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Brussels top research university

Industry: Educational Institution| Case Study

VUB automates software deployment using Desktop Central

Also Available in PDF format (547 KB)

About Vrije Universiteit Brussel:

VUB is a dynamic and modern university with two parkland campuses in the Brussels Capital Region. It is the largest Dutch-speaking employer in the Brussels Region, centrally situated in the capital of Europe. It offers a quality education to more than 9000 students. More than 150 research teams are present in both the campuses. It is an ideal partner for prestigious research and education with an outlook on Europe and the world.

The Challenge

In Universities, student and staff work round-the-clock. IT division of VUB tasked with the responsibility of not only providing access to a variety of IT resources, but also ensuring security, performance and reliability of the network. In bigger universities, the challenge lies in maintaining desktop systems in a perfect shape. But, the IT department, which already had only a few personnel, faced personnel cut.

"It virtually became something like a 'one-man army' and I was left alone to do all installation and maintenance activities manually. We realized that it was time to look for a suitable tool to automate repetitive tasks such as deployment of software packages," recalls Sven Reyniers - Systems Engineer, IT department

The Solution

Sven started searching out for a solution that can replace the manual deployment process. Though centralized software deployment tool was an ultimate goal, he preferred an application that can make distribution packages more streamlined for a faster deployment.

“To be honest the first package I tried was Desktop Central and I was really impressed with the easy setup and deployment. I was able to install Desktop Central, configure it and configure the domain in no time”

Previously, manual deployment consumed a lot of time and efforts. It proved to be a back breaking task. But now, Desktop Central plays a pivotal role in automating deployments from a centralized location, which means with a single click I can perform bulk deployment, adds Sven.

“After deploying ManageEngine Desktop Central, the biggest advantage I have gained is the   total control over the IT ecosystem. I don’t have to run around to install software locally which saves me enormous amount of time”

Desktop Central Difference:

Desktop Central's ability to create and push software packages has proved  highly productive for VUB. “ Instead of taking several hours to install an application to client systems, I can push the software package in less than an hour ” adds Sven.

Software installation is a herculean task for an IT AdministratoR, because for every desktop, IT department needs to ensure that the software is installed as per the university guidelines. Deploying them without disturbing the end user was a huge challenge. With Desktop Central, the 'silent' installation has made the task a lot more simpler and effortless.

“There are a lot of free tools available in the market which give domain information, but the experience with Desktop Central was quite different, it gave me a centralized location for a lot of domain information and it's nice to have everything at one place," mentions Sven.

Universities should ensure that all the systems remain up-to-date and Desktop Central has comes as a breeze for VUB. Desktop Central's 'Template Creation' feature enables IT administrator to define the templates with predefined applications that can be used to download binaries from the respective vendors' Websites to create packages automatically, thereby making the deployment effortless for VUB.

Students and staff work at different timings and hence software deployment could not be triggered at a specific time for all the systems. Desktop Central’s scheduling option to deploy software comes in handy. “ As a responsible systems engineer, I need to make sure users / computers are not affected. Flexibility in scheduling the deployment has proved very effective,” points Sven

Bulk deployment becomes hectic without the ability to scrutinize the status of the software installation. The installation visibility status helps analyze the number of software that has been installed in the systems and aids in decision making for VUB IT team.

Today, with Desktop Central, VUB’s IT department has become more efficient and productive in terms of deploying and managing the software and keeping the systems up-to-date.

“The deployment of the product was very quick, the solution is cost-effective and the tech support is top-notch. I am using it for the past three years and I have become an ardent fan of Desktop Central,” declares Sven.

About Desktop Central

Desktop Central is a complete Desktop Management Software that provides Software Deployment, Patch Management, Service Pack Installation, Asset Management, Remote Control, Configurations, System Tools, User Logon Reports and Active Directory Reports. It is a network-neutral solution that can be used to manage desktops in Active Directory, Workgroups and Novell eDirectory. It can manage computers in multiple domains and can also manage computers across WAN (branch offices). Desktop Central helps achieve compliance with standards like SOX, HIPAA, PCI, etc, and provides a bundle of useful reports to meet compliance audits.