What is the Endpoint Management Centralization and Standardization Program?
The purpose of this program is to improve the consistency, efficiency, and security of endpoint management on the UT campus through the development of standard endpoint management practices and the implementation of centrally managed endpoint management tools for all UT desktops, laptops, and tablets. Migration to standard EPM processes and central EPM tools will be mandatory and is scheduled to begin in March 2022.
In the coming months, the EPM Committee will hold a townhall to provide more information about this program. The date and link will be added here once it is available.
For more information, visit the Overview page of the program website.
What problems are challenges is the EMP project trying to address?
Each year, the university experiences millions of attacks against our critical information systems with ransomware attacks increasing by over 185% in 2021. The consequences of a large-scale ransomware attack against the university would be highly disruptive and could result in a great deal of loss, including the erosion of trust with donors, alumni and public partners and a negative impact on the university’s reputation. By implementing centrally managed endpoint management tools, the university will increase security while also creating efficiencies around endpoint management.
Who will be impacted?
While this project will move the university to standardized EPM platforms, there are no plans to centralize desktop support services that are currently provided locally at each CSU. Additionally, there should be minimal impact to end users such as faculty, researchers, and staff.
What does this mean for my college, school, or unit?
Onboarding to standard EPM processes and central EPM tools will take place in a phased approach beginning March 2022. Beginning this summer, the EPM program team will begin reaching out to technical leadership in each college, school, and unit to plan and schedule their onboard windows. More information will be provided in the Customer Migration page of the program website as it becomes available.
What if my college, school, or unit has end user devices that can’t be managed by standard EPM tools and processes?
Exceptions to this mandate will be considered in cases where business, technical, or education and research needs require non-standard endpoint management tools or practices. All exceptions must be submitted and approved by the Information Security Office via the Security Exception Request form.
How will the Endpoint Management program be funded now and in the future?
As part of the University’s commitment to this endpoint management strategy, the cost of implementing and sustaining this EPM effort has been funded centrally to reduce cost to CSUs. Funding was officially approved by the UT Budget Council on April 2nd, 2021.
Who has been involved in the planning of this program?
Executive Vice President and Provost Sharon Wood and Senior Vice President and CFO Darrell Bazzell are co-executive sponsors of EMP. The IT Leadership Council (ITLC), ITLC-Endpoint Management Standing Committee, and EPM Technical Working Groups are all engaged in the planning and development of this program. The IT Leadership Council (ITLC) provides strategic oversight of program objectives and priorities, while the ITLC-Endpoint Management Standing Committee, provides oversight of the development and implementation of endpoint management policy, standards, tools, and operational processes. Additionally, the EPM Committee reviews and responds to issues and questions that arise during the program. The Technical Working Groups are responsible for making platform recommendations and documenting proposed design plans. The EPM Core Team is responsible for implementing the EPM platforms and working with CSUs to migrate customers to the central EPM toolset. For more information, visit the Governance or the Technical Working Group page of the Endpoint Management Centralization and Standardization Program.
What are the Technical Working Groups (TWGs) associated with this program?
The Endpoint Management Committee established eight "Technical Working Groups” (TWGs) to develop solutions, recommend EPM tools and platforms and document proposed design plans. These TWGs have nearly 50 representatives from almost 20 different colleges, schools, and units focusing on MacOS Management, Windows Management, Linux Management, Azure AD, Remote Access, Backup, Malware Prevention, Reporting, and Business Processes. For more information, visit the Technical Workgroups page of the program website.
How will endpoint management tools and practices be managed in this new EPM model?
The success of the Endpoint Management (EPM) centralization and standardization effort is dependent on a robust support model. This support model calls for a limited number of centrally managed and centrally funded tools and infrastructure to be used by all CSUs. A core EPM team will be established in ITS to administer the core EPM tools, and to operate the service. The service will have robust change management and communication business processes to ensure responsiveness.
A “Partner” program will be established that permits CSUs with qualified EPM staff to have a level of local control, such as making CSU-specific configurations, specific software packages for their end users, and scheduling the application of patches.
An advisory board, reporting to the ITLC, will be responsible for oversight of both the central service and CSU Partners. The ISO will also be enabled to enforce the use of the centrally provided tools, standards, and practices.
The implementation of this support model will require significant organizational and cultural change as end user devices have never been centrally managed.
For more information, visit the Support Model page of the Endpoint Management Centralization and Standardization Project.
Which colleges, schools, and units will be involved in the program?
All colleges, schools, and units will be involved. Over 500 units have been identified along with their supporting IT Support organizations to participate in this program.
How can I contact the Endpoint Management Centralization and Standardization Program if I have questions?
You can contact the Endpoint Management Centralization and Standardization Project by sending an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
How can I stay up to date on this program?