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Life or death in healthcare IT: More than 400 PCs in 42 hours

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Heroic 01
Heroic logo

Managed Service Provider

Organization profile

Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) and Managed Service Provider (MSP) based in Lehi, Utah

Organization size

20+ employees

Business Needs

A consistent and reliable solution that can be learned in hours by junior technicians

Support while working through a pandemic

Managed service providers (MSPs) see it all—from well planned and flawlessly executed Windows migrations to unforeseen, all-hands-on-deck IT disasters. The latter is what HEROIC, a respected and experienced managed security service provider (MSSP) and MSP based in Lehi, Utah, confronted during its first project for a new customer.

While HEROIC specializes in data protection and cybersecurity, it found a new opportunity to serve as an MSP when it won a new contract with a healthcare customer in November 2019. The initial project was to provision 430 computers for a recently completed hospital. Although HEROIC planned for many contingencies, it never thought it needed to prepare for, much less work through, a global pandemic.

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When Microsoft SCCM demands too much

The hospital project had a detailed technical plan, and an experienced technician was assigned to provision the Dell computers by using Windows Deployment Services (WDS) and Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM). Microsoft SCCM is a robust tool that can require weeks or months to set up and customize for a new hardware rollout project. It also requires an SCCM expert that is up to date in certifications and training to work with the complex product. HEROIC CEO Chad Bennett allotted for this—he knew the importance of completing the project on time. After all, if it was late, COVID-19 patients would be turned down.

As the completion deadline approached, the computers still hadn’t been touched, and Bennett’s concerns grew. HEROIC didn’t have the weeks of lead time required to install and configure SCCM properly.

Leading up to this project, Bennett’s team relied on ManageEngine for new hardware rollout projects. However, he had to make frequent calls to the support team to overcome complicated technical problems. “It’s a robust tool, but it constantly breaks. So, we were left sitting on support calls for hours,” says Bennett. He didn’t have this kind of time to waste—especially now.

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“SmartDeploy is the most intuitive. It’s the easiest to work with. And it just works. It was a life-or-death situation, and SmartDeploy saved the day.”

— Chad Bennett, CEO, Heroic

A fast, reliable replacement for SCCM

With just three days left and the dire need for additional hospital beds for COVID-19 patients, the computers were still untouched. Bennett knew he had to step in and find a new solution—one that could get the job done quickly. He knew the task wouldn’t be easy from his long career experience in IT management and cybersecurity, and he hadn’t provisioned computers himself in more than a decade. He turned to Google and landed on SmartDeploy’s website. After downloading the free trial, he was able to provision 15 computers in just three hours—without the help of a support team.

Having quickly reached the default limit that the SmartDeploy free trial allows, the HEROIC team was desperate. Bennett found an ideal solution in SmartDeploy, but he required weekend support to get authorization to complete the project or else the hospital couldn’t function, which would create a healthcare crisis during the first surge of the COVID-19 pandemic. Bennett says, “Knowing the hospital could shut down and COVID-19 patients would be turned away, I frantically tried to contact everyone I could find that worked at SmartDeploy.”

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The weekend reply that kept the project moving

“Within only a couple of hours on a Saturday morning, I had a response,” says Bennett. SmartDeploy General Manager Spencer Dunford immediately authorized use of all SmartDeploy capabilities and notified the SmartDeploy support team to stand by to help Bennett’s team keep the hospital doors open.

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All hands on deck to increase hospital beds

From that point, 14 HEROIC IT technicians worked around the clock to provision the machines. After 42 hours of network deployments and industrial quantities of caffeine, Bennett’s team prevailed. Within eight hours of discovering SmartDeploy, HEROIC began successfully deploying more than 400 computers of various models from multiple manufacturers, and it completed the project in one weekend. Without another call to SmartDeploy support, IT used SmartDeploy quick-start videos to ramp up. Bennett attributes much of the success of the hospital deployment project to SmartDeploy’s ease of use and quick response.

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