SysAdmin Day Awards 2020

Celebrating the Heroes of IT

The SysAdmin Day Contest is over! 

And the winner is: The Entire IT Team at DTN

The IT Team at DTN

Congratulations! How did your team made the difference this year?

Adam Gibson: “This year my team has stepped up and earned my respect and admiration. We are part of a growing company and have doubled our employee count through acquisitions starting last year. With those acquisitions, we have become a global company with offices in over 18 countries. Even with the language and cultural differences, we have reached out and developed relationships with those new employees that we support.

This year we started off finishing these acquisitions by beginning to start a global service desk. My team wears a lot of hats and that includes supporting everything that touches our employees (Sysadmin, hardware, software, licensing, etc). We also introduced a new virus scan that we had to deploy to our employees, as well as O365.

To say that we were busy would be an understatement. My employees found themselves supporting more customers and new programs with no increase in staff. A lesser team would have been broken by this, but my team kept going and worked smarter. We learned new things and found tools to help us grow.

One of the myriads of projects we had this year was the Windows 7 upgrade project. With Lansweeper’s help, we identified the Windows 7 machines and were in the process of upgrading machines when COVID hit.”

What impact had COVID and the sudden move to Work From Home on your organisation? 

We had preparation meetings in case we had to have our employees work from home, but no one really believed it would come to that. In fact, a survey of our managers in February stated that only 30% of our jobs even had the possibility of working from home. The fact was half our employees had desktops and were not technical, so working from home was never seriously considered.

That is until early March when we were told we had a week to get everyone set up to work from home. My team came together and, with the help of Lansweeper, we identified everyone with laptops. We contacted them and made sure they could work from home. From there we did an inventory of all of our old laptops and found we had just enough to set up base laptops for people to remote into their desktops. We spent that entire week setting up laptops, training employees on how to use them, and developing documentation to help employees work from home.

On March 20th, 98% of our employees started working from home. Those first couple of weeks were difficult since we fielded a lot of calls from employees that were lost. We helped them and provided more and more training documents. We also had a daily meeting with managers to go over the issues their employees had. Within those weeks we taught many non-technical people about their home networks and how to reboot routers and modems.

Add to this mix getting ready for a new location and a VPN upgrade affecting 600 users we had to push out with less than a month’s notice.

Looking back, I am proud of my team for what they have accomplished this year. With so many obstacles we held our heads high and showed perseverance. No one complained and we all worked long hours to make the impossible happen. We also continued going into the office to help our employees with hardware needs. Even in a pandemic, we are here for our employees.

How has Lansweeper helped in making that impact?

We were able to use Lansweeper to identify Windows 7 machines for that project and also to identify which employees had desktops and which had laptops. In February we used Lansweeper to find machines that needed critical patches and currently are using it to identify the machines that have older Windows 10 versions. We also pushed out a new VPN client and used Lansweeper to push the client. That helped tremendously.

What has been your biggest challenge so far in 2020?

We started the year knowing we had a lot of projects. We had a lot of things going on this year and knew it was going to be a long year, but no one could have expected the pandemic. To limit our challenges to one would be impossible since it seems like every week we are thrown a new challenge. But my team has persevered and shown me that we are well prepared to handle anything we are given.

Our Favored Charities

Win Money for your Charity

Besides putting our IT Heroes in the spotlight for their dedication & expertise, we’re donating $2500 in your name to a recognized charity. The winner also receives a one-year subscription to Pluralsight, the leading technology skills platform.

What's SysAdmin Day?

As explained on the SysAdmin Day website: “It’s the perfect opportunity to pay tribute to the heroic men and women who, come rain or shine, prevent disasters, keep IT secure and put out tech fires left and right”. System Administrators work in the shadow 364 days a year, but on the last Friday of July, it’s time to show our beloved SysAdmins a ton of appreciation.

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