VANCOUVER, British Columbia and SAN JOSE, Calif. – February 3, 2021 – Absolute Software™ (NASDAQ: ABST) (TSX: ABST), a leader in Endpoint Resilience™ solutions, today announced Fresno Unified School District (USD) is using the Absolute Resilience™ platform. With an unbreakable digital tether to all school-issued devices, Fresno USD is equipped with complete visibility and control, real-time insights into the state and location of more than 100,000 devices, and the ability to automatically self-heal security controls to ensure the security and digital integrity of their distance learning program.
As the third largest school district in California, today Fresno USD manages and secures devices that are distributed to more than 74,000 students across 66 elementary schools, 15 middle schools, and 9 high schools. The central California district originally turned to Absolute Software to track and trace approximately 20,000 Windows mobile devices; the Absolute platform provided visibility as to where those devices were at any time, and the ability to remotely lock them if they fell into the wrong hands. But when the district-owned fleet of devices increased, it became challenging for IT to continue maintaining an accurate device inventory.
Even before March 2020, Fresno Unified’s sense of urgency to account for all devices was growing significantly, since the district had rolled out a 1:1 program that included more than 75,000 devices - 10,000 of which were for teachers and administrators. When the pandemic hit, the district - like so many others across the nation - needed to swiftly add another 25,000 devices to ensure every student was equally equipped with a laptop and could securely participate in the district’s remote learning program.
“We started using Absolute reporting as a sanity check against our physical inventorying,” said Kurt Madden, CTO of Fresno USD. “Some schools would say they had run out of devices, but we knew from the Absolute report that they had hundreds of laptops. We would go room to room at the school site and find them – saving us from buying hundreds of devices we didn’t actually need to purchase. Today, the Absolute report is our inventory.”
To ensure their mission-critical applications like Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) remain healthy and working as intended, the Fresno USD IT team relies on the self-healing capabilities enabled by Absolute's patented Persistence® technology. And with no physical access to remote devices, the team is able to mitigate vulnerabilities in a timely manner and automate fixes using Absolute Reach® - a querying tool that includes a library of more than 130 custom workflows, and allows IT to take widespread remedial action even when devices are off the school network.
Ensuring the safety and well-being of their 74,000 student body is also one of the district’s highest priorities. With an undeletable digital tether to every device, school officials are able to help parents quickly locate runaway kids who took their school-issued laptop with them, ensuring they are protected from any potential harm.
“Fresno USD, like so many K-12 districts across the country, has faced enormous challenges this school year, and we are honored to be a key partner in helping them overcome these challenges,” said Warren Young, AVP of Education at Absolute Software. “Their commitment to keeping students and staff connected, secure, and productive in the wake of a sudden and seismic transition to distance learning has been nothing short of remarkable, and we look forward to working side-by-side as they navigate continued uncertainty.”
Additionally, the community knows about the undeletable tether on school-owned devices - and that knowledge reduces theft. Many other devices have been recovered from computer sales stores, airports, and e-commerce websites thanks to the automated message that pops up explaining the device’s real owner when a machine is rebooted.
From device tracking and locating students to persisting key applications in the era of remote learning, Fresno USD has seen significant ROI with Absolute.
“Absolute continues to innovate and provide the services we need,” said Madden. “It’s a long-term partnership, and we look forward to many more years as an Absolute customer.”
To download the full case study, visit here.