Kingston University: Delivering IT Services Across Campus and Around the Globe
Partnering with Ivanti to make its Vision of “A University Without Walls” a reality
As information technology has advanced, so too has Kingston University. At the forefront of IT higher education, it’s critical that the London university be able to get services to its students and staff wherever they are: on campus or the other side of the globe.
They dubbed the concept “a University without walls.”
Simon Harrison, Chief Information Officer for Kingston University, started at the institution five years ago. He quickly recognised that the IT Directorate had hundreds of vendors. In an effort to simplify those agreements, and to save money and increase capabilities, he turned to Ivanti.
“One of the great relationships that we’ve formed over time is that with Ivanti,” Harrison said. During the past five years, Kingston has increasingly relied on Ivanti’s suite of applications to stay on the cutting edge.”
Harrison noted how Ivanti’s powerful workspace management capabilities aligned with Kingston’s goals. Now, students and Faculty staff can access services anywhere they can access the internet. It allows them to stay productive while on vacation, studying abroad, attending out-of-town work meetings or enjoying the comfort of home.
And on campus, the University uses Ivanti’s automation capabilities to stream software to computer labs across all campuses, never having to stop to download programs to individual computers.
“When the students attend lectures, the software just works on those machines,” Harrison said.
When technology challenges arise at the University, other Ivanti solutions kick in to help track and quickly resolve the issue. David Rimmer, Head of Service Delivery, reflects on the impact the Ivanti service management solutions have had, “The University’s IT Service Desk customers — our students and staff — have evolving requirements, and the Ivanti solution enables the service team to handle them quickly and efficiently.”
Rimmer continued, “The beauty of Ivanti service management is its configurability. It allows you to configure your Service Desk the way you want it to run, connecting things in different ways as needs change, rather than just relying on how a consultant may have originally set it up.”
Over the years, Kingston has also expanded to using cloud-based servers in addition to its physical ones. This allows the University to use the best functions of each, but it also increases security risk. Once again, Simon Harrison turned to Ivanti, this time leveraging Ivanti’s patch capabilities to help ensure Kingston is safe and up-to-date, and freeing up IT staff in the process.
“Now we can devote the skills of our experienced staff to more value-added activities — supporting education or research,” Harrison said.
During the past few years, Kingston has increasingly severed ties with other vendors as Ivanti emerged as a goto partner. That relationship continues to build today with increased automation and security.
“Many other universities are now contacting us to ask how we are providing these services and delivering these strategic advantages back to our community as a whole,” Harrison said. “I’m happy to tell them.”