salem computer servicesNeoscope Eradicates Virus and Implements Managed IT Services

Salem School District’s IT infrastructure was at risk of security threats, in need of remediation efforts, a roadmap to bolstered IT success, and a proactive and centralized system for managing their technology systems and monthly executive reporting.

Our infrastructure just wasn’t working for us. There were significant glitches that prevented us from accessing files, calling up pertinent functions, and our IT staff was simply at a loss and unable to offer a reasonable solution. Our IT Coordinator at the time did some research and discovered Neoscope, who offered the exact services we were looking for.”

Michael Delahanty, Salem School District Superintendent

 

Falling victim to a virus outbreak that compromised the District’s network infrastructure, the Salem School District (SAU 57) contacted Neoscope to quickly remediate the burgeoning issue that had affected approximately 80 servers and 2,000 workstations. Report cards were delayed, teachers and administrative staff could not do their jobs as effectively as possible, and the District came to to a grinding halt. Neoscope stepped in to restore all critical services using their toolset that centralizes systems management across the entirety of the existing infrastructure.

The idea of streamlining and centralizing the management of the network was enough to have the District engage Neoscope in providing them with a fully encompassing network assessment. This would determine if there existed

a need for the school to outsource critical management and maintenance tasks such as updating, patching and securing servers and desktops – enabling them to continue to keep the network running efficiently, effectively, and virus free.

THE CHALLENGE

The District’s primary and most immediate challenge was a network-wide virus that threatened to debilitate the core competencies of their entire operative system from shared file access, email services, teacher applications, as well

as the District’s website. Because of the lack of centralized management systems, the challenges related to the removal of the virus and restoration of system functionality was compounded, and thus, complicated. As a result Neoscope

quickly devised an all-encompassing plan to quickly implement a centralized solution that allowed for a systematic approach to eliminate the virus and mitigate these security risks.

“The virus was in the ‘Vobfus’ family of viruses that originated  from a single workstation  within the District’s network,” said Neoscope President, Tim Martin. “With approximately  2,000 devices spread throughout  the District infrastructure,  it was essential that we acted quickly.”

Neoscope’s objectives included the following:

  • Eliminating existing virus from network infrastructure which included a myriad of devices (approximately 2,000) handled by an array of unique end-users.
  • Assessing security issues and bolstering the central security throughout the District’s infrastructure.
  • Streamlining the management and maintenance of Salem School District’s technology environment, increasing efficient access to the critical technology assets, and supporting compliance in both District and state curriculum standards.
  • Assisting in providing instruction and guidance to internal IT staff to better foster thorough competence in the use of the technology infrastructure throughout the District.
  • Assisting in providing learning opportunities for the technology team to streamline technology processes, initiatives, and best practices.
  • Assisting in providing unhindered access to the digital environment for students, teachers, and staff to communicate, collaborate, and create.
  • E-Rate assessment which enables the District to realize the potential for additional funding towards the acquisition of further technology initiatives.

IMPLEMENTING A SOLUTION

Neoscope’s pride in their consultative approach is what differentiates them from their competitors. Beginning with a thorough assessment of the network, technology plan, and IT budget, Neoscope is then able to determine where their team best compliments the existing department. Once the assessment is performed Neoscope presents its plan which follows industry standard best practices for managing IT infrastructure. With the Salem School District, they aided in their mission of using technology to supplement quality teaching, and learning by effectively managing and maintaining the IT environment while utilizing industry standard tools, and getting the existing IT assets up to speed on how to effectively maintain the infrastructure.

Helping clients realize a 30-50% cost savings by “out-tasking” regular maintenance of computer systems that internal IT is typically responsible for, the Salem School District had found the right partner. Neoscope took over the regular maintenance and monitoring of systems which is typically either neglected or keeps internal staff from assisting with higher level initiatives. By providing the District with around the clock system monitoring, patch management, virus management and timely responses to server issues, Neoscope was able to free up the internal staff to focus on assisting computer users directly and focus on long-term key initiatives for the school.

Neoscope’s keen ability to step in and help the school system where resources were short, and/or complimenting in areas that further bolster the IT objectives of the organization, is a unique skill set unmatched by competing IT service providing firms.

“Because Neoscope is structured  like an IT department, we fit well wherever we are needed and can assist with an organization,” said Martin. “We’re able to assist the internal staff by reducing the amount of firefighting, and increasing their value to the organization by helping them focus on mission-critical projects.  We pride ourselves on being your IT Department if you don’t have one, and the extra leverage if you do.”

Along with ridding the District’s infrastructure of the Vobfus virus strand, Neoscope locked in a network management plan that included:

  • Centralizing and Streamlining Management of Computer Systems: A web-based dashboard was provided to the IT staff, giving them an overview of the entire network in one central location, showing real-time statistics for server availability, critical system issues, antivirus status, asset management, warranty management, and secure critical system management information.
  • Standardized Antivirus Protection: An industry leading antivirus and antimalware solution was deployed to provide a high level of security using very little system resources. A centralized console was provided to allow IT staff to get real-time reports, run network wide scans, and
  • manage every protected endpoint from one location.
  • Virus remediation was also included as a preventative measure in the event that another attack threatened to compromise the District’s network.
  • Secure Remote Access: Accessible through Neoscope’s portal, which included a tool to remotely access all systems on the District’s network infrastructure from a centralized location. Groups of computers and servers were readily made available to designated users, as well as individual access for staff and applicable vendors.
  • Asset Management: Also an item represented in Neoscope’s portal that includes a tool that allows instant reports to be created for all of the District’s critical IT hardware and software assets.
  • Customer Portal: A ticketing system present within Neoscope’s portal set up for Salem IT staff to directly communicate with Neoscope’s technical team on escalating issues, a customized knowledgebase, and the ability to check the status of open tickets and projects in real-time.
  • Executive Reporting: A monthly high-level site overview is delivered each month to provide network health scoring to the District. The graded score corresponds with the overall health of the network for the month, and reports on every system being managed within the infrastructure. The analysis provides valuable management information, details on the health of each system as well as a view into the maintenance being performed.

“At the end of the implementation period, we had succeeded  in providing  better availability of the District’s  infrastructure  at hand,” said Martin. “We introduced  much tighter security, centralized management, 24x7x365 monitoring  of their critical infrastructure,  and regular maintenance; which in turn enabled increased efficiency.”

IMMEDIATE RESULTS

“We had the entirety of Salem school District’s infrastructure back up and running within 72 hours,” said Martin. “All of their critical services and software – email, teacher applications, student report cards, and their website – were back up and running. The servers and desktops were virus free and ready for bolstered, proactive monitoring to make sure they stay out of harm’s way. In short, peace of mind was restored to the entire District.”

Salem School District Superintendent Michael Delahanty did well in recognizing the time-sensitive need to engage in a solution that bolstered the District’s IT platform, while cutting costs, and remediating the dire issues at hand.

“With the problems we had, and the rate of efficiency that

Neoscope exuded in coming in and fixing the problems in our time of need – I’d recommend  them to anyone,” said Delahanty. “They’re a great company, they’re very responsive, and I found Tim and his team to be incredibly available and helpful. I’d do it all again in a heartbeat.”

MOVING AHEAD

As a value added consultation, Neoscope has since been involved in engaging their E-Rate Program specialist to work with the District to deliver solutions that drive successful Next Generation Learning strategies. The program, which is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), allows eligible K-12 schools and libraries in the United States to obtain affordable communication services and Internet access. Discounts range from 20% to 90%, qualifying schools and libraries, affording Salem School District to stay current with changing technologies, future-proof their networks and more effectively prepare their students for 21st century learning. With Neoscope, the Salem School District is well on their way to a fully realized and bolstered technology learning platform.

ABOUT NEOSCOPE TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS

Neoscope Technology Solutions is a multi-disciplinary Information Technology consulting, services and products firm. Neoscope’s staff consists of certified senior IT professionals who understand IT as a vital component of core business functions.  Using a consultative approach, Neoscope evaluates a client’s specific business requirements and then advises the client on the best practices technology solutions to accomplish their business objectives.  Neoscope’s distinctive proactive managed IT services utilizes advanced tools and processes to keep all essential IT systems up and running to maximize employee productivity, increase customer service and reduce costs; all at a predictable, affordable monthly fee.

IT = People + Process + hardware + software

WHY NEOSCOPE

  • Expertise – From CTO/CIO leadership to Help Desk Technicians, we have real experience in every area of IT.
  • Predictable Costs – We offer flat monthly rates and tailor our services to your needs, regardless of the size of your company.
  • Continuing Education –  We love this stuff, so we’re constantly going back to learn all the newest and most innovative technologies.
  • Compliance – HIPAA, SARBOX, and privacy protection are a few of the areas where we provide compliance expertise.
  • Exceptional Service – We’re courteous, on top of every situation and monitoring your systems 24/7.
  • Planning – We will develop a long-term plan with you to help you anticipate future needs.