BETT 2016 Guest Blog: NetSupport – Managing IT assets in Education

Yesterday we kicked off our BETT 2016 partner blog series with a post from Learning Possibilities Ltd, and today we’re pleased to share a contribution from another member of the BETT 2016 Microsoft Partner Village. Today we are in the hands of NetSupport, who, ahead of BETT 2016 are sharing details on their latest IT asset management offering, NetSupport DNA.

You can find NetSupport at BETT 2016 in the Microsoft Partner Village on Stand C300, and in the main arena on stand D118.


There’s an easier way to manage your school’s IT assets…

With the increasing amount of technology in schools today, many school technicians are struggling to manage and maintain their IT assets.

With new NetSupport DNA, a dedicated IT asset and desktop management solution, this challenge has become a thing of the past. It is designed specifically for schools to provide an overview of all IT assets and activity, ensuring reliability, increasing productivity and creating a safer learning environment – as well as saving time and money.

NetSupport DNA

NetSupport customer, Warrington Collegiate, found it needed a sophisticated and diverse software solution to support its growing IT infrastructure — and discovered DNA to be an invaluable solution. Nick Smeltzer, the college’s Director of IT Services, explains: “Our IT asset management was a headache ... it was so time consuming and [was] invariably not providing accurate information”.

The once time-consuming, manual task of adding any new devices to the network and keeping track of them has been transformed for Warrington Collegiate, says Smeltzer:

“We would regularly have to go around the college doing a manual audit of our systems, often to find that students had ripped off the asset tags or ... PCs [had been] moved to other offices without the IT team being advised.”

NetSupport DNA combats this by providing proactive auto-discovery of devices – simply giving you the option whether to choose to deploy an agent out to devices for future management or not. It constantly monitors a school’s network and identifies any new PCs that join – saving technicians’ time.

“Now it doesn’t matter if machines are getting moved without us knowing, DNA will still find them!”, he says.

Alongside this, NetSupport DNA scans the network to identify SNMP-enabled devices (such as routers, switches and printers) – further saving time and increasing the visibility of schools’ IT assets.

With NetSupport DNA’s comprehensive hardware /software inventories and licence management module, Warrington Collegiate now easily identifies items due for upgrade or replacement or that can be redeployed to others “at a glance”, helping it to save money by preventing unnecessary spending.

From the desktop or on the move via DNA’s mobile console app, you can run hardware or software inventory reports for a single PC, tablet, department or bespoke group – providing, says Smeltzer, a “wealth of information” from devices across the school.

NetSupport DNA’s Energy Monitoring tool keeps schools informed by showing how many PCs are left on out of hours – and, most importantly, how wasted energy usage can significantly add up over time. Schools can then reduce costs by scheduling devices to shut down or power on PCs at certain times of the day with DNA’s Power Management feature.

Another easy save for schools is to cut printing costs. Unnecessary printing can spiral out of control, incurring high paper and toner expenses, but the Print Monitoring component of NetSupport DNA shows exactly where print costs are being generated, allowing schools to investigate and then take the appropriate action.

NetSupport DNA also helps you deliver a safer environment for students and systems by monitoring and controlling internet use, disabling webcams and using endpoint security to prevent data loss or unwanted access of portable media. Individual memory sticks can be assigned to dedicated staff or students and you can restrict their use to specific individuals or team members, making certain that data is locked down should memory sticks happen to get lost.

Nick Smeltzer says:

“Before, it was much harder to stop students bringing legitimate copies of software and running those on college computers ... [DNA is] great for identifying applications that have been brought into the college on memory sticks.”

Plus with exciting new safeguarding features launching at BETT 2016, Schools can further ensure students online safety.

The requirement for students and staff to sign Acceptable Use Policies is now common throughout the education sector. These ensure everyone is aware of (and agrees to adhere to) your school’s technology use policy. Using the in-built templates or your own custom agreements, you can configure DNA to deliver and track AUPs - thereby alleviating your administrative burden.

And to help you work proactively to maintain your network, NetSupport DNA gives you a complete alerting suite to monitor hundreds of scenarios and warn you when problems occur − or, better still, before they occur − to avoid lost productivity time.

We’re very excited to bring this dedicated version of NetSupport DNA to the education market! Join us at BETT 2016 in the Microsoft Partner Village on Stand C300 and in the main arena on stand D118, to learn more and see our new safeguarding features in action.

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