June 29, 2022
CDW Configuration Services Ease IT Burdens and Elevate the User Experience
Simplify and improve hardware and software deployments to remote users.
The logistics of getting hardware and software out to users and providing a seamless setup experience can be a huge headache for IT. Things get even harder when organizations need to equip remote employees and students. Support systems, such as CDW’s configuration services, help bridge that gap.
A university may want to deliver technology kits to new students with a top-notch presentation and custom branding, for example. In addition to a laptop, a webcam and other accessories, the university may want to include a welcome message and step-by-step directions on how to set up systems and connect to the VPN. Institutions typically want us to install specific applications based on students’ department and course needs.
Configuration services are all about the end-user experience: helping the customer accomplish a well-planned deployment.
Every Shipment Is Designed With the End User in Mind
During the pandemic, organizations onboarding new employees or students quickly realized the value of a first impression. A bespoke unboxing experience can go a long way. Additionally, user-friendly deployments reduce the potential for frustration and help minimize costly delays.
At the outset of every deployment, we also help organizations think through critical questions. Which applications will the laptop need when the user receives it? What type of setup will be necessary? What about troubleshooting? What’s the best way to connect to the network? How will the organization manage and enroll the devices?
If we were to deliver solutions service to a restaurant chain, for example, we could create text- and photo-driven instructions designed for non-IT employees, using familiar terminology.
Management and Security Are Built in from the Start
Configuration services also ensure that devices are subject to proper security immediately. For a Chromebook deployment in K–12 education, schools must consider how they’ll push through security policies, what types of guardrails should be on the devices and how they will be kept up to date.
We work with customers to define specific requirements. We could set up the Wi-Fi for a school district so that when students open their new Chromebooks in the classroom, they automatically connect to the school’s Wi-Fi and all the right policies and permissions are pushed down[SM1] . Another popular service is laser engraving, which can serve as branding and as a theft deterrent.
Configuration Support Lets IT Teams Focus on Other Priorities
For IT departments, configuration services can be a significant time-saver. Shipping devices directly to users rather than to IT means staffers don’t have to spend hours downloading applications and assembling packages. And, when we load up remote management software, it’s easy for IT staff to maintain and repair devices over time.
Asset tags or custom labels, including serial numbers and other data points, help IT teams funnel new devices into a larger asset management strategy. Asset tags speed up troubleshooting if a device has a problem and a user calls the help desk. They also facilitate inventory control, helping organizations track the age of devices to determine when to refresh them.
Alex Kopczynski, a senior solutions architect for CDW’s configuration services. He’s been with CDW for nine years.
Scott Erickson, who has been with CDW for 19 years and is a senior manager for configuration services in the Chicago area.