The Situation

When the Global Pandemic hit in 2020 and forced many companies to work from home, Khuong Le, IT Support Engineer at McConnell Dowell (MCD), recognised the challenge that this would bring to managing a remote workforce.

Preparing and provisioning new Windows 10 laptops and desktops for staff is a time-consuming process and required the involvement of a third-party provider before being eventually shipped to the end user. MCD IT then needed to be engaged to complete the last mile of the provisioning process, configuring settings, and updating applications before the staff member could first log on. As a result, deploying a new Windows 10 device was a time consuming and expensive exercise, and Khuong was confident he could solve this problem.

The Challenge

With staff working from home, and McConnell Dowell operating in multiple countries, Khuong prepared a business case to implement Windows Autopilot to provision new devices, as well as the SCCM Cloud Management Gateway to manage any Internet connected device, regardless of its location. While preparing the business case, he estimated that MCD could save approximately $72,000 annually by streamlining and automating their Windows 10 provisioning process by using Windows Autopilot. A streamlined, zero touch Windows Autopilot deployment would allow MCD to ship new hardware directly to staff and have them self-onboard without requiring assistance from IT or initial preparation from their third-party vendor. This would drastically reduce the time and effort required to onboard staff to new Windows 10 devices and provide a seamless experience.

Khuong also understood that implementing the SCCM Cloud Management Gateway would allow the team to manage their remote devices over the Internet wherever they were located, and without relying on VPN connectivity. This would allow MCD to deploy software updates, application updates and configuration to keep their Windows 10 fleet up to date and secure anywhere in the world.

The Solution

Khuong and his team engaged Endpoint Focus to help develop a zero touch Windows 10 deployment utilising Windows Autopilot, with a CMG, and included:

  • Hybrid Azure AD joined Windows 10 device utilising the GlobalProtect VPN client’s pre-logon authentication feature, meaning devices can join Active Directory (AD) over the Internet

  • Ability for staff to self-enrol into Multi Factor Authentication (MFA)

  • Installation of the GlobalProtect and SCCM clients from Microsoft Endpoint Manager during onboarding

  • An automated SCCM Task Sequence which is executed as part of the enrolment finalisation process to install core applications, apply configuration and branding, rename the device, and move it to the correct OU in AD

  • Windows Autopilot White Glove to allow mass pre-provisioning of new Windows 10 devices by IT if not shipping directly to the staff member

  • Integration with existing ZScaler solution

  • Configure certificate based, secure communications between SCCM clients and servers

  • Cloud Management Gateway for managing remote devices over the Internet

The Results

This engagement allows for Khuong and his team to streamline the onboarding of new Windows 10 devices by providing a zero touch, automated process that does not require involvement from the IT department or third-party vendor. The solution has significantly reduced the time required to prepare a Windows 10 device for use, and as a result is an estimated cost saving of $72,000 a year.

“Endpoint Focus demonstrated a high level of professionalism, knowledge and experience throughout this project. Through their discovery process, they were able to quickly provide a detailed proposal and then execute to fulfil the vision.”

Khuong Le

IT Support Engineer, McConnell Dowell

About McConnell Dowell

McConnell Dowell is a major infrastructure construction company headquartered in Australia, and delivers major projects in Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia.

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