Integrex is a UK designer and manufacturer of interactive electronics and IT products for a number of sectors including retail and education. With over 40 years of experience, the company specialises in the design, manufacturing and installation of interactive special needs education and teaching tools.
The company is also an IT reseller and offers ICT support to a number of institutions. It currently holds IT support contracts for 12 schools within the Derbyshire area.
As a diverse and expanding company that has seen considerable growth within the education sector, Integrex currently looks after over 1,000 devices in a number of schools in the Derbyshire area. However, without effective remote access to these devices, a technician was required to visit each individual site for one day a week; using valuable time identifying and then fixing any issues.
This was proving time-consuming and increasingly unsustainable due to Integrex's growing customer-base and the increasing number of devices at each customer site. The schools were also beginning to ask for faster support with less downtime for their environments due to an increased reliance on IT within the curriculum. Previously, if there was an issue that required urgent attention, they would have to wait for a technician to become available and a site visit to occur. If an issue was less urgent, they would typically wait for an already scheduled visit which could result in waiting 1-2 weeks for the issue to be resolved.
Furthermore, there was a growing need from schools to audit the hardware and software in their environment so that they could better plan IT upgrades and updates in advance and ensure they had appropriate licensing at all times. Prior to the introduction of CentraStage, the schools were unable to plan ahead or audit their environment, resulting in outdated devices being overlooked or budget not being allocated as effectively as possible.
Integrex recognised the need for an endpoint management technology that would enable them to work smarter and more efficiently. Having looked at four other solutions, they met with Redstor in December 2010 and began discussing CentraStage as a remote management and monitoring tool for their education customers. In 2011, they placed an order for CentraStage to enhance the overall support they offered to schools.
CentraStage is a SaaS platform for managing endpoint devices such as servers, desktops, laptops, tablets, and phones. It provides real-time, proactive visibility, monitoring and management which was previously unused by Integrex.
Andrew Langley, Technical Manager of Integrex, said: "We met with Redstor in late 2010 and after a web demo and training session, realised that CentraStage was ideal for our particular requirements. It does have a wealth of functionality such as deploying updates and patches and providing remote monitoring and auditing all through a single platform."
He added: "The implementation process was very smooth and we've only needed support on a couple of occasions but Redstor have been fast to respond and help with any issues."
After implementing CentraStage in July 2011, Integrex is now able to successfully remotely monitor and manage over 900 devices within 10 schools; including laptops, netbooks, servers and tablets. This has meant that on-site visits happen much less frequently and it frees up the technicians to make better use of their time.
Andrew Langley said: "Being able to remotely monitor and manage each device has provided a huge time saving for Integrex. In the past we required a technician to spend one day a week on each site and as we secured contracts with more schools, it was proving unrealistic to sustain this approach without increasing our internal resources."
He added: "Each site visit would require approximately 1 hour travel time which, when having to visit multiple sites per week, meant that the technicians' time was often wasted and could be better utilised elsewhere. Now we can remotely monitor each customer's environment and can ensure that time is better spent with each site visit."
The solution allows Integrex to respond faster to critical issues meaning that system downtime is kept to a minimum. Support can be provided to a device without interrupting the user, minimising impact. It also deploys updates and patches automatically to ensure the IT infrastructure is up to date and safely patched against threats. Furthermore, CentraStage enables schools to monitor the health and condition of devices which allows schools to plan ahead and budget for when hardware and software is likely to become out of date and require upgrading.
Following the success of deploying CentraStage for their education clients, Integrex are planning to utilise the service in other aspects of their business as part of their overall strategy to continue driving growth whilst improving efficiency.
Langley concludes: "Internally, the staff are thrilled with the service provided by CentraStage and the support from Redstor. As a business working in a number of different sectors, we're already looking at deploying the service in our kiosks in the near future."