Empowering the Digital Workspace: How Mecklenburg County Does It
In Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, a move to Windows 10 is part of a larger digital workspace program that delivers the apps and data that county employees need, on any device, whenever and wherever they are. The ultimate goal is to help the county’s 6,000 employees serve the county’s citizens more effectively.
“Your desk is not just where you physically sit; your work can follow you everywhere you are.”
—Preston Teal, Senior IT Business Analyst, Mecklenburg County
Windows to the Clouds
“We’re really excited about Windows 10 and what it brings to our workspace,” said Preston Teal, senior IT business analyst for Mecklenburg County. Windows 10 is a cloud-based approach that’s fundamentally different from the tools that many IT administrators are used to. Microsoft has announced that Windows 10, going forward, will be managed as a service, with a modern, cloud-based update and distribution model. VMware’s digital workspace solutions help transform Windows delivery, with simple management and control regardless of location or device ownership.
Mecklenburg County’s digital workspace partners include VMware, Microsoft and Dell, with products including VMware Horizon and VMware AirWatch. PC and laptop hardware from Dell, along with Microsoft Surface tablets and Surface Book laptops, use a base Windows 10 image that’s customized for the county. AirWatch manages the county’s mobile devices, including iPhones, iPads and Android devices. AirWatch also manages Windows 10 provisioning, pushing app packages and profiles automatically from the cloud.
The old way of PC provisioning, according to Teal, was slow and took too much of his staff’s time. The process of unboxing a machine in the IT office and re-imaging it, running deployment scripts, delivering the machine and then going through another process of software installation and transferring data could take more than a day for only a few computers.
Faster, Smarter, Easier
Provisioning with AirWatch not only saves that time, but it provides a better experience. “We no longer have to spend the man hours configuring those devices, but rather being more proactive” and having time to educate users, said Teal. “It’s a huge time saver.” Teal also notes a markedly improved end-user experience. Rather than having an IT tech spend hours transferring files, “When employees log into Windows 10, their documents are just there. They put their credentials in, and their documents are there now. That’s where we’re going. That’s the world that Windows 10 brings to us.”
With mobility, “We empower the ability to be on the network wherever you are,” said Teal. This is especially relevant for the county’s Microsoft Office 365 products, which employees can use regardless of their location or what network they are on. Because Windows 10 devices are joined through the county’s Microsoft Azure domain, Teal and his staff don’t have to rely on them being on the physical network infrastructure. AirWatch can manage a machine as if it were a domain-joined device.
No matter the device, website or app, Mecklenburg County is committed to providing digital workspace tools that make their employee’s work lives simpler and easier, with enterprise-grade security. Said Teal, “It’s great to know that what you’re doing is empowering the employees of Mecklenburg County to better serve the citizens of Mecklenburg County.”
Learn more about Mecklenburg County’s journey to the digital workspace, including more examples of how they’re transforming work with mobile devices.