Growing company in a management bind
LearnVest, a rapidly growing financial planning company, expanded from 50 staff members to close to 160 and they quickly realized that their manual methods of imaging, patching, and installing software were no longer feasible. With both Windows and Apple computers on site, they wanted a solution to handle both platforms and needed it fast.
With time not on their side, they chose a Mobile Device Management (MDM) tool based largely on its ability to support both of their platforms. With limited time to test, they trusted what they’d read and made the purchase.
Issues from the get-go
Almost immediately, LearnVest realized that there were hiccups with the cross-platform solution’s management capabilities. For starters, Sarah McDowell, IT and Helpdesk Manager at LearnVest, attempted to perform basic management tasks such as creating and deploying software packages. Even for a seasoned IT veteran such as McDowell, this was tough to accomplish.
“The tool was too difficult to use,” said McDowell. “We had issues with the tool not being able to see client machines, issues with packaging, and issues creating reports. It felt clunky.”
Long waits for no answers
McDowell also found it hard to manipulate data in the admin and the device inventory was not easy to locate. But the most egregious problem with the solution was the lack of customer service and support. McDowell says her team would spend upwards of eight weeks going back and forth with their support team to try and get solutions to their problems. When LearnVest threatened to stop payment, they finally responded by offering a ‘free’ online training course.
McDowell’s staff took the training course and all passed. However, they were still confused by how to use the product. She adds that the training was over three days and the trainer was having trouble demonstrating the management capabilities and often complained about the product during the training sessions.
“We had over 100 machines to support and had nothing to support them with,” she said. The failed training was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back and it was time to look for a new management tool.
Knowledge and tools to succeed
After speaking with several colleagues at other organizations, the Casper Suite from JAMF Software was recommended. LearnVest requested a demo and then a free trial. “We tried basic day-to-day management tasks and everything seemed to work and was easy to use,” said McDowell.
Following a push from McDowell and her staff, LearnVest made the decision to move ahead and purchase the Casper Suite. To ensure that LearnVest did not encounter any of the issues with the previous solution, JAMF Software performed an onsite JumpStart to set up the Casper Suite and provide personalized training on the deployment, inventory, and security features that LearnVest would be using. This hands-on instruction helped ensure that LearnVest had the tools and knowledge to succeed from day one.
With the Casper Suite up and running, LearnVest can now ready and configure their employees’ Macs for use right out of the box. They are also pairing the Casper Suite with Apple’s Device Enrollment Program (DEP) and Volume Purchase Program (VPP) to make deployment of devices and software easier than ever.
Proactive approach for IT
One of the features that LearnVest is using the most is Self Service. “I love Self Service,” said McDowell. She cites that the Casper Suite’s on-demand app store is very intuitive and has worked wonders to streamline work for LearnVest’s IT department.
Self Service enables LearnVest’s users to install apps, update software, and configure their own device without requiring IT assistance. McDowell and her IT staff specify what is available to employees and then they can go and get the resource, update, or specified configuration at their leisure.
Moving forward with the right solution
After only using the Casper Suite for a few months, LearnVest is already reaping the rewards of their investment and decision to choose a better management solution. McDowell says her and her IT staff look forward to exploring the wide range of Apple management capabilities the Casper Suite offers and are happy their management experiment is behind them.
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