Crutchfield Speeds GPO Compliance Reporting and Enjoys Shorter SLA Times for IT Tasks
Netwrix PolicyPak enables us, as admins, to confidently say yes to software we support, instead of being the IT guys that always say no to everything. It allows us to say yes to Firefox and tons of other applications because we can now deploy them safely, with all of the settings configured dynamically within policy.
Jon Bain, IT Services Team Leader at Crutchfield
- The company’s IT Services team needs to enable Crutchfield’s internal users to satisfy customers. However, satisfying their requests for applications, such as the Firefox browser, was often difficult, since extensive effort was required to ensure the software was set up properly and kept updated to meet security requirements.
- The IT services team also needed a better way to control updates and enforce the company’s proxy policy, since editing the config file and other manual approaches they were using were not scalable.
PolicyPak customer service is phenomenal. The services they’ve provided have always been absolutely top-notch. They respond quickly. They respond with answers that are actually meaningful. If they don’t know the answer, they just straight up say, ‘I don’t know, but I will find out for you.’ And then they actually find the answer and get back to me swiftly.
Jon Bain, IT Services Team Leader at Crutchfield
Jon Bain, IT Services Team Leader at Crutchfield, learned about PolicyPak at the Microsoft TechEd conference, during a presentation by Jeremy Moskowitz, Microsoft MVP — Enterprise Mobility and founder of PolicyPak. “Jeremy did some demonstrations of how PolicyPak could be used for a couple of different products, and I immediately recognized the tremendous value in the ability it gives you to tweak settings,” Bain recalls. “I knew I could use PolicyPak to control Firefox for however many of our people who wanted to use it.”
Crutchfield has been using PolicyPak for years, mostly to administer settings for Firefox and Java. It is evaluating deployment of Google Chrome and some Adobe products, for which it would also use PolicyPak. The solution has delivered all of the following benefits:
Better user satisfaction and productivity. The IT Services team can now protect the integrity and security of corporate infrastructure while also providing users with the applications required to drive success. “When somebody asks for a piece of software, we used to often have to say, ‘No, we can’t do that,’” Bain notes. “We wanted to be able to say, ‘We can give it to you.’ PolicyPak helps us achieve this goal.”
Faster compliance checking. PolicyPak empowers the IT Services team to quickly verify that the correct Group Policy objects are assigned to individuals or computers. “I received a call from work wanting to know if a particular policy was applied to a group of computers in our stores,” Bain says. “Using PolicyPak’s Compliance Reporter, it was easy to respond. This saved us from having to individually examine dozens of machines.”
In addition, the team uses PolicyPak to control which version of Firefox and Java users have and easily avoid unsanctioned updates. Prior to PolicyPak, Crutchfield tried to prevent update requests through switches and scripts. “But despite our best efforts, we would still get machines that would just go out and request updates, regardless of what we asked it to do,” Bain says. “PolicyPak was really the first thing that effectively managed Java for us.”
Reduced IT workload. The lean and busy IT Services team values the reduction in administrative overhead as well. “We use PolicyPak to control the network configuration so Firefox adheres to the same settings we use for Internet Explorer,” Bain says. “We no longer have to configure settings by hand.” Similarly, the team can easily tailor policies for different groups of computers. “Rather than creating a completely new group for the conference room computers and treating them separately, I’m able to use Item-Level Targeting to make a quick customization.” Bain says. “This allows me to be very specific according to the type of PC in the room, the OS running on it, the type of other equipment in the room it interfaces with, who normally uses the room and other factors. It can be something as simple as the screen saver time-out. Without PolicyPak, this can be a real hassle trying to do these manipulations and ensure they work without tons of trial and error and testing.”
Ease of deployment and management. Crutchfield quickly deployed PolicyPak to all of its 750 machines. “PolicyPak was very easy to deploy; it’s just a simple MSI,” Bain says. “After it’s out there, nobody even knows it’s there. It just politely hums along. It’s so transparent and so easy to use, it’s become one of my favorite tools. PolicyPak is a wonderful piece of software.”
- Simplified routine IT tasks
- Improved user satisfaction
- Provided tight control over configurations
Crutchfield Corporation is a North American retailer that serves both the United States and Canada. It specializes in electronics, including audio and video equipment for automobiles, as well as speakers, televisions and other electronics for home or portable use.
Industry: Consumer Products