York County School Division (YCSD) was an early mover to a virtualized software environment. With over 800 software titles being utilized across nineteen schools, more than 6,000 computers, and some 14,000 students, YCSD chose Citrix XenApp to stream software packages throughout the school division.
YCSD’s commitment to best practices and need for insight into the ‘who, how and what’ of software usage and license compliance led them to Express Software Manager as a means of managing their intricate combination of per site, per seat, and concurrent software licenses.
Dave Kilburn, Software Configuration Specialist at YCSD, was able to transform a complex IT management scenario into a simple, streamlined process that requires only minutes to provide a complete picture of the school district’s entire software portfolio.
Maintaining compliance with license agreements was the overarching objective for implementing Express Software Manager. Kilburn uses the product’s application metering feature to ensure that only authorized students or devices can access any given application, as well as to provision concurrently licensed applications to ensure that peak usage limits aren’t exceeded. “Express Software Manager has basically made staying compliant foolproof, without compromising widespread software availability to our student population,” Kilburn told us. Kilburn particularly likes the fact that he’s able to do this just by pulling up a web report. “All that’s needed is to go to one web page and look at a graph, which will confirm that all is in order or show you where to adjust if necessary.”
School districts must keep a close eye on budget, and Kilburn is particularly pleased with the results achieved by evaluating Express Software Manager’s software usage reports. This has enabled YCSD to achieve substantial cost savings by eliminating 200 unused or underutilized software titles – a 25% reduction in the number of supported applications.
It is time consuming and expensive for IT staff to physically manage software installations and upgrades, especially with multiple generations of computers representing a wide range of models spread over multiple locations. YCSD has been able to eliminate this drain on resources by using Express Software Manager’s hardware reports to identify, for example, whether older computers in their system are capable of being upgraded to new software versions, or can support a specific program needed for an individual education plan.
YCSD relies on Express Software Manager’s IT purchasing system to coordinate and inform the multiple individuals who purchase and deploy software. Kilburn said, “The web-based purchasing portion of the product allows all of the employees responsible for licensing and procurement to track and manage the purchasing process and related details in one central database, accessible from anywhere in our environment.”
School children tend to be tech savvy, inquisitive and inventive, although not necessarily discriminating, so it’s inevitable that on occasion, unauthorized software is found on school computers. YCSD takes full advantage of Express Software Manager’s software metering capabilities to detect the presence of rogue, malicious or inappropriate software, as well as the product’s application control feature to automatically prevent users from launching unwanted software within the YCSD network.
Kilburn remains enthused about the compliance, cost savings, control and efficiency that have resulted from deploying Express Software Manager. In many ways, moving to a virtualized environment made software asset management more complicated for the IT staff at YCSD. But Kilburn strongly feels that Express Software Manager made the licensing complexity all but disappear, an outcome we view as a “Grade A” success.