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How do you do....it? Thread, Support from above? in Technical; If you had to move your 180+ laptop base from one OS and Office version to a new OS and ...
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    Gibson335's Avatar
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    Support from above?

    If you had to move your 180+ laptop base from one OS and Office version to a new OS and new Office version would your senior management support you if you said you needed every one of those laptops in for the entire summer?

    I may be faced with doing that next year, and I know when I ask for this someone will ask the question, "What do other people do?" So I figured I'd ask.

    My thanks in advance to anyone who replies.

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    leco's Avatar
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    I am currently tasked with writing a timeline to do exactly that. Change of OS version plus change of Office version. I have already informed SMT that I will require the summer break to work on it, also that I will require all laptops returned to base for the duration of the change.

    This last summer I recalled all laptops for a move of storage folders and install of new software. Only one laptop failed to materialise. It has been accepted by SMT that this may be an annual task and that laptops and/or desktops may be involved.

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    Gibson335 (1st October 2009)

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    I would hope you would get support for doing it but why would you need them all for the entire summer? Why not ask groups of people to bring them in at intervals? Surely that makes your life easier (you get them in batches that you can image easily) and you're not buried under a mountain of machines?

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    how many different laptop types are there? , you'll need to beta test this to the baps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by srochford View Post
    I would hope you would get support for doing it but why would you need them all for the entire summer? Why not ask groups of people to bring them in at intervals? Surely that makes your life easier (you get them in batches that you can image easily) and you're not buried under a mountain of machines?
    id suggest if you dont teachers who are meant to bring them back in week 3 say will forget. Better to take them all in and if they want them back they can call to see if they are done

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    If that was the only way to do it, they would. But it would affect lesson (assuming some of those are teacher laptops?) planning during the hols.

    I'd use early clueful test pilots (start now) and batches of machines. If half the English dept is going to the Crucible for the day, get them to drop off their laptops and have them imaging on the bench.

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    I too would go for the phased roll out.

    Try to coincide it with a refresh of some of your hardware if you can. If you get 30 new machines (1/6th of the machine base) and deal with those who are entitled to the new hardware. This will then give you a bank of 30 'loan' machines to issue and re-issue as required whilst you rebuild the new machines, run training on the new OS / Office suite, etc.

    It may increase your workload in the long term but make life easier for the staff involved. It could also give you a chance to do hardware checks etc ... get kit repaired ... etc.

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    Sometimes the phased approach does not work. Staff may not come in during the hols to drop off laptops or may come in a few days or weeks later than agreed and you will end up with a higgledy piggledy mix of machines that have been completed and those waiting to be completed. If we dared to give the wrong laptop charger back to the wrong teacher there would be a riot!

    I would love to have a spare batch of loan laptops but here we are still using laptops 6 years old for some staff. Chance would be a fine thing!

    Sometimes you have got to rip that plaster off in one go.

    We sometimes take the whole 80-100 laptops in during the hols to rebuild to base image and to remove the crap that gets put on them and it takes maybe a week or so? If you have a test on each brand of laptop before you begin this process i'm sure you could iron any issues out before getting it done.

    Try to see things from the teachers point of view though as they will need to get work done in the hols and will appreciate it if you get things done as fast as possible.

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    We had all our staff machines in summer just gone, but this was because we totally changed the domain, and there was no alturnative option really.

    180 machines is a lot to deal with in one go, I would try and go for the phased roll out option if possible. We found just dealing with 80 machines was difficult, finding space to store them, making sure they were labelled and named properly and making sure they were all given back to the right people, then dealing with the silly complaints about not having the same charger as they had last year etc. When you've got 20+ members of staff all queueing up at your office waiting for their machine back it's no easy task, particularly if you're also dealing with problems at the same time.

    If I could find an alturnative way to collecting in all the machines, I definitely would!

    Mike

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    Sorry, should have made it clear about the phased approach. Don't wait until the
    hols for this, start as soon as you can after you get your budget for the year. I know most people wait until the holidays for this sort of thing but if you are clever with the new kit you buy in you can make this work.

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    Gibson335's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by srochford View Post
    I would hope you would get support for doing it but why would you need them all for the entire summer? Why not ask groups of people to bring them in at intervals? Surely that makes your life easier (you get them in batches that you can image easily) and you're not buried under a mountain of machines?
    (1) because it would be just one of about a hundred other jobs to do, (2) because the chances of staff bringing laptops back in on a schedule are so remote as to be incalcuable, (3) because then we get to do them in our time and fit in around the many other jobs, our holidays, etc.

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    Gibson335's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by strawberry View Post
    how many different laptop types are there? , you'll need to beta test this to the baps.
    There will be 5 different types.

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    Gibson335's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pete View Post
    If that was the only way to do it, they would. But it would affect lesson (assuming some of those are teacher laptops?) planning during the hols.

    I'd use early clueful test pilots (start now) and batches of machines. If half the English dept is going to the Crucible for the day, get them to drop off their laptops and have them imaging on the bench.
    Ah, but the OS in question probably won't be supported by Capita and our LEA SIMS support until closer to the summer.

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    Gibson335's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    Sorry, should have made it clear about the phased approach. Don't wait until the
    hols for this, start as soon as you can after you get your budget for the year. I know most people wait until the holidays for this sort of thing but if you are clever with the new kit you buy in you can make this work.
    Problem is, due to the way our lease purchase arrangements work, I can't purchase new laptops until July, therefore I can't build them and hand them out and start building from those handed in before the start of summer, never mind getting a decent number done. Also, and I should perhaps have mentioned this from the start, due to arrangements beyond our control, an element of crucial external support (which I cannlt divulge in public) will not work with a mixed economy of OSs and Office versions, which means we have to go from one to the other in one go!

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    I hate to do this to ssiruuk2, but if you follow this link you'll see what happens without planning change management. It's not about the technology but the people who use it, and I can wholeheartedly agree with those who say that you should stage it. If you're lucky, or skillfully select a group to roll out the upgraded laptops to, you may find you have a pool of "champions", those who can see the benefits and will share and promote the technology amongst their peers.

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