Increased Productivity & Huge Time Saver – University of Dublin

February 16th, 2024 by

Tell us about UCD…

University College Dublin is Ireland’s largest university and was founded in 1854. It’s one of Europe’s leading research-intensive institutions and has made a substantial contribution to the creation of modern Ireland through the study and discussion of people, society, business, economy, culture, languages and the creative arts, as well innovation.

What were some of the main IT challenges you faced?

Our department specifically deals with supporting the IT requirements for the University’s library sites. Prior to us installing DNA, our main challenges were asset management and tracking – in particular, keeping track of all the various pieces of IT equipment we have spread across different library sites, and being able to quickly and easily determine which machines were approaching their end of life and needed to be replaced.

Did DNA help you to meet those needs?

Yes! We use it to keep an up-to-date, accurate hardware and software inventory of all the machines we manage – and they’re all sorted by library site within DNA. For instance, we can see all Dell-specific asset information, which we can then easily export from DNA and query with Dell’s warranty tracking system. This saves us a lot of time. We also occasionally re-purpose or move machines to different locations where they may be better suited. It’s easy to do this with DNA as the data it gathers provides us with an
accurate and detailed list of the hardware in each machine, so, for example, if someone needs more RAM or a larger hard drive, we can quickly and easily identify a machine from our pool that will meet their needs.

How has DNA contributed to your department?

DNA has really helped by saving our technicians a lot of time in eliminating manual processes and, therefore, it has increased our productivity. Of course, this means that our department saves money too, as we can work so much more efficiently than we did before. We would definitely recommend DNA to others.

What do other staff in the university think of DNA?

Most staff aren’t really aware that the DNA client is on their machines; it works invisibly for us and doesn’t get in their way, which is great!

What is it like working with our support team?

We’ve only had to work with the Support Team on one occasion. They were incredibly helpful with getting our problem resolved, due to an incorrect configuration at our end.

How do you see your DNA solution supporting your IT into the future?

Now that we’re up and running with DNA, we’re going to start using more of its functionality. We’re currently investigating doing more remote management – such as pushing out files or installer packages to remote machines – which should increase our efficiency even more.

Fantastic features & Excellent Support – The Wellington Academy Case Study

February 16th, 2024 by

Tell us a little bit about your school/organization…

The Wellington Academy comprises of 250 staff and 1700 students split across three schools – two being primary and one being secondary education, including a sixth form.

How many devices and which platforms do you have DNA installed on?

DNA is installed on roughly 1050 machines, with approximately half of them being laptops and the other half desktops – all of which run Windows 10.

Can you tell us about some of the challenges you previously faced and why DNA was the software of choice?

With the previous remote support product we were using, we were finding it increasingly unmanageable due to constant updates and crashing. As our time is becoming more and more valuable due to budget and staffing cuts, we chose to move to DNA in the hope it would save us both time and effort – and it has! We find DNA to be a go-to tool that you know will work when you get there, which is a refreshing change.

As security is becoming an increasing risk, we make use of the USB control list in DNA to block the use of portable media across the school. This has helped us to reduce the risk of sensitive material getting into the wrong hands.

Working in schools, we have to be able to report on what users are doing at certain times. With DNA, it’s so easy to use the filters to pin down where people are and what websites and applications they have been using. Some applications make it such a chore to get information out, so DNA has helped us reduce the time spent when we have to run these reports.

Can you tell us how the software is currently being used?

We largely use DNA as a remote support tool for staff and students. As we cover multiple sites and 12 buildings, it’s vital we have remote support available to be able to provide the solid level of service that is expected.

Also, we have the teacher console set up in the IT suites for staff members to be able to monitor and demonstrate to students, with the added benefit of being able to grab their attention through features such as locking screens.

We haven’t delved too much into the power management side of things, but we do have scheduled shutdowns nightly for all laptops and desktops, with the exception of a few who are set up to dial in from home.

With rising energy costs, are you benefiting from using the Energy Monitoring feature?

I believe so, yes. We have always had power management in place for devices, however, it was a one solution for all. With DNA, we can shut down student PCs shortly after school has finished, teacher PCs a bit later on and then leave office PCs until late evening. I know this functionality is available in other software packages, but, with DNA, it’s easy.

What type of settings do you have with the Power Management feature, and has it impacted staff?

Due to the home working situation, we don’t have much of a difference during the day for the majority of devices. However, we focus more on the days in which staff are working – we don’t always know which days people will be working, but we have the flexibility to allow staff to access machines when they need to, and still shut down devices overnight.

As for impacting staff, the answer is no as we’ve always had power management in place. DNA has allowed us to fine tune existing policies to further save power without affecting users.

DNA includes SoftLINK (classroom management). How do your teachers find using it?

Excellent. We do find it’s more the teachers who are permanently based in an IT suite who use this. However, we do have laptop trolleys which can be useful as they move around the building too, so it helps to keep an eye on these.

Overall, SoftLINK is a great classroom management tool as well and can help focus the students’ attention by locking the screens.

Has DNA been used to inform your digital strategy?

Yes, we used DNA to report on devices and to determine the next batch of devices due to be upgraded based on hardware specifications, which assists us with our rolling replacement program.

With the feature updates in Windows 10 only being supported for X amount of months, DNA has helped us with managing the upgrades during the school holidays. It’s vital we make the most of our time, and by using the tools built into DNA, we can easily get information and spend more time doing the jobs we need to.

Do you/other staff have any favorite features?

From the feedback I’ve had, the teaching staff mostly enjoy the ability to be able to focus a group of students. If they are misbehaving on the computers, the teacher will lock screens, ban internet etc to bring them back to task.

In terms of remote support, I like that we have the ability for the computer and user lists to be able to mimic the structure of our Active Directory. Even though there is a search, this makes it much easier to navigate. All of the features in DNA we use are fantastic.

How would you sum up DNA in one sentence?

An all-in-one software solution to suit all needs from IT support to classroom learning.

How have you found working with our support staff?

Excellent! As long as the price stays reasonable, we don’t have any reason to go elsewhere.

The level of support we receive is brilliant, too. We all know there will be bugs or issues with all software, but, due to the fast responses and helpfulness of the support team, it doesn’t fill me with dread having to contact them because you know you’ll get the answer you need.

Would you recommend DNA to others?

Yes, definitely!

We chose to move to DNA in the hope it would save us both
time and effort – and it has!

Great Success with e-Safety DNA software Trevelyan Middle School

February 15th, 2024 by

How is the software currently being used in your school?

DNA is being used to monitor all student PCs to identify trigger words that are potential e-Safety concerns to help create a safe learning environment. It also provides a discreet way for students to contact staff regarding e-Safety concerns that allows senior leadership to quickly follow up on issues ensuring students receive the help they need.

What IT challenges were you trying to solve?

In light of the new safeguarding requirements for schools, we wanted to expand our e-Safety
tools across the school. With its e-Safety toolkit including both proactive and reactive tools,
DNA was able to do just that. We can spot trends to highlight potential issues across
the school with keyword monitoring and students can also report concerning issues to a trusted staff member with the ‘report a concern’ feature.

Why did you choose our product?

As a current customer, I already had a good trust in the brand and a good working relationship with our Account Manager. Plus, DNA is a great system that has proved to be affordable to maintain within our budget, provides quality features, and adds an extra layer of security. It’s also really easy to use and supports a range of platforms.

How/where has DNA added value?

We have found DNA has added value by helping increase productivity and saving time. It has also helped improve performance and the product is easy to use for our IT staff – 99% of the package worked straight out of the box, and the tech support team has provided excellent assistance with one aspect I couldn’t seem to configure.

Would you recommend DNA software?

Yes, it’s a great system!

Southbrook School Case Study

November 15th, 2023 by

Tell us a little about Southbrook school…

Southbrook School is a Special Needs (SEN) school with just in excess of 120 secondary age pupils who have mild to moderate learning difficulties. Each year group (years 7-11) has approximately 30 pupils split into two classes.

What are some of the main IT challenges you have faced?

Safeguarding our pupils is a top priority as they are more vulnerable than pupils in mainstream schools. Keeping them safe and being able to help them with any issues is very important.

In addition, classroom monitoring is important for us to keep pupils on task and ensure they don’t stray from the work they’re meant to be doing.

How has DNA helped at your school?

DNA has helped us to keep track of our pupils’ activity and what they’re typing, searching for or copying in all applications, not just the internet. It alerts us to what a certain pupil has typed or images they might have copied. DNA also has a large number of keywords that trigger alerts, which we really like. It also gives an explanation of each phrase, which is helpful for our staff if they don’t know what a certain phrase means.

How have you found the remote support tools in DNA?

We use the remote control tools to provide support to staff across the school without having to physically go to them. We also use the remote support to log off machines that have been left on in classrooms.

DNA includes SoftLINK classroom management. What do your teachers find are the main benefits?

We’ve trialed SoftLINK and our teachers really like it as they can make sure pupils are on task and lock machines to take away any distraction. They can also share their screen so that the pupils are focused on the right thing during lessons.

How do DNA and SoftLINK compare to previous solutions you have used?

We’ve previously used some free software, but they just didn’t provide the level of features we needed. The safeguarding has been really beneficial for us.

What do you think of the DNA support team?

The tech support team have provided quick and easy fixes over the phone for any problems we’ve had.

How do you see DNA and SoftLINK supporting your school in the future?

We will definitely continue to use DNA. It sits in the background and does what we want it to do. We’d also like to continue to roll SoftLINK out across the whole school.

York High School Case Study

November 15th, 2023 by

Tell us about your school…

York High School is a medium-sized community secondary school catering for approximately
735 students between Years 7 – 11.

What are some of the main IT challenges you faced prior to DNA?

One of our main challenges was to encourage staff to be as independent as possible, to enable them to do the tasks they needed to carry out and to encourage them to problem solve. It’s not just about fixing problems but empowering people and reducing their reliance on requesting support.

How has DNA helped at your school?

DNA has enabled teachers and other staff to be able to carry out various tasks that they may have otherwise asked the IT team to do. The SoftLINK element also ensures teachers can get the attention of the whole class instantly and keep their students focused. Staff have found DNA easier to use then our previous solution – and the integration with Group Policy is a bonus for the IT team. We find it’s a well-supported product that is easy to use and it has increased our productivity by saving us time with its automated tools.

Do you use DNA to support your safeguarding efforts?

Yes, it has enabled safeguarding staff to be able to view internet history independently without having to ask the IT team to look at any logs or reports. They are also able to follow up on any safeguarding alerts that come in.

DNA includes SoftLINK classroom management. What do your teachers find are the main benefits?

Some teachers just want to see the SoftLINK element to help them with delivering lessons. It also helps them to improve students’ behavior, with the ability to monitor their activity and ensure they are working on the task set for the lesson.

What do the staff think of DNA in terms of usability?

The staff who see it and try it like it, but the biggest problem we have is that staff do not always have time to learn how to use new systems. However, once they start using DNA, they do find it intuitive and easy to use.

What do you think of the DNA support team?

The support has always been excellent!

How do you see DNA and SoftLINK supporting your school in the future?

We have no plans to use anything else, as it does what we need it to do. We’d definitely recommend it to others.

Cameron University Case Study

March 1st, 2023 by

Tell us a little about Cameron University…

Cameron University is located in Lawton, Oklahoma. The university provides affordable education to local Oklahoma residents as well as international students from around the globe. We offer nearly 50 degrees through two-year, four-year, and graduate programs.

What challenges were you trying to solve?

Trying to distribute an installer file to a computer lab to expedite the install and update process.

What SoftLINK features do you find are used the most and why?

For us we use the file distribution, launch app buttons, and screen monitoring. We use the first two features to updates machines in mass. We use the last one to monitor testing labs and provide remote support to classrooms.

How has SoftLINK helped you?

It has helped us work on updating machines on a large scale remotely, provide a more broad proctoring service for our testing centers, and to provide immediate remote assistance in the classroom.

How would you describe Applied Computer Systems’ customer service?

I have spent years using the product and never contacted support. When I finally did, I received a solution to a problem I had been dealing with all those years in a matter of hours. It was wonderful!

What would you say to other organizations facing the same challenges?

It is a fantastic solution that is easy to implement and use. It has utility both for ITS staff as well as instructors and tutors.

Would you recommend the SoftLINK software to others?


Paul J Hagerty High School Case Study

July 12th, 2022 by

Tell us a bit about Paul J Hagerty High School…

Paul J Hagerty High School is a public high school in Oviedo, Florida with approximately 2,250 students.

What challenges were you trying to solve?

We wanted to have the ability to communicate school-wide without a PA system.

Why did you choose Notify?

Notify is easy to use and has great platform support. We also found it has a wide range of features and offers a high level of security. We use NetSupport School already and found that Notify is exactly what we needed to solve our communication issues.

How is the software currently being used in your school?

We have Notify installed on all staff computers. When we need to communicate something of importance and cannot use the PA system due to classroom or testing interruptions, we use Notify. This makes it possible to communicate messages to our staff instantly without it being a disruption.

Where and how has Notify added value?

Notify is very intuitive and easy to use. It is a very flexible system that has helped us save time and increase productivity.

Would you recommend Notify?

Yes, we would recommend Notify.

Wicomico Day School Case Study

March 22nd, 2022 by

What challenges were you trying to solve?

We needed an easy way to send assignments to students and to monitor students’ content while using the computers.

What SoftLINK features do you find are used the most and why?

We use SoftLINK to send assignments out and to collect them on a daily basis. It is much easier and stress free than doing it individually by email.

How has SoftLINK helped you?

SoftLINK helps me keep a close watch on what my students are doing on their computers. I can instantly see when a student is not following along.

How would you describe the customer service you have received from Applied Computer Systems, Inc?

ACS has provided detailed and quick responses to every question we have given them.

What would you say to other organizations facing the same challenges?

SoftLINK is very useful! You are able to closely monitor the content that your students are being
exposed to.

Would you recommend the SoftLINK software to others?

Yes, I would recommend SoftLINK.

SoftLINK helps me keep a close watch on what my students are doing….

Pathways Academy Case Study

March 21st, 2022 by

What challenges were you trying to solve?

The goal was to give the teachers a tool that would allow them to better manage and guide students while they are on their Chromebooks.

How has SoftLINK helped you?

SoftLINK has helped us keep our students on track while working on their Chromebooks.

What SoftLINK features do you find are used the most and why?

We use SoftLINK to monitor student computer activity in real time, and put limits around their (web) access as needed.

What would you say to other organizations facing the same challenges?

SoftLINK is a useful tool for managing students while on the internet.

How would you describe the customer service you have received from Applied Computer Systems, Inc?

Every challenge I have encountered has been met with quick, personal, effective support from Todd and the rest of the ACS staff.

Would you recommend the SoftLINK software to others?


SoftLINK has been the most effective tool we have tried.

Davenport Public Schools Case Study

January 13th, 2021 by

What challenges were you trying to solve?

Work with students from a Smart Board where everyone in the class can see a problem that is being experienced by another student.

How has SoftLINK helped you?

SoftLINK has become even more important now in being able to social distance from students.

What SoftLINK features do you find are used the most and why?

Using the View feature that allows me to see the student screen. Also the web filtering, being able to lock the students out of other websites.

What would you say to other organizations facing the same challenges?

SoftLINK is affordable and answers all the questions about interacting with students.

How would you describe the customer service you have received from Applied Computer Systems, Inc?

The customer service is the BEST. They helped with setup and are always there to help with any question that I have.

Would you recommend the SoftLINK software to others?

100% recommendation from Davenport Public Schools.