“If you are not currently using Intune you need to switch to Intune. It’s a no brainer. With Intune, realistically, we can manage our IT department with 1 -2 people.”– Keegan Lapp, IT Director, Arizona Charter Academy
A Shift in Learning During the Pandemic
Like most educational institutions, Arizona Charter Academy was forced to adopt remote learning when the COVID-19 pandemic struck. With over 1,100 students and 125 staff the sudden, unexpected shift to remote learning was a critical challenge to overcome.
“Consider this scenario: a parent absolutely does not want their child to physically enter the school due to health risks. This has been increasingly common since the beginning of the COVID pandemic. With Intune, our team is now able to quickly and efficiently deploy profiles 100% remotely and ship the device directly to the student’s home so they are prepared for distance learning without ever entering our campus.”– Keegan Lapp, IT Director, Arizona Charter Academy
Remote learning exposed a gap in their traditional device management technology, which relied on on-premises infrastructure. Students and faculty devices needed to be physically present in the school and connected to the local network to receive updates and patches which mean that patching could not be done very often.
Beyond devices, many other components were on-premises as well. Identity and Group Policy, the management of apps, media, and network storage were using on-premises servers. Once the school shifted to full-time remote learning, their devices were vulnerable without the ability to patch or update remotely.
This was all happening at a time when the volume of cybercrime was swiftly escalating. To keep their students and faculty safe and on track, the Arizona Charter Academy IT team needed to pivot, fast.
Moving to a Modern Solution with Intune
To make the move to a modern solution, the team at Arizona Charter Academy engaged Mobile Mentor to deploy Intune for Windows[SS1] . Mobile Mentor assessed the current environment and then designed “modern endpoint management” by leveraging the capabilities available with Microsoft Intune and other Microsoft 365 technologies. The design included a “golden profile” – a base build for all devices that could be delivered remotely over the air.
The design was approved, implemented and rapidly deployed. Using Windows Autopilot, Arizona Charter Academy was able to ship devices directly to faculty, staff, and students for remote provisioning. And those devices were then updated over-the-air and applications were patched remotely and users can be supported remotely.
Finally, Mobile Mentor delivered a robust knowledge transfer to the IT team so they could manage their new environment successfully and continue to innovate.
“Mobile Mentor was great. It was a really great experience. Mobile Mentor made sure the project completely fulfilled our needs. And we received great project updates along the way. Mobile Mentor made feel special, like we weren’t just another client. ””– Keegan Lapp, IT Director, Arizona Charter Academy
Delivering the Best Possible Distance Learning Experience
Arizona Charter Academy is now operating with the confidence that their fleet of 1,000+ devices are managed and secure for the best possible distance learning experience. Intune has allowed the group to consolidate their tech stack – making their processes more efficient while also cutting costs.
Remote device management through Microsoft Intune has given back the gift of time to Arizona Charter Academy. The team now has time to innovate rather than being stretched just to keep up with updates and provisioning like they were previously. The team plans to keep this momentum going and continue building their cloud environment with the goal of moving to a 100% cloud-based IT environment.
About Arizona Charter Academy
Arizona Charter Academy is a coeducational, public charter school located in Surprise, Arizona, USA. ACA began in 2001 and has grown significantly throughout the years with the same goal in mind: To build future leaders who will have a positive impact on their community.