Chromebook adoption has skyrocketed over the past 18 months. According to a recent report from Canalys show that, despite slowed sales, Chromebooks enjoyed a 75% YoY growth from Q2 of 2020 to Q2 of 2021. While much of that growth is a direct result of the work-from-home and hybrid employee lifestyle, it is a well-known fact that the Education sector is where Chrome OS devices hold a dominating market share. Research analyst Brian Lynch gave some insight into the continued growth of the Chrome OS sub-segment.
The success of Chromebooks is proving to be remarkably resilient.Their growth streak has extended well beyond the height of the pandemic as they have cemented a healthy position across all end-user segments in the industry. Even as key markets like North America and Western Europe have seen schools begin to open up, shipments remain elevated as governments and education ecosystems plan for long-term integration of Chromebooks within digital learning processes.Brian Lynch, Research Analyst at Canalys
With the continued popularity of Chromebooks in the education system and the explosion of hybrid learning models, many school districts are looking to accelerate 1:1 initiatives while streamlining the management process. Many school administrators already leverage Google’s Admin Console for managing Chrome OS devices but, unfortunately, Google’s management console doesn’t offer near the customized control that is offered by a growing number of third-party management platforms. While deploying and managing devices is relatively straightforward, the Admin Console offers little in the way of end-user tools or other niceties desired by tech admins.
There is no shortage of third-party Chromebook management software on the market but districts that are looking for a more robust experience for mass deployment, repair requests, automation, and other tools but one company stands out with more than two decades of IT Asset management under its belt. VIZOR is recognized as an innovative leader in the IT asset management space and brings ITIL best practices to tech admins in the education sector for the first time. VIZOR is so much more than just a management console to keep track of your Chromebooks. The feature-rich web-based platform gives schools a powerful gateway that brings together Google’s Admin Console and a district’s SIS(Student Information System). It is worth noting VIZOR is an official PowerSchool partner, one of the largest SIS platforms used in the US.
Manage on Autopilot
VIZOR has seamless bi-directional integration with the Google Admin Console so all of your existing devices can be seen and managed directly from VIZOR. Admins can quickly move devices in and out of a specified organizational unit with ease based on the status of the device. Changes are updated in real-time in the organization’s Admin Console. Additionally, automated assignment rules can be created to assign devices to students based on the last login or annotated field data from the Google Admin Console. That means Suzy middle-schooler’s information in the connected SIS system is automatically visible against their device – no manual effort to cross-reference data and systems.
With that, VIZOR is much more than just an intuitive Chromebook management system for existing devices already enrolled in your Google Admin Console. 1:1 programs and device checkout can be easily managed with optional support for all mass-market barcode scanners. To encourage on-time device returns, rules can be created to automatically notify parents and/or students when the device is due to be returned. This feature can be used for other assets such as projectors, smart boards, and more which might be loaned to staff. Time-based return notifications are just the tip of the iceberg, however. VIZOR offers powerful capabilities and processes for Chromebook and fixed IT asset management across the entire asset life cycle.
VIZOR allows admins to quickly update the information relating to a single device or multiple devices. This includes batch warranty updates, End of Life status changes, retired devices, and more. Each device can be tracked throughout its life cycle and a device in repair status can be assigned a cost for repair that can be forwarded to the district, passed on to the student/parent, written off, or however you handle the cost of the repair. For students and parents, the new self-service portal lets you submit a repair request, track repairs, see associated repair costs, or report a device lost or stolen. These events can be automated to disable the device as part of the repair or recovery process. Bulk updates are flexible and versatile with VIZOR, too. Whether you’re updating vendor information or moving a fleet of devices to another school, it can all be done with ease from the VIZOR dashboard.
For schools that offer or require insurance for loaned-out devices, VIZOR gives you quick access to see which devices are and aren’t covered. Admins can also be alerted to “lemon assets” which are devices that have been turned in for repair three or more times. This makes it easy to identify Chromebooks that may be ready for a replacement or perhaps need a warranty claim filed.
Along with industry-standard Admin Console integration, VIZOR works with Google Account Single-Sign-On and admins can automatically create new users in the VIZOR dashboard from Google Users in the Workspace account. VIZOR’s device management integration is also able to sync Chromebook data directly from the Admin Console. This data includes some of the following:
- Google Admin Console for each Chromebook
- Organizational Unit (OU) path
- Annotated User
- Annotated Location
- Annotated Asset ID
- OS Version
- OS Name
- Serial Number
- MAC Address
- Device ID
- Firmware Version
- Last Synchronized Date and Time
- Platform Version
- Enrolment Date
- Support End Date
- Status in Google Admin Console
- Recent Users
- Order Number (onlyavailable if the device was purchased directlyfrom Google).
This data makes it easy to keep track of devices that need to be updated or are nearing End of Life. Device data from the Google Admin Console is supplemented with data from other sources including your SIS and device manufacturer. For example, VIZOR will automatically retrieve warranty data for devices purchased from Dell, HP, and Lenovo. Information about organizational units can also be automatically updated when certain events are triggered. For example, when a device is reported as lost or stolen, one click in the VIZOR dashboard can move the device to a new OU in the Admin Console.
Scalable Solution from School to District
VIZOR scales for education institutions of any size. Whether you’re an IT department in charge of deploying tens of thousands of devices or a single school with a 1:1 program, VIZOR is the perfect companion for your existing Google Admin Console and Workspace account.
Echo Horizon School chose VIZOR to centralize their IT asset inventory, manage IT helpdesk tickets, and streamline their 1:1 program. “All of our infrastructure assets, end-user devices, projectors, and displays and their purchase information is accessible in VIZOR,” remarked Director of Technology at Echo Horizon. After using VIZOR the IT team at Echo Horizon is seeing time savings throughout their 1:1 device allocation process, “Before VIZOR it took minutes to check-out each device, it now takes seconds”.
The flexible automation controls combined with robust repair management can reduce deployment time and lower overhead of ongoing management which equates to dollars saved over a schoolyear. VIZOR is an affordable, trusted Chromebook management solution that can take your IT department to the next level. If you’d like to learn more, you can contact them at the link below and schedule a free demo to get you started.