Solarwinds vs. Lansweeper: Why One Large Community College Made the Switch
When you’re a large community college with more than 12,000 assets and multiple campus locations, having a high-performance IT Asset Management (ITAM) solution that can perform remote IT management, inventory and reporting is critical. The IT department at this college had been using Solarwinds for tracking assets and monitoring software, but after weighing in Solarwinds pros and cons, it’s limited capabilities and lack of remote management features prompted Dan Scallon, the Systems Administrator, to look for an alternative ITAM solution. That’s when he found Lansweeper.
- Increased data accuracy and streamlined asset tracking, network monitoring and reporting
- Provided complete visibility across the entire IT estate
- Eliminated the need for Excel spreadsheets for manual IT inventory tracking
- Enabled remote IT management of all assets with custom actions
- Simplified Helpdesk tasks and accelerated ticket resolution
Lansweeper’s broad feature set supports multiple use cases
Dan’s team uses Lansweeper for auditing and reporting, monitoring software and for tracking all the data about assets within the IT environment. “Lansweeper offers auditing capabilities that help us meet the requirements of the finance department. When they come to our campus location, I immediately turn on Lansweeper and pinpoint the device they’re interested in recording, and they have access to whatever information they need. I can scale down to a room or campus location and find out the data about a particular asset. I have some devices that have been introduced by vendors, and using Lansweeper, I am continually finding assets I didn’t know were there.”
Advantages of Lansweeper
Prior to Lansweeper, Dan’s team would track assets in a manual fashion. “Using Lansweeper has pretty much eliminated the need for Excel spreadsheets, unless I want to export one from Lansweeper and send it to someone — which is fast and easy to do!” he said. “We have confidence in the ability of Lansweeper to provide us with detailed and accurate information.”
“For example, we used to record phone information in Excel spreadsheets, and now we simply use custom fields. It’s all there in the database — even patch panel recording data — so we don’t need to look around to try to find out where that spreadsheet might be.” They still use Solarwinds for real time monitoring of the servers and switches, but for ITAM needs Lansweeper does the job.
“Using Lansweeper has pretty much eliminated the need for Excel spreadsheets, unless I want to export one from Lansweeper and send it to someone — which is fast and easy to do!”
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Granular mapping provides complete visibility
Dan loves Lansweeper’s ability to record asset data at an extremely granular level, both for networked and non-networked assets. “When I started delving into the various locations, I realized we could create location maps for a particular campus, as well as for rooms. I link server rooms and data closets to the maps, then create Visio drawings that allow me to see all the switches and assets, and the relationships between them. It’s easy to find my way around when there’s a problem.”
He added, “We also use Lansweeper for a lot of non-network related activities, including accessing the switches. For example, we can record and correlate the patch panel numbers of a machine or device, which has been instrumental in reporting, and helpful when budgeting for replacements and upgrades.”
Custom Actions Simplify Remote IT Management
Dan uses custom actions within Lansweeper to enable remote management. “We incorporated a custom action that allows us to perform remote sessions with PowerShell, and we have one that allows us to not only reset somebody’s password, but to create and close a ticket while doing so,” he said. “We also use the remote Desktop to help people with issues with their machines. We can record a lot more information, and boy! The addition of maps and all the other things included with Lansweeper — I’m telling you, it’s been quite a journey!”
“We can record a lot more information, and boy! The addition of maps and all the other things included with Lansweeper — I’m telling you, it’s been quite a journey!”
Helpdesk templates facilitate rapid ticket resolution
For Helpdesk activities, Dan uses Lansweeper to create test templates and custom fields, and to define access required for particular titles.
“We have lengthy Helpdesk request forms that require a lot of data,” he said. “Using custom fields, we can tailor the forms to collect the specific information we want for the end user. We use the Knowledge Base to provide information about the access we are granting them, and templates to explain the types of access they have, or to facilitate access. It cuts down on the amount of digital support we need to provide.”
Lansweeper simplifies phone administration and setup, as well, which also falls under Dan’s purview. “We’re continually exploring more things we can do, and it really depends on your imagination. Lansweeper provides a much better Helpdesk solution than the one we were using before.”
“We’re continually exploring more things we can do, and it really depends on your imagination. Lansweeper provides a much better Helpdesk solution than the one we were using before.”
“We Can’t Live Without It”
Dan said he would recommend Lansweeper to anyone who needs to work with IT. “I’ve been using Lansweeper for about six years now, and I’m continually learning new things and finding new Lansweeper use cases. It’s been a blessing for us. To be honest, I don’t know how we lived without Lansweeper before, and now I can’t imagine living without it.”