Evergreen State College Case Study

IT Resource Management Using K2

During our recent visit to Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, the K2 administrator shared his experiences about using Sassafras K2 for IT resource management in their computing labs – in particular, during the statewide mandated budget cuts that occurred during the economic downturn of 2008.

Computer Lab Monitoring

Mandated IT Budget Cuts

Evergreen lost 43% of their state funding and had to drastically cut back everywhere they could to conserve dollars. The IT department looked hard at their operations to identify any services they could cut and still maintain strong support for academic computing operations.

They had previously maintained generous hours in student computing labs, with some labs open 24 hours a day and others open long hours each day. After a cost analysis, the IT group realized they could save significantly on operating expenses by reducing open lab times.

Students Protest Lab Closures

But when they cut back on computing lab hours, students organized and protested by sitting in the labs and forcing them to stay open. Students asserted that the College had cut back too much, and that they needed labs kept open during certain hours that had been closed.

In order to gauge the validity of the students’ assertions, the Evergreen IT group realized they needed a reliable and accurate way to determine the best times to open and close the labs.

So Evergreen turned to Sassafras K2 and its comprehensive usage data to measure and report historical lab hour usage. The reports easily showed whether computers were actually used during specific times, and even revealed how they were used. Once the IT group collected the information they needed from K2, they discussed options with the students to resolve the issues.

Computer Lab Monitoring
Computer Lab Monitoring

Sassafras K2 Guides Effective IT Resource Management

Sassafras K2 showed everyone the way through the impasse by revealing the best times to open and close the labs.

The outcome: Smarter decisions about lab hours, a happier student body, reduced operational costs, and ongoing analysis of computer usage trends in order to help keep operations running smoothly at lower costs.

One reporting feature most valued by Evergreen in the initial analysis was customized Time Sets applied to the “Histogram Login” reports. This provided a clear focus on computing resource demand during the recurring evening and weekend time slots. They could easily ask “what if” they closed a certain lab an hour earlier.

The Evergreen IT staff continue to review K2 usage reports regularly so lab hours are adjusted to meet real-time demand throughout each semester. Usage demand for various software titles is also analyzed in order to optimize license allocations and purchasing decisions.

If you would like to learn how to customize K2 reports for special purposes within your organization, contact us today.

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