staff and students to focus on actually using the technology for education purposes. We needed to be able to quickly pinpoint the locations of our devices, administer software and patch management, implement a power management policy and download quick reports on all of our devices. Overall, our goals were to keep track of our mobile inventory, secure our assets, update them, distribute software and reduce IT support costs and time.

Response:

Before Absolute Manage, the whole process of managing our devices was painful. Our Help Desk would receive a large volume of support calls, and this all changed when we started using the suite of Absolute products. We can now remotely manage, patch and totally remediate a system, we’ve been able to reduce support calls by 70%. I would say Absolute’s solutions have been well received not only by our IT staff, but also by the students and teachers who use each device.

Further, with the aid of Absolute Software’s Computrace product, we have successfully recovered over 350 laptops. This has directly resulted in substantial cost savings, and we’re able to show this value directly to board members and administrators as well.

Learning Curve:

Absolute Manage is very straightforward to use. That was one of the reasons we chose it over other products in this category.

How We Use It:

We use Computrace to help track, secure and recover the 40,000 Mac laptop computers deployed across our network of schools. We’ve already seen the ROI of installing Computrace, with more than 350 laptops returned to us.

We use Absolute Manage as our computer lifecycle management solution on all of our Mac computers. We are able to use Absolute Manage as a full-featured asset management solution, allowing us to provide a lightning fast rollout and even implement a Power Management policy.

We also keep track of our entire 5,000+ iPads that are distributed district wide to students, teachers and administrators using Absolute Manage Mobile Device Management. Having access to this type of tracking software for the iPad was one of the reasons we were able to commit to using iPads in our district.

What’s Ahead?:

In addition to our major rollout of iPad devices, we plan to integrate our data into our largest asset inventory database so that our IT staff and school staff can easily see all of their assets, including their iPads. We will also be expanding our usage of the Absolute Software product line to more Macs, and potentially PCs as well.

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