NWTC Manages Applications, Users with Liquidware ProfileUnity and FlexApp
Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC) serves 42,000 students and offers more than 180 degree, certificate and apprenticeship programs across a diverse range of fields that include accounting, civil engineering, healthcare, renewable energy and more. Most programs are designed to be completed in two years or less, which creates significant turnover in the student body and an ever-changing roster of applications to support. NWTC is spread over three main campuses and five regional learning centers, so managing traditional physical desktops over this geography was becoming unwieldy. Moreover NWTC staff was spending an inordinate amount of time maintaining the quantity of applications needed for the programs. Even after a significant paring down effort, the organization was left with over 500 applications to support.
NWTC IT staff launched an initiative that focused on 1) reduce the admin workload of managing geographically dispersed desktops, 2) reduce the number of desktop images that had to be managed, 3) enable anytime, anywhere computing for its students and 4) ensure that students had a consistent desktop experience regardless of where they logged into the system.
The answer to NWTC's obtaining its objectives came in the form of Liquidware ProfileUnity and FlexApp solutions, which the organization implemented with non-persistent stateless virtual desktops. By virtualizing, NWTC could now centrally manage and provision desktops to students, significantly cutting down on support and break/fix tasks. In addition, because they deployed ProfileUnity, students were assured of having their personal profile downloaded and having a consistent interface every time they logged on. ProfileUnity also provided bonuses in the form of simplified and reliable printer management and much shorter login times. NWTC has hundreds of printers scattered across its facilities, and ProfileUnity allowed IT staff to match printers to users, not machines. Now students were assured of getting the correct printers for the locations where they logged in. ProfileUnity also reduced login times from an average of two minutes to under a minute.
By using FlexApp to layer in applications on demand, NWTC staff was also able to reduce the number of master images that they needed to stand up and maintain thus achieving their goals of simplified desktop image management.