Texas School District Shares Secret to Windows 10 Migration Success

It was a lofty idea.

The IT team at Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District needed a way to migrate tens of thousands of student laptops. They had a small window to complete this task, a few short weeks during the summer school calendar.

Cypress-Fairbanks is the third largest school district in the state of Texas. Located in suburban Houston, the district has a student population of more than 100,000 and more than 12,000 staff members – spread out among 100 campuses and office buildings.

The district’s small, but highly capable team of analysts were forced to drive to every campus to install software and execute critical updates.

“We had to run a massive on-site program to update plug-ins at the start of every year, physically visiting every machine on the network,” said Josh Zhang, HW/SW Technical Analyst.

In a district that covers 186 square miles, in Houston traffic, that adds up to a lot of wasted hours on the road.

Burdened by inconvenience and previous solutions that couldn’t keep up with the workflow, Cypress-Fairbanks ISD started looking for an answer to their problem. They needed a solution that could patch, update, and equip the right software for every user in the district.

“IBM was quite simply way out of our financial reach, and the Dell option was not scalable enough for our environment,” said Anthony Melton, HW/SW Technical Analyst. “The Ivanti® Secure User Management Suite gave us everything we needed at a price that made financial sense, and with significant headroom for future growth.”

As an added benefit, the team used the Ivanti imaging process to migrate all student laptops to Windows 10, representing 60 percent of its total fleet. In order to preserve software and documents required for the coming school year, teachers’ machines were converted in place by deploying the Ivanti agent, while the students’ machines received a completely fresh OS image.

“Thanks to the Ivanti solutions and the dedication and skill of our teams, we were able to achieve everything in just two and a half months and we came in a week before the deadline,” said Larry Barrios Manager of the Device, Imaging, and Integration Team.

When it comes to updating PCs, Cypress-Fairbanks uses Ivanti solutions to schedule automatic updates on nights and weekends, touching thousands of computers without making a single on-site visit.

“In the past, one person could handle perhaps 120 machines a day, so we have probably already saved at least 30 person-days just for this one requirement,” said Michelle Campos, Technology SW Specialist.

Looking to the future, the PC support team at CFISD will continue to build out policies, processes, and reports in its Ivanti suite, further increasing the automation and efficiency of managing its endpoints.

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