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ConnectWise Automate® Helps Groveland, Florida Manage Citywide IT Infrastructure with Limited Resources

City of Groveland logo

City of Groveland

Groveland, Florida calls itself a “city with a future,” and recent population trends indicate the small city is booming. Located just outside of Orlando, Groveland has about 10,000 residents, attracted by the fun and sun of central Florida. Between 2000 and 2010, Groveland was the fastest growing place in Florida as its population expanded by 189%.


Rapidly growing Groveland, Florida needed an IT infrastructure update—including a centralized IT management system—to better support city services.
ConnectWise Automate provides a centralized solution for remote control, network management, patch management, and more.
Groveland’s IT Manager can support a growing IT infrastructure by himself, thanks to ConnectWise Automate’s centralized monitoring and alerting, along with scripting automation.

“ConnectWise Automate’s automation saves me at least 30 hours each month. It has reduced the time I have to spend on patching and reviewing event logs. Instead, ConnectWise Automate monitors the event logs and auto populates tickets. All I have to do is review the tickets in the queue to see what is happening. Before ConnectWise Automate, I’d have to actually go to the specific machine and read event logs. Sometimes I’d have to drive to another department to resolve issues.”

- Andy Sapp, IT Manager, City of Groveland

New Growth Creates New IT Needs

A rapidly growing community must be supported by improvements to government services and infrastructure. Groveland’s police, fire and rescue, and city utilities are all supported by a complex technology infrastructure. IT Manager Andy Sapp was hired eight years ago to enhance and standardize the city’s technology systems to prepare the IT infrastructure for the future.

“I’m a team of one. I manage all of the computers for the city, police, fire, and sewer plants. When I first started, the city infrastructure was in disarray. I’ve implemented a VMware vSphere infrastructure, consolidated hardware, and put a more robust I/O infrastructure in place for connectivity inside the network,” said Sapp. He also standardized computers to a single manufacturer, including servers, desktops, and even the laptops used in police cruisers and fire rigs.

Groveland lacked a centralized IT management platform—a deficit Sapp was determined to correct. He used remote control software for several years, but wanted a more comprehensive solution. He tried another application, but it consumed too many resources. Sapp conducted research and talked with other municipalities. One colleague showed him ConnectWise Automate. After seeing its network monitoring, ticketing, and scripting capabilities, he decided the IT management platform was the right fit for Groveland.

ConnectWise Automate Saves 30 Hours Monthly through Automation

ConnectWise Automate saves Sapp time by making it easier to identify issues, then remote into machines to troubleshoot. And every saved minute counts when you’re responsible for IT in multiple public safety-critical departments.

ConnectWise Automate helps Sapp prioritize tickets and provide more responsive service. “ConnectWise Automate grabs the information from the event logs to generate tickets from the monitors I’ve set up. For instance, I noticed this morning a general error coming off my Exchange server. It immediately created a ticket that gave me an Event ID, so I could investigate further. It saved me time from having to log in and look at the event logs. Instead, I could respond to the situation quickly and resolve the issue.”



Remote Control Helps IT Respond Faster

For security reasons, Sapp keeps the police 911 system on a separate network and physically travels to the station to perform any troubleshooting. For all other departments, he monitors and manages remotely with ConnectWise Automate. Sapp can even monitor mobile laptops in police cruisers and on fire engines.

When Sapp spots an issue that needs attention, he can use ConnectWise ScreenConnect™ in ConnectWise Automate to connect to the computer remotely to troubleshoot. “Remote access and control using ScreenConnect in ConnectWise Automate is great. I use it often. ConnectWise Automate actually offers multiple connections to choose from, including RDP, Control, or BMC. So it’s very flexible.”

Scripting Enables the Easy Development of New Automation

Because ConnectWise Automate contains robust scripting functionality that is easy to use, whatever is not automated out of the box can be developed quickly. “ConnectWise Automate has prebuilt scripts where it monitors the Exchange server, SQL, and other things. I can see exactly what’s happening. If it’s a false positive, I can even set up a rule to ignore it.”

When Sapp needed advice and ideas about scripting, he found it on LabTechGeek.com, a forum where developers and ConnectWise Automate product experts share ideas. “I use that as a secondary platform to get more ideas to take ConnectWise Automate to the next level,” he shared. “I’ve created some custom scripts for installing applications and other items. It wasn’t hard at all. I copied standard scripts and then added special keys for the other applications.”

By investing in ConnectWise Automate, the city of Groveland was able to:

  • Support IT for a rapidly growing city with a single IT manager—including critical services such as fire, police, rescue, and utilities
  • Reduce time spent on patching and reviewing event logs, saving IT about 30 hours each month
  • Create scripts to automate application installations
  • Monitor IT events and automatically create tickets for easier IT support prioritization
  • Remotely access and manage machines in different locations, eliminating the need to physically travel to machines for troubleshooting

“ConnectWise Automate is tailored to automation. It has multiple connectivity points for remote management. And it’s compatible with monitoring multiple different pieces of firewalls/VMware infrastructure.”

- Andy Sapp, IT Manager, City of Groveland

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