Kitchener Public Library Case Study Draft
Customer Interviewee Contact Info:
Bryan Dunham, Coordinator, Information Technology
Kitchener Public Library
(519) 743-0271 x242
Microsoft® System Center Essentials 2007
First Page Title
Kitchener Public Library Turns a New Page on System Management Tools
Introduction / Summary
Founded in 1884 as the Berlin Public Library, the Kitchener Public Library (KPL) is the main library system
for the city of Kitchener, Ontario. Together with four community library branches and sharing services
with the Waterloo Public Library, this mid-sized organization has 150 full- and part-time employees and
serves a community of 250,000 people. KPL needed an end-to-end monitoring and application solution
to perform proactive monitoring, troubleshooting and asset tracking. Teaming up with Microsoft® Gold
Certified Partner CMS Consulting Inc., the firm deployed Microsoft® System Center Essentials 2007
(Essentials 2007) in less than one week enhancing the library’s ability to access a single management
console for servers, clients, hardware, software and IT services running in their environment. SCE 2007
was specifically designed for enabling midsize organizations to improve inventory control, automate
management tasks, and manage multiple systems while diagnosing and resolving IT problems. By taking
a more proactive approach to end-to-end service management, KPL enjoys complete functionality in a
single package – enhanced system reliability, improved staffed productivity and more accurate software
distribution and inventory processes. Through the dedicated work of CMS Consulting, the IT team at KPL
can now operate more efficiently and continue contributing towards a better experience for library
As one of Canada’s oldest public institutions for information sharing, KPL promotes literacy and learning
at its main branch in the downtown core and across four smaller branches throughout the wider
community, two of which are also high school libraries. The library relies on 20 servers and 241
workstations to meet daily operational and IT requirements. Along with these demands, KPL supports
services such as cataloguing, professional researching, academic support, while sharing services with the
Waterloo Public Library to deliver uncompromising literacy resources.
KPL’s IT team of four was struggling to keep its system operating efficiently and was working harder than
necessary to meet the ever increasing demands of its users. The library offers services both on-site and
online for various types of users. With no management tool in place, the small IT team was spending a
great deal of time troubleshooting IT problems resulting from manual application updates and
inconsistent inventory numbers. It was crucial for KPL to have a reliable and efficient management tool
in place to monitor assets, automate updates, and keep all systems running and in check.
“We were using a system that was labour intensive and time consuming,” says Bryan Dunham,
Coordinator, Information Technology, KPL. “The time the team spent on simple processes like patch
management updates and application deployment was not a good use of their time or our resources.
When you’re doing manual installs on 241 workstations it becomes cumbersome – you put your system
at risk for inconsistencies.”
Like most mid-size organizations, KPL’s IT infrastructure is made up of multiple systems and solutions
specific to each product. Managing an IT environment made up of a mix of heterogeneous systems was
also a key factor for KPL to consider.
“We needed a complete solution that could easily integrate with our existing IT environment,” explains
Dunham. “As a mid-sized organization we face similar IT challenges as larger enterprises, but our
solutions need to be simple and efficient for our IT team to manage.”
KPL needed a solution that could help with the proactive monitoring of its system and provide accurate,
up-to-date inventory control. In the busy library environment, where transactions and information are
being passed between parties at a constant pace, there is minimal downtime and finding a solution to
maximize the productivity and efficiency was critical.
“We were looking for a solution that provided automated system updates and inventory control. We
wanted to be more proactive through management tools. The last thing we wanted was our patrons
telling us they can’t use a certain machine because it doesn’t work,” says Dunham.
With the help of Microsoft® Gold Certified Partner CMS Consulting Inc., KPL addressed its IT challenges
by implementing Microsoft® System Center Essentials 2007. Working with CMS provided KPL with the
knowledge and tools necessary to implement Essentials 2007, quickly and cost-effectively.
“If done in-house, the deployment could have taken them several months but we had them using their
new system in four days,” says Derek Cullen, Vice President, Consulting Services, CMS Consulting Inc.
“Full deployment included customized training and knowledge transfer to KPL IT staff while ensuring a
seamless transition without disrupting the network.”
The new IT environment at KPL is a single solution that is able to perform multiple tasks across the
network. “We knew Essentials 2007 would be the perfect solution to meet the needs of the library,”
explains Cullen. “With the efficiency to meet the challenges of enterprises, and the ease of use to meet
the needs of a smaller IT team, this solution was proposed to KPL as the ideal answer to server and
workstation monitoring, patch management, and application deployment, all in one package. “
With the capability and functionality for enterprises, but priced for mid-sized organizations, KPL quickly
saw the value Essentials 2007 had as an end-to-end solution.
“In the enterprise space to get the same functionality, you’d have to buy a very robust operations
manager as well as configuration manager,” says Dunham. “For us, that’s not an affordable or valuable
price point and given our size, most of that functionality would be excess and overkill. With Essentials
2007, we get the appropriate amount of product to meet our growing demands.”
By working with a trusted, experienced leader in Microsoft technology, CMS empowered KPL to
establish a more efficient and reliable IT infrastructure. The library realized the benefits of the solution
soon after the deployment of Essentials 2007 and can now better monitor assets, distribute software,
and deliver patch management.
“Since deploying Essentials 2007, calls for IT issues have decreased which helps our administrators
provide the quality customer service we’re known for. Part of the reason for finding a more proactive
solution is sending the message to my IT team that we don’t need a big team to maintain daily
operations. It’s really about working smarter, not harder,” says Dunham.
Unified Experience through Proactive Management
Essentials 2007 has given KPL a single console for managing servers, hardware, software, and IT services.
Essentials 2007 allows the library to proactively manage their IT environment, keeping their system up-
to-date with tools that accelerate problem solving, all while administering automatic system updates
and data collection. KPL now has access to real-time updates and reports of its system, giving the library
greater flexibility and foresight to anticipate problems and determine appropriate action. Administrators
now have more time and can enjoy consistent, cross regional updates without performing manual
“We’re a busy library and we don’t have the time or resources to diagnose problems that can be
prevented. With Essentials 2007, I get an alert as soon as there is something abnormal in the system,
helping me resolve little problems before they become big issues. With the automatic updates, I can
easily patch, update or configure the IT environment without having to interrupt users or network
service,” says Dunham. “Through the help of CMS Consulting, we are now better positioned to run a
proactive and streamlined IT environment. Implementing Essentials 2007 has been a real turning point
for us and we can’t imagine life without it.”