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City of Fresno

Using Novell ZENworks Configuration Management, the City of Fresno has dramatically lowered the cost of managing devices, while gaining a streamlined approach for its migration path to Windows 7.

About City of Fresno

The City of Fresno is located in the heart of California in the San Joaquin Valley. The city government is tasked with public services and public safety for more than a half million citizens.

Challenge

The city government encompasses 3,500 employees spanning more than 40 locations across the city. Its IT department needed a cost-effective way to manage more than 2,800 endpoints located at police and fire stations and other departments across the city. "We needed the most efficient technology to meet the needs of our users with limited staff resources," said Paul Pedron, senior network system specialist for the City of Fresno.

The city also sought to bring consistency to its desktop environment. "Regardless of whether users are working within or outside our network, we want them to have a consistent, secure and reliable workspace," said Pedron.

Solution

The City of Fresno considered many solutions and selected Novell ZENworks® Configuration Management. "Other vendors had pieces of what we needed, but Novell ZENworks Configuration Management provides all the necessary components in one solution, giving us the biggest bang for the buck" said Pedron. "With its cross-platform endpoint management capabilities, we have granular integration of devices and users in a single web browser console."

The city can now manage desktops, remote control, image, distribute applications and patches, secure endpoints and track software and hardware assets with just one tool. "We deploy nearly all our applications using Novell ZENworks Configuration Management," said Pedron. "It simplifies application distribution from cradle to grave. The self-healing capabilities make it easy to maintain applications with minimal attention. And being able to securely remote into a user's machine to quickly resolve issues has increased our customer service satisfaction and first-call resolution tickets."

To safeguard its workstations, the agency uses the solution's policy-driven automation capabilities. "We don't want to inhibit users, yet we want to prevent their devices from getting viruses, malware or something that might damage their system," said Pedron. "The key to doing so is maintaining standardization. Using Novell ZENworks Configuration Management, we can apply different policies for each department. This way, we give users access to the software they need, while keeping the data and device secure. We also apply user-focused management capabilities to provision desktops and users based on each user's individual role. They can log in to any workstation to access their applications."

The agency uses the solution's asset management capabilities to understand how users are utilizing software applications. "We have one product that costs $10,000 a seat," said Pedron. "Using Novell ZENworks Configuration Management, we can quickly understand how many licenses are really needed. This allows managers of that department to forecast and budget accordingly."

The Novell solution will also be a valuable resource during the city's migration to Windows 7. "The application virtualization, personality migration and imaging features of Novell ZENworks will be our biggest allies as we move to Windows 7," said Pedron. "We will test applications to determine if they'll work on Windows 7. Those applications that are unable to perform properly will be upgraded or virtualized. We can also plan to use the solution's personality migration capabilities to transfer each user's identity automatically to the new machine or newly imaged device, which will simplify the migration process."

The solution is also helpful for securing endpoints. "Using the location-based awareness capabilities, we can automatically identify whether a user is working within the firewall or is connecting via a wi-fi location, and apply security policies accordingly," said Pedron. "In addition, we plan to use its application virtualization capabilities to deliver applications to public workstations. For security reasons, some workstations have no Internet connectivity. Using Novell ZENworks Application Virtualization, we can stream applications to those workstations without compromising security."

Results

Novell ZENworks Configuration Management enabled the city to achieve its goal of managing its IT environment in an efficient manner. "Without Novell ZENworks Configuration Management, managing our endpoint devices would be chaos," said Pedron. "We would have needed at least four to five more employees to manage our environment through other means. It will also be extremely valuable for accelerating our Windows 7 migration process."

The city has also realized significant hardware and software cost savings from the Novell solution. "Novell ZENworks Configuration Management enables us to assess our software licensing and restructure the distribution of products," said Pedron. "We've already saved around $14,000 on one software application alone. We've also significantly reduced our hardware costs and OS licensing, by using the satellite server component of the product. This has eliminated the need for an additional 9-10 servers."

The Novell solution has brought stability and cost-efficiency to the city's IT environment. "Novell ZENworks has easily paid for itself several times over," said Pedron.

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