I work for a small business, which currently has 4 PCs, and everyone else uses laptops (about 10 other people). Some of us use Mac, but the vast majority of us are on Windows 8.
We are currently expanding, and are about to hire out another 40 or so contractors, who will each need their own laptop. They will all need Windows, Office, a Trend Micro antivirus subscription and an Office 365 $8 Mail user subscription (we use office 365 for our mail)
Here is a rundown of the current costs for each person
- Laptop - ~$500
- Laptop Accessories (bag, mouse etc) - ~$90
- Windows 8 - $0 (comes with the laptop)
- Office 2013 Home and Business - $278
- Trend Micro License - $25 (We buy these in clusters of 6)
- Office 365 email account - $8 per month
Of course, the laptop and licenses can be retrieved once a person leaves, so replacing people is effectively free.
Some users also occasionally need Visio and a few other tools (Me and my direct boss have Visual Studio for example)
Unfortunately things are becoming hard to manage. Installing everything on a new laptop is a real hassle, and if we forget something for a contractor (like Visio) then we have to manually go out onsite and give it to them, or if its a downloadable (usually free) application, we have to take them through the install process over the phone.
It is a total mess to support and manage all these laptops.
I have been tasked with coming up with a solution, but because I am not an IT guy (I am a programmer) I have probably done something wrong.
Anyway, here is an overview of what I am proposing. Keep in mind we have no Domain Controllers (and my boss doesnt want to spend money on a server or any of the MS server products) and we have no interest in setting up Linux servers on anything.
My current idea is to buy laptops in bulk from a company like Dell, where we can get them cheap, then purchase a Microsoft Open License for ~50 machines for Windows 7 Pro. After creating a basic image (which contains the basic OS, Office and the Intune Client), I plan to image all the machines. I am considering recommending Office 365 for our office licensing, although a Volume License for Office 2013 could also work.
Then we use Microsoft Intune to manage all the machines so that software installation can be done easily and remotely, and we can enforce things like Windows Updates and Virus Scans are actually occurring.
I guess the biggest problem I have is license management. What is the best way to make sure everything is licensed correctly and we have a proper, secure, accessible (to administrators) list of product keys? The good thing about Office 365 if is provides good quality License management via an online interface.
Am I doing something fundamentally wrong? Am I going to run into huge issues down the line? Are there things I haven't considered? I am not a sysadmin and this is the first such project I am undertaking.
Also, at what point should I recommend to the business that we get a proper domain setup, especially since we almost always use laptops (and the vast majority of employees are onsite at various clients almost all the time)?
Are there any god ways to save money and make organisation here easier? Even with this current system that I have proposed, it still means we have to manage licenses for Windows, Office 357 and Trend Micro separately. And I have to manually store product keys somewhere.
Is there an easy way to simplify all this?