As budgets and resources continue to constrict, school districts across the country don’t often have the opportunity to update their IT service management (ITSM) solution. But the current ITSM solution in the Sheridan School District was not providing the performance and service the district required. Caleb Wagnon, lead technology specialist, and Michael Arnold, technology specialist of the Sheridan School District IT team were constantly running into performance issues with their previous ITSM tool. “It was easy enough to get data into it, but it was like pulling teeth to get our data out of it. It had become a task, something that was supposed to make things better for us just became an extra job,” said Wagnon. Not only was data output an issue, the solution was consistently having performance issues and outages a third of the time.
With their old solution there just wasn’t a good way to sort a list of tickets, having to open each ticket to see any details. They found the only way to sort or find the information they needed was to run a report. The solution only offered incident management, so problem and change management was difficult to track. The team could receive tickets where it was hard to understand what the user was requesting or the user may have entered their email address incorrectly and would not receive any of the ticket updates.
After making the decision to migrate to a different ITSM solution, they spent 3-4 months going through a series of trials and demonstrations with different service providers. SysAid was initially a favorite for the front end and asset management, but the per device pricing model was unrealistic for Sheridan’s budget. Wagnon and Arnold continually found that each time they believed they identified a potential fit, they would encounter an issue whether it’d be a complicated user interface, out-of-budget pricing or lack of integration capabilities.
The Sheridan School District IT team had several important factors they were looking for in an ITSM solution: reliability, performance, ease of use and a mobile interface. The Sheridan team was delighted to find that the features and functionality that Samanage solution offered met all of their criteria.
Mobile accessibility was one of the must-haves on the list, as they needed the ability to check in on any assets from anywhere in the district at any point in time. They were also looking for a solution that could integrate with the applications that they were currently using. “Anything that makes it easier for an end user, makes it easier for us,” said Wagnon.
“We really like the flexibility Samanage gives us. We can get all of our data in to the solution easily and we can actually work with it. We know that the data is always going to be there,” said Arnold. Not only did Samanage meet their mobile and integration needs, the speed and ease of use for their customers across the district was a huge plus, cutting down on help desk tickets and allowing them to customize and sort data on the fly.
“I don’t have to learn a new way of doing things, Samanage seems to fit into my thought process,” said Wagnon.
The agent and reports from the IT service management solution has helped the Sheridan School District IT team solve some outstanding issues and prevent future hangups. “Samanage’s asset management tool saved our bacon a couple of times,” said Wagnon. “We now know who to go to to find a device. With Samanage we can track the last person who logged into that device.” As a large school district, equipment is one of the biggest budgets that the IT team must track. With the ability to also manage warranties and contracts, Wagnon and Arnold can budget accordingly for the start of each new school year, and they are prepared for any big budget items that may be needed down the road.
The Google Apps integration is one of the best unexpected features for the Sheridan IT team as they start a new school year with new teachers and administrative employees. There are quite a few passwords new hires have to remember and now as long as they are added to the active directory account, with just one click that user will be logged into the help desk. “Behind the scenes we have easy visualization of assets, customers and problems in one unified place [in Samanage],” said Wagnon. “But we also have the ability to take one more thing off the user’s plate, which is great.” Providing end users with easy access to Samanage through their Google Apps login via Single Sign-On (SSO) integration has led to fewer ticketing complaints and increased productivity for the IT team who no longer has to constantly reset forgotten passwords.
“Our previous solution we saw as a chore, but with Samanage we now have a tool that we can actually use,” said Arnold.