Case Study - Non-Profit Organization
A non-profit organization was experiencing substantial problems with their computer system. They had fifteen administrative employees in their administrative office and around 300 children members who were serviced by the child care program and after-school activities. The children had use of 40 computers in three different computer labs. Their lab computers were outdated and they had purchased 40 new computers as part of a grant and needed a robust solution.
Children would destroy lab computers by pressing the power button and turning off the computer improperly. All of the lab computers were running slowly and most had pop-up messages and error messages displaying often. Sharing files on the network was a very tedious process that was slow and not reliable. The server would crash several times each day. The network access and internet would randomly go down on several computers each day. Children could and often did access pornographic websites. The children had infected the administrative staff’s files with viruses. The QuickBooks financial information could only be viewed on the accountant’s computer. The staff could not share files with their other location. The tape backup system had stopped working and was not reliable.
We installed a brand new server with Windows Server 2003 and configured it with Active Directory. We segmented the users into various roles including Kids, Junior Staff, Administrative Staff, and Administrators. We set up security permissions so that Kids could no longer access Staff files. We configured a content filtering system so that children could not go to websites flagged in several categories such as pornographic sites and illegal sites. Kids were no longer permitted to download and install programs and thus were unable to infect the computers with viruses, adware and spyware. We modified all of the lab computers so they could only turn off the computer by pressing a switch in the back which was physically restricted to them. We installed a system that would automatically install Windows XP and common programs such as Microsoft Office and Adobe Acrobat, so if a computer had a damaged configuration, a staff member could set it up again, without requiring hours of labor to reinstall all of the software.
We set up roaming profiles for the staff so their My Documents and desktop settings would move with them as they logged into different computers. We installed additional licenses on their QuickBooks and shared their QuickBooks company file so that multiple staff members could access it at the same time. We installed a new disk-based backup system and configured an automated backup to run on a schedule. We installed a Virtual Private network so that files could be transferred to their secondary location and staff could manage their computer settings at the secondary location. We installed a video camera system so their new Child Care Manager software could issue photo identification for each child member. All work was completed on time and within the allocated budget.
Staff members are no longer worried about children destroying lab computers. The new server has not experienced any downtime and is much faster than the old solution. Children are no longer able to visit inappropriate websites and have not infected any staff files with viruses.