[Case Study] A County Government At Scale
By Model Technology Solutions
Published August 30, 2022
Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

The Scenario

A large county government was facing several endpoint management projects and recognized that all of these projects, taken together, would be too much for their in-house talent to tackle alone.

Initially, there was a need to upgrade SCCM, as the version they were running was several versions behind the latest build. There was also interest in migrating the SCCM environment from on-premise to the Azure cloud, and in using SCCM to do server patching.

Outside of the SCCM upgrade, almost all of the 1,000+ endpoints in the county government system were running different versions and builds of Windows. This was particularly troubling, as extended support for the Windows 7 operating system ended January 2020.

While some upgrades to Windows 10 had been done, there had been no overarching strategy to upgrade and standardize all machines at scale. The lack of standardization across the organization made administration that much harder, especially when it came to patches, upgrades, and troubleshooting.

Further investigation also revealed that there was a need to clean up the Group Policy Objects (GPOs) throughout the enterprise system in order to maintain property security and access controls without disrupting workflows.

Model was introduced to the IT team to first tackle the SCCM upgrade. Through this project, they proved themselves to be a reliable partner and went on to tackle the other projects as well. Now Model provides ongoing UEMaaS (Unified Endpoint Management as a Service), allowing the enterprise to stay updated and consistent at scale.

The Projects

Windows 10 upgrade: Model developed, tested, and implemented an enterprise-wide (1,000+ endpoints) Windows 7 to Windows 10 upgrade, from start to finish. This required an extensive pre-work stage to discover what was needed. For example, Model determined:

  • Which makes and models of machines were in use, and what the correct drivers were for each
  • Which machines needed a basic upgrade, which needed a “wipe and load,” and which would simply be wiped and not upgraded at all
  • Which drives had user data that needed to be kept, and which could be wiped clean

Upgrades were then carried out in phases, with appropriate testing to ensure that the transition was seamless. Even with this phased approach, the upgrade was carried out according to the client’s accelerated time frame.

SCCM Migration and Upgrade: SCCM can run on virtual machines in Azure just as it runs on-premises within a data center. Model migrated the SCCM environment to the Azure Cloud, and in the process upgraded to the latest version.

Ongoing Server Patching: Patching servers effectively requires a standard deployment process according to known business rules. Model developed, tested, and implemented monthly server patching utilizing the newly upgraded SCCM.

GPO & Active Directory Cleanup: Model assisted county personnel with the cleanup, development, and deployment of GPO’s throughout the enterprise environment.

It should be noted that the client wanted to be heavily involved in each of these projects, so a partnership was formed between Model’s engineers and the client’s on-site technicians. This was especially important for some machines in sensitive areas with restricted access. In these cases, Model was able to do most of its work remotely, with the local teams on-site and in constant communication with Model’s engineers.

At every step, there was open and clear communication, both to prevent problems and to deal with any challenges as they arose.

The Results

Each project had highly measurable goals attached to it and all goals were met to the client’s satisfaction–indeed, some were even exceeded.

By upgrading and migrating SCCM, upgrading and standardizing windows, and taking care or server patching and Active Directory Maintenance, this county government was able to realize a number of benefits:

  • Better Cybersecurity with recent security updates in place, regular monthly patching, and appropriate GPOs. Security compliance is also easier to prove.
  • Endpoints and servers are easier to support and troubleshoot.
  • Continual upgrades are possible with Windows 10, making future upgrades easier.
  • Manual installs have been dramatically reduced; applications can be packaged, configured, and deployed in just a few hours.
  • Applications are now licensed correctly.
  • New endpoints can now be rapidly deployed at any point in the network, even at remote offices or on mobile devices.

One staff member close to these projects remarked:

Every interaction with Model was an exceptional experience. Their project management and highly skilled staff are what makes them a joy to work with… I would recommend Model to anyone that asked.

UEMaaS for Local Governments and Governmental Organizations

We consider projects like the above to be a part of Unified Endpoint Management (UEM). Some of our clients here at Model have even called UEM the “Nirvana” of infrastructure management. Using a combination of well-designed automation tools and industry know-how, we can offer reliable, cost effective UEM on an ongoing monthly basis: UEMaaS.

That said, many managed service providers focus more or less exclusively on UEM for private corporations. Here at Model, we realize there are additional challenges that local governments and governmental organizations face, such as:

  • Compliance
  • Security
  • System availability
  • Staffing constraints

These challenges cause difficulties in making upgrades and changes at scale, yet scale is precisely what is needed when dealing with multiple sites and thousands of potential endpoints.

Not only does Model provide top-notch UEMaas, but we are also used to working with government organizations and all that entails, from background checks and security protocols to stress testing and compliance monitoring.

So don’t let your security and compliance lapse simply because managing the change is difficult and time-consuming. Model can take your critical infrastructure management off your hands, so your team can focus on more pressing strategic issues.

How cost effective is it? Read The ROI of UEM| (When Done Right)

For more information, you can visit our UEM as a Service Page, or contact us for a free consultation for your government team.

About Model Technology

Model Technology Solutions is a consulting and managed services provider. We are laser-focused on helping businesses realize the transformative power of IT automation. Our solution engineers strive to remain at the forefront of enterprise technology and the proper deployment and management of operating systems, end point devices, and infrastructures. Model values transparency and integrity, and works toward the continued growth of the automation technology community.

See how Model Technology can impact your business today and help you focus on what you do best at model-technology.com

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