How HiddenApp helps WAY Program keep a fleet of 300 Apple devices safe and secure.
With the need more than ever to keep budgets in line, WAY Program turned to HiddenApp to protect its student Apple device fleet from theft and loss.
The people behind WAY Program, a Michigan, US-based virtual and bricks-and-mortar learning platform, have an ambitious mission.
They’re aiming to change lives by creating and delivering educational opportunities for the young people of Michigan, giving them positive self-esteem, academic excellence and a life-long learning mindset. WAY Program is an Educational Service Provider (ESP) partnering with local school districts and charter schools (both virtual & blended), and it’s built on open access, providing computers and connectivity to families who would otherwise be left out.
Because the success of WAY Program is built on a distributed model of access, the security stakes are high. The program leaders are keen to recruit students across the state, as well as manage, maintain and keep track of a fleet of these remote devices.
Mark Ray, network administrator for WAY Program, acknowledges the very real concerns inherent in an online education system. “It’s all about trust,” Mark says. “We’ve been going ten years and we serve grades 6 to 12 all across the state. The WAY Program model is certified by Cognia (formerly AdvancED), and our charter schools are fully accredited by both Lake Superior State University & Central Michigan University respectively, and all our charter schools are recognized by the Michigan Department of Education. Each of our partners (local schools, & charter schools (both blended and virtual) trust WAY Program to have a safe, effective and secure fleet management system. Our credibility and levels of trust we’ve built up, are at stake. Our WAY Program assets are scattered across the state, so we need each of them to be trackable. This is why we chose HiddenApp.”
It was important to WAY Program to have centralized control of all devices. “The home environment has always been traditionally less easy to control than education settings,” says Mark.“ HiddenApp has given us the confidence that, should there be any breach, we have the ability to remotely take screenshots, lock devices, wipe systems and remove sensitive data instantly. Our devices are trackable, too, in case they go walkabout, and we can pinpoint the exact location of any device using Google maps.”
Easy asset management
“Our devices go where the need is, state-wide. Laptop lending is a big part of driving down unequal access to education,” says Mark, “This means that some of our devices are in education institutions, some are held by our tutors and experts, and some in family homes. HiddenApp allows me to manage these assets easily and centrally. I can measure asset performance and usage, create a preventative maintenance schedule and generally get the most out of our devices - and our funding. HiddenApp makes the whole process streamlined and cost-effective.”
The HiddenApp dashboard gives Mark and his colleagues instant, real-time visibility of WAY Program’s fleet. At a glance, Mark can check the location, security and status of each device. “The dashboard is very user-friendly and intuitive,” says Mark,” and it’s visually very pleasing. The simplicity of its design means it’s not one of those frustrating dashboards that add another layer of complexity you don’t need.”
Easy set up
Education settings are complex, and when access to information is dispersed, it can make setting up security systems a nightmare. HiddenApp’s easy set-up impressed Mark. “The app made it so easy to assign devices, deploy mass security settings and multi-user accounts within a shifting fleet. And it just took a couple of minutes. The HiddenApp support team has been brilliant, too.”
“What’s most important,” continues Mark,” is that HiddenApp has given us the peace of mind that our fleet of devices are under our full control, 24/7. And when our security systems are demonstrably trustworthy, WAY Program gains a level of trust and acknowledged excellence that will help us achieve our ambitions.”