We were plagued with print jobs that simply crippled the functionality of our operations. After installing Simplify Printing, our printing issues reduced to zero, giving us time for researching new ways of expanding our use of Terminal Servers.”

-Systems Architect and Server Operations Manager, SFUSD

 

SFUSD’s Systems Architect and the support staff took a look at Simplify Printing as a solution to the seemingly never-ending print problems. After some testing, they found that Simplify Printing was exactly what they needed; it ended the challenge of installing and managing print drivers on the District’s Terminal Servers, eliminated downtime associated with spooler crashes, and gave the support team time for solving other problems and designing new applications for the future.

Industry: Education

Product: Simplify Printing, Simplify Lockdown

Environment: Microsoft

Specs

  • 60,000 students
  • 160 schools
  • Windows Terminal Servers SQL Server back-end

Summary

Tricerat worked with SFUSD to resolve their print management and security issues. With over 60,000 students to educate, it was essential that the school district found a solution. After partnering, collaboration resulted in:

  • More secure and stable environment
  • Reduced support effort and cost
  • Better user experience

About San Francisco Unified School District

Founded in 1851 as the first public school district in California, the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) is among the highest ranked in the United States. It educates over 60,000 students annually in over 160 preschools, elementary, middle and high schools spread across the San Francisco Bay area.

The Situation

Similar to schools and school systems across the country, SFUSD must manage electronic student records in a secure and accurate manner. To accomplish this, SFUSD developed a homegrown client-server Student Information System (SIS), consisting of a Microsoft Access-based client and SQL Server back-end. To help control IT costs and ensure access to the SIS, the client component was deployed on Windows Terminal Servers.

The Challenge

Student grades, attendance, and related records are entered into the SIS manually by administrative personnel in each school. Principals, guidance counselors and other authorized staff members use the system to retrieve student records and generate periodic reports. Unfortunately, getting these reports to print was often impossible before installing Simplify Printing®. When the Systems Architect and Server Operations Manager for SFUSD, first inherited the legacy system, schools in the district were forced to wait for up to a week for support due to the time and effort associated with each call. “On average, each support call meant losing an admin for a half day – between troubleshooting the issue and round- trip drive,” noted the Systems Architect. “With all the travel, this only allowed us to resolve about three calls a day it was literally all we were doing.” Along with gaining control over printing problems, SFUSD needed a more efficient way to deliver user-specific desktops to school personnel. By limiting user access to required SIS capabilities, the district could better ensure the confidentiality of student data and reliability of its servers. As it evaluated options for enhancing server management, SFUSD considered implementing Citrix Meta- Frame. This option was ruled out based on the cost and complexity.

The Evaluation

SFUSD’s Systems Architect and the support staff took a look at Simplify Printing as a solution to the seemingly never-ending print problems. After some testing, they found that Simplify Printing was exactly what they needed; it ended the challenge of installing and managing print drivers on the District’s Terminal Servers, eliminated downtime associated with spooler crashes, and gave the support team time for solving other problems and designing new applications for the future.

The Solution

Although network security was not a huge issue in relative comparison to the existing print problems, their security was still not up to par. Once Simplify Printing successfully solved their printing issues, SFUSD was ready to lock down their servers. SFUSD’s legacy system used NT4 user profiles to lock down servers, proving to be both problematic and inefficient. Implementing Simplify Lockdown® let administrators easily configure different user environments throughout the school district – a step taken mainly to allow access to only approved applications and application versions. By using Tricerat’s products rather than group policies, the staff saved significant time and money bypassing the testing and verification process. “I much prefer the ‘just works’ of Simplify Lockdown and Simplify Printing,” reports the Systems Architect.

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