Hughes Federal Credit Union is based in Tuscon, AZ and offers banking, investment and borrowing services to its members. Hughes has 7 branches in Tucson, along with its headquarters, serving more than 120,000 members.
- Manual, time consuming process of patching and updating computers across
- No way of waking computers remotely
- For one project, Surveyor has saved 200 hours per year
- The ability to troubleshoot computer issues remotely and outside of office hours
- PCs can be woken in an emergency
When this financial services organization wanted to reduce time-consuming manual PC patching and software updates across their many branches, they deployed Verdiem. Avolin helped them save 200 hours per year on one update activity alone, and wake PCs in an emergency to troubleshoot issues both remotely and outside of office hours.
Challenges to Solve
To keep the credit union up and running, the IT team at Hughes are tasked with a twice yearly undertaking, which used to take up a large chunk of their Sundays. The core processing system that Hughes operates needs to be upgraded biannually, but unfortunately there was no easy way to roll this out using centralized management like Group Policy. Instead, because of critical security concerns, the team would split into groups and drive around Tucson, visiting each office in turn – the furthest of which is around 17 miles from their base at headquarters.
Not only was this time consuming, but keys and alarm codes were needed for the branches, as well as informing the alarm company beforehand. Once the team had access to the branch, they would need to go from PC to PC, powering each one on, installing the update and then powering each one down.
If a PC user had an issue with their machine, the IT team would ask them to leave it switched on overnight so they would be able to work on it remotely. However, this poses a security concern. It has also become
such a habit for us to turn off everything after we’ve used it, be it light switches, TVs or computers, that the machine would often be powered down when the user left, leaving the team unable to carry out any
Finding the Solution
To save time and to be able to access PCs remotely, the Hughes IT team decided to look into a way to manage the PC fleet centrally using a wake on LAN software. Of the vendors they considered, Hughes decided on Verdiem, an enterprise software solution from Avolin, which delivers a 95%+ success rate on waking PCs across organizations of all sizes.
Verdiem needed to be installed on each PC at Hughes, but this was easily achieved through Group Policy. Hughes has worked with Verdiem to keep the solution up-to-date, and any stumbling blocks that arose were quickly solved, such as a change in a link given to employees who use VPN to wake their individual computers.
“We went with Verdiem because the Avolin team made the whole thing really easy for us. There was no need for a professional services team to carry out the upgrades, and the initial server install was also painless,” commented Mark Frieden, Information Security and Technology Manager.
Seeing the Benefits
The twice yearly upgrades to the core processing system at Hughes can now be managed centrally. There is no need for the IT team to travel to each branch anymore; all PCs that require the upgrade can be woken at the same time from their headquarters and through remote desktop, the team can install upgrades and then power the machines down.
“It’s a lot easier now,” says Mark. “Previously it would take ten of us between 4 to 6 hours to complete the whole upgrade process. Now it only takes 1 to 2 hours, which is around 85-90 hours per year saved on this one project. If we need to reduce the manpower by one or two people, it won’t affect the process now much at all, but it would have been an issue the way we were working previously.”
The IT team at Hughes are now able to troubleshoot PC issues remotely. Even if a user switches their machine off at the end of the day, whoever needs to work on it can wake it back up after hours using Verdiem.
“This is a great benefit because it means I can work on computers any time I want, and when people come back to work in the morning, their machine is ready to go,” adds Mark.
Verdiem has also helped the team when rolling out smaller, more regular patches and updates. The schedule at Hughes is to turn off all computers at 10 pm, which is managed by Verdiem, allowing patches and updates to be installed before shutting down. This way, the PCs don’t have to be woken in the early hours of the morning to allow for updating. Verdiem also wakes every PC it is linked to at 6:55 am, just before employees arrive, with no need for them to wait for updates to install, meaning they can start working right away.