At colleges and universities, the ICT management structure has to deal with a wide range of users and computers that applications are supposed to run on. Standalone / dedicated solutions often also have to be taken into consideration.
The diversity of users: students, lecturers/employees, PhD students (double roles: student and lecturer/employee), external personnel, home workers and employees sitting offline abroad – all of them will need to have access to and be able to make use of the available applications.
Then there are the often managed and non-managed workspaces. A managed workspace is one for which an SLA has been agreed and is under the full management of the ICT organization. The non-managed workspace is usually found in greater variety with deviating agreements.
Because there are different services, faculties and domains within colleges and universities, each entity will have to separately test and coordinate the overlapping applications with each other.
We often also have to deal with several specific platforms, such as: Citrix, Windows, VMware, Mac, Unix and Linux.
We are familiar with the most popular applications in the education sector. We know the dependencies, variables and specific settings that are needed to migrate all of the applications properly. These applications can include the following: Autodesk (CAD programming: Autocad, Inventor, Maya), WinIbw, Kofax, Labview, MatLab, SPSS, Business Objects, Mathematica, SAPgui, etc.
Given the large number of users, it is important to take into account the phasing out or updating of applications. For example, computers can be offline or in use at any given moment, and students would not want to lose their work.
Maintaining license is also essential. Which type of license is used, concurrently or per license? Do the users have a flexible workspace? Are there any user-specific data and settings? And so on. Everything needs to be mapped in advance before an application can be phased out or updated.
Applications must be available to the student and lecturer at all times. For good distribution, various solutions can be chosen, such as SCCM and APP-V. Naturally, we can also set up an application web page within the intranet, so that the user can download and install an application himself or herself without extensive user interaction.