Like many in IT, I am a big fan of Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM). It’s one of those tools that you can’t really go without: it can help locate your company’s servers, desktops and mobile devices; it helps install client software, patch updates (see Microsoft Patch Tuesday); and it protects your endpoints and access control tools.
All good things, but…
Sometimes our beloved SCCM needs a little backup—like Robin to Batman.
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Disabled devices, enabled frustrations
A few months ago, one of our customers in the financial services industry came to us needing significant help fixing their devices. After logging into SCCM, support agents noticed that roughly 15% of their employee devices were not reporting to SCCM and became inactive, a common problem familiar to many in IT. Nonetheless, this subset of disabled devices created a serious vulnerability because SCCM couldn’t initiate the latest Windows security updates.
With the issue brewing below the surface, IT faced another dilemma:
In the pre-COVID world, IT used to resolve this problem by sending their support agents out to assist employees at their physical workstations. Typically, it would take an agent 5 – 10 minutes to successfully takeover and re-enable an employee’s device. This type of intervention wasn’t as disruptive back when employees met face-to-face. The employee could take a few minutes to grab a cup of coffee or go chat up a friend, and the issue would be fixed when he or she returned.
Now IT had to throw that entire process out the window. With the staff working from home, IT would be forced to remote-in and manually fix the affected devices. This time around, IT wouldn’t be able to use any visual clues before approaching employees. They couldn’t tell somebody to take a break and stroll around the office while they worked on a fix. For remote workers, their laptop, desktop, or mobile device is the office.
Automating fixes for better SCCM support
Luckily, the IT team was able to use Nexthink’s library of built-in automations to fix the affected devices in the background. Nexthink’s powerful integration with SCCM has enabled this IT team to quickly retrieve missing client status information and proactively resolve any issues at scale. As you can imagine, this has saved significant time on IT’s side and allowed their remote employees to work without any annoying disruptions.
What Nexthink automations do our customers use?
Here is a list of powerful scripts that complement SCCM:
Invoke MEMCM Client Policy Actions
- This script will trigger the execution of the desired MEMCM execution policy on the device.
Get/Restore SCCM Client Status
- This script will retrieve and restore SCCM-related client services status (SMS Agent, BITS, WMI, etc.) and information on devices.
Invoke SCCM Client Auto-repair
- This script executes the Configuration Manager repair based on Microsoft’s script center recommendations.
Start task Application or Task sequence
- This script triggers any SCCM Task Sequence, application or program, based on its ID.
For more information on Nexthink’s integration with SCCM, click here.
Tiago Antão, Solution Consulting Director, Nexthink
If your IT department is eager to improve their work-from-anywhere (WFA) program and they seek tangible, proactive solutions, then contact a Nexthink representative today.
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