Conestoga is a leader in polytechnic education and one of Ontario’s fastest growing colleges, delivering a full range of career-focused education, training and applied research programs to prepare students for success in the new knowledge economy and promote economic prosperity across Ontario.

Conestoga College has nine campuses and training centres located in Brantford, Cambridge, Guelph, Ingersoll, Kitchener, Stratford, and Waterloo.

CHALLENGES

Conestoga College was facing various challenges related to their move to a remote working and learning environment for their staff and students. They wanted to manage their 5,000 corporate-owned devices more effectively in the cloud to patch future updates automatically, save time for their IT technicians, and better manage their lab environment of shared computers that are used by the students.

They started their digital transformation journey in 2021 when they implemented Microsoft 365, Azure, Microsoft Defender, and Microsoft Sentinel. In July 2022, Conestoga wanted to tackle endpoint management to improve their security posture and automate their device deployment, monitoring and maintenance. They had already implemented Windows Autopilot so their IT technicians no longer needed to image the new laptops from the manufacturer. The next step was the implementation of Microsoft Endpoint Manager (MEM) to reach their goal.

As a trusted Microsoft partner, Softlanding offers Microsoft Imagine workshops to help organizations embrace a Secure Modern Workplace. Conestoga College decided to go with the Microsoft Endpoint Manager workshop and an Art of the Possible workshop.

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SOLUTION

Conestoga College decided to complete a Microsoft Endpoint Management workshop and an Art of the Possible workshop on the Azure Identity management to educate some of their IT staff on Microsoft Endpoint Manager but also to get a clear roadmap and actionable next steps to start their endpoint management journey. The workshops were broken down into small group sessions to allow more interaction and involvement.

The workshop focus was on deploying applications remotely and leveraging Microsoft Endpoint Manager into their environment to manage all their devices (Android, Apple & Windows) remotely and save time and effort for their IT technicians. They wanted them to stop using time-consuming legacy imaging.

“As Conestoga shifts to a cloud-based secure modern workplace, having an IT team professionally trained on the latest Microsoft technologies is a top priority. The IT team and I appreciated that the workshops were hosted in our environment. For every workshop, we would screen share our environment with the Softlanding facilitator so he could provide us with insights about our endpoint layout. The facilitator was great and using best practices gained from working with a variety of customers, he showed us how to unlock features which were buried several layers deep. He provided useful tips such as a scalable naming convention for our device groups.” said Eric Schueler, IT Manager, Endpoint Operations, Information Technology & Systems at Conestoga.

 

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RESULTS

After completing the workshop, Conestoga College walked out with a roadmap and set some objectives and milestones to finalize its endpoint management journey.

Their goals for summer 2023 are the following:

  • Have all their 5,000 corporate-owned devices enrolled in Microsoft Endpoint Manager (they already have 600 devices enrolled)
  • Deploy all their applications remotely
  • Have software updates deployed
  • Have continuous software version reviews
  • Leverage analytical statistics of software usage
  • Centralize management of software and endpoints
  • Use Asset Lifecycle Management

 

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