UIU Case Studies


Tennessee Schools Manage Drivers with the UIU Bookmark

Maryville City Schools

Maryville City Schools is a K-12 school district located about twenty miles south of Knoxville in Maryville, Tennessee. The district educates over 5,000 students throughout seven schools, including a high school with over 1,000 students enrolled. In addition to the student bodies, Maryville City Schools employs around 700 staff members, including both teachers and support staff, all tasked with preparing students for a lifetime of learning and responsible citizenship. To help facilitate that goal, the Maryville IT department maintains approximately 1,500 PCs for use by students and faculty.

Both the size of the district and the multiple locations involved require a high level of expertise in IT operations and support. Leading the IT efforts for Maryville City Schools is District Technology Coordinator, Andrew Raulston. Andrew’s varied experience in IT operations and support allows Maryville City Schools to utilize the powerful systems management platform from Microsoft, System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM).

Driver Management Challenges

Prior to the adoption of SCCM, Andrew managed his images with Zenworks. While the implementation of SCCM throughout the district allowed for a more comprehensive approach to systems management, Andrew continued to experience significant challenges with driver management. As is the case with many organizations, Maryville found it both costly and nearly impossible to maintain a homogenous fleet of PCs. The hardware disparity extended beyond an already challenging environment mixed with both desktops and laptops to an environment with multiple models from several different manufacturers.

To manage his diverse environment, Andrew was forced to manually search for the necessary .cab or driver files for each make and model machine. Once he was able to locate the necessary files, they still needed to be packaged and distributed before including them in the OSD Task Sequence. Advertising the Task Sequence to a PC collection posed another set of challenges, as the collection had to be hardware specific and limited only to the drivers in the Task Sequence. Once a change was made to his PC inventory, or there was a new driver or update, the process started all over again.

The amount of time I saved was more than worth the cost of the software.

Andrew Raulston, District Technology Coordinator

An SCCM Integrated Solution for Drivers

The frustrations of managing drivers in a diverse hardware environment were great enough that Andrew started looking for a better way. A quick Google search led him to the Universal Imaging Utility System Deploy Plug-in (UIU plug-in for SCCM). The UIU plug-in for SCCM is a fully integrated plug-in specifically designed for Microsoft SCCM and contains a fully-vetted and continuously updated driver database of over 40,000 Plug-and-Play IDs. The UIU plug-in for SCCM discovers the onboard hardware of each PC in an environment and assigns only the best driver for each component. This automated process completely eliminates the need to locate, organize, manage and create driver packages.

After finding the UIU plug-in for SCCM website, Andrew requested a trial and soon discovered that it completely eliminated all the driver hassles he had experienced in the past. Instead of manually organizing and packaging each individual .cab file, he needed only to build a Task Sequence including the UIU plug-in for SCCM Machine Configuration Step. That single Task Sequence could then be advertised to any Collection of PCs, regardless of manufacturer or model. Shortly after Andrew started working with the trial, he found that the drivers he needed were included and became confident that the UIU plug-in for SCCM could resolve his driver management headaches.

The trial was easy to install and run, and technical support was there to help with questions along the way.

Andrew Raulston, District Technology Coordinator

In less than ten days, Andrew went from testing the UIU plug-in for SCCM to implementing the live version in his environment. He was in contact with UIU plug-in for SCCM Support throughout his trial period and reported them to be both responsive and thorough in answering his questions. “The trial was easy to install and run, and technical support was there to help with questions along the way.”

Time Savings and No Driver Headaches

With the UIU plug-in for SCCM, Andrew can now go from bare metal to a fully functional PC in 30 minutes. His first project with the help of the UIU plug-in for SCCM involved setting up 52 new ThinkPads and 60 white boxes, and he deployed one imaging Task Sequence for all of them. He estimates that the UIU plug-in for SCCM saved him several weeks of time in initial setup, and the savings will continue as his environment grows and changes. “With the UIU plug-in for SCCM, driver management has become a non-issue for me,” reported Andrew. “The amount of time I saved was more than worth the cost of the software, especially given the varying hardware I deal with.”

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