From Rockets to Lightspeed Systems
In this webinar we’ll talk about how COVID, and remote learning are forcing schools around the world to re-think how they filter student and teacher devices. What does the shift look like for schools, and how can they scale for more remote learning in the near future.
- Amy Bennet, Chief of Staff, Lightspeed Systems
- Rob Chambers, VP Customer Success – Lightspeed Systems
- Chad Stevens, Leader K12 Education -AWS
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Hello, everybody. Thank you for joining us here today. We’re going to give everyone just one more minute to get in and get their audio set, and then we will start soon.
Alright, we still have some people trickling in, but I want to be mindful of everyone’s time. So, let’s get started. For those of you who are coming in late or who get called off on some call our emergency, we are recording this and you’ll get an e-mail follow up about an hour after we finish with a link to that recording, so you can catch anything you missed. You can share it with your teams, whatever you need to do.
If you have questions, as we’re going through, use the question box in the GoToWebinar panel to ask questions. We’ll answer some as we go. We’ll have some Q and A at the end, and we’ll do follow up on any that we missed. Finally, if you do leave or when we end the webinar, we have a really quick survey. If you would take the time to just answer that one minute, it will help us make sure we’re meeting your needs on these webinars and everything else we do. So, today, we are talking about moving from Rockets to Relay. A whole lot of you on here today, so it shows that we have the right message for the right time.
Obviously, with everything going on in the world with covid,
Relay presents, a new option that can solve a lot of the challenges you all are facing. I’m Amy Bennett, the Vice President of Marketing here at Lightspeed. Joining me and helping with this presentation is Rob Chambers.
He is our Vice President of customer success, and we have been at Lightspeed, both been at Lightspeed for over 10 years. So, we know a lot about what your current situation is. We probably helped transition you from total traffic control to these Rockets.
So, our, our knowledge of these different situations and the challenges you’re facing with mobile devices amd 1:1 programs and all of that will be bringing all of that to you today. We talk to schools and CTOs and customers all day every day.
And obviously right now just the classroom is changing. What school looks like is changing.
Students are around the world, are learning from home, from kitchen islands and bedrooms and wherever they can. And, no, we don’t have a crystal ball for what this looks like in the fall, but we can anticipate that there could be delayed school starts.
There could be a majority remote learning continuing where we’re at today.
There could be peaks in the virus that require students to go back to remote learning for a period, or are there could be some staggered class schedules to provide social distancing to space out students in classrooms.
What we want to help you do is be prepare for whatever of those scenarios you face. And really, what we’ve seen is that the classroom has been changing for years. Students have had more devices on their desks through class. They’ve had more opportunities for 24/7 learning. Schools are increasingly adding these 1 :1 programs.
Covid has just been this kind of wild, fast-paced shift in how all of those tools that you’ve been starting to implement now are really essential.
We’re gonna do a poll here.
Do you have student devices or school owned devices that are at home with students right now? Take a second to answer that.
OK, five more seconds, I’m gonna close it up.
So this definitely matches what we’ve been seeing and what I’ve been hearing, that schools have a lot of devices that are now off campus, at home with students.
I’ve talked to a lot of schools who, you know, did surveys of the parents and the communities to find out who had devices, who needed them, to figure out how they could make whatever devices.
They had, scale, trying to really quickly ramp up their 1:1 programs.
But for the vast majority of schools, even if it’s not one device for every single student, there are school owned devices at home, and that’s what we want to help you solve. Rob, I know you’ve been talking to a lot of schools and helping them with this. Talk about how these fundamentals can help right now.
Yeah, so, I think, you know, we had we done that poll, you know, towards the beginning of the year, we would have seen different results.
I think, you know, schools had devices, but not as many were sending them home, obviously, that the change in the world has changed.
The classroom is, as you said, kind of taken what’s been going, and just pushed it a little bit further.
As I’ve talked with schools and those that have either had an easy or a harder time to the transition, these are some of the key things. So, when we look obviously devices, you have to be able to give a student a device or make sure they have a device in their hands that will.
Do what you need it to do. So,
You know, we’re talking with a lot of schools that maybe weren’t quite there with their 1:1, or had not previously sent devices home and in younger grades, and so kind of rapidly scaling those up and getting those devices ready to go out the door, I think is really key, and when I talked to those schools that had an easier transition,
It’s those that, maybe they weren’t sending all the devices home, but they had the tools in place and everything ready to go to send those. And so, I think, you know, obviously, that’s, that’s number one.
Internet access is an it’s an interesting challenge that a lot of schools are working with.
You know, some areas have, you know, very, very high percentages of internet access for their schools. And others have very, very low.
Whether, you know, it could be socioeconomic issues, it could just be access issues, if, you know, some rural communities still struggle with getting, you know, reliable internet access into every home, And so, I think looking at preparation for that
How are you going to do that and kind of having that prepared. You know, is it going to be hotspots? Is it going to be, you know, centralized Wi-Fi, access points, are hotspots in the home?
All of that is strategies that schools are looking at. And, and knowing that they have to be prepared for it going forward.
I think the trend to cloud-based systems has been happening for many years. You know, we’re seeing schools use that for, you know, all of their, you know, kind of key systems these days. Your financial system, your student information system, but
When we look at managing your mobile devices, considering that, you know, I think we’ve all had to deal with this rapid shift too.
Managing a device that you don’t see anymore and no ability to bring it back, you know with, with all of the stay at home and social distancing requirements and everything else, you don’t have the ability to put hands-on on that device. And so, it really brings up the need for having a cloud-based system where you can manage the device, whether it’s, you know, from physical inventory to state of the device, location of the device to the content on the device.
Talking a lot, I actually was just on a phone, call with the school last night, about the data issue.
You know, we’re now dealing with a world where students are not interacting with their teacher on a day-to-day basis.
I mean, that provided a lot of data that you needed before that you didn’t. So, but now, you have to find other ways to get that, and, and so tools through these cloud-based systems that can provide you that data, you need to know our students online. Are they working? Do they have access to the content they need? Are they using the right tools? You know, things that we’ve all dealt with from, you know, security standpoint, and data privacy with, you know, CIPA, COPPA, FERPA, although the laws that that schools have to hold to haven’t changed just because the students aren’t there. And so, having all of that data, knowing you’re using the right tools and the right place at the right time, and all of that is probably even more critical than it was before.
Yeah, Robert, and, you know, when we’re talking about cloud-based systems, they can power that data. They are really essential for all of this, and it’s not just your filtering and your reporting and the things that we’re going to talk about today. You know, schools talk about how crucial it was that their system was in the cloud or they had an LMS in place that was in the cloud.
But one of the real cores for helping schools deal with these four things is really, and I’ve been doing a ton of customer interviews, if you follow Lightspeed on social media, you’ve been seeing all my little Zoom chats with our customers. And they all talk about the things that were in place that made this easier. Of course, still, a lot of challenges and ways to improve this.
But one of the things I hear again and again and again, is just thank goodness, we shifted to Relay. We had that on all of our devices, one less thing to worry about, that devices could go home, go to school, go wherever.
And they could be assured that the devices were protected and filtered, that they were CIPA compliant, that the students were safe, and that they had the visibility they needed into all of those other things. Are students connecting? Are they on devices? What is being used? How is our LMS? The Relay platform and its ability to work anywhere from anywhere to anywhere, just as really fundamental to that and, you know, we talk about a step to get ahead of the curve.
I, you know, I think that this can really be one of the things,
One of the core elements that helps you in the fall, no matter where the virus takes us, and no matter what policies your school has to put in place, to deal with it to keep the curve flat on the virus, right? So just adding that flexibility into how you’re filtering and how you’re protecting students.
We’re going to talk about some of the highlights, and we’re going to jump into the interface.
For some of you who have not seen it, we’re going to take a look at some of the new things, but Rob, you know, here, this just lays out some of those keys for why the Relay filter is such a smart solution for right. Now, talked about this a little bit.
Yeah, I think this, you know, kind of ties in to what both of us have been saying, you know, filtering off campus and managing those devices off campus, managing their content, and their access was, in many cases, schools felt more of a nice to have, you know, previously, you know, there.
But, it really is, now, a must have, you know, you need to have the management of those devices wherever they are because, the primary, you know, we’re all dealing with today, the primary education, is not at a central location. And, as Amy mentioned, you know, we’re, we’re talking with schools about their strategies for the fall.
I’m hearing a lot of talk about a split you know, A/B scheduled to have fewer students in the classroom at the time.
And so here, you could have a class situation where you have, you know, half the students working from home and half the students working in the classroom. So, being able to provide a consistent experience wherever they are, so that teacher, you know, it’s about the content, but it’s also just about trying to ease some of the stress on the teacher, right? So that they know, hey, you know, my kids are being filtered the same way at home and at school. So, if they pick a piece of content that they want to show, it’s going to be accessible to everyone.
So, getting that, you know, anywhere, any place they might have access.
And providing that consistent experience is really, really key, to all of the strategies being implemented today.
The Smart Agents, you know, we’re gonna, we’re going to talk about those a little bit more. But having those capabilities, you know, in across all the platforms that you’re deploying, I mean, again, talking to schools that are pulling out devices that, you know, even maybe old Windows laptops, that they hadn’t used in a while but they still had an inventory, or iPads, or whatever it might be. And so, being able to have a consistent experience across those platforms to be able to provide the same filtering rules and access is another key part of, again, making that success, because you’re having to make do with the devices you have.
Actionable reporting, gain, the trend here I’m seeing is, you know, the reports are the data we have, we don’t have that, that real life, you know, face-to-face interaction with the students anymore. And so, having those reports and knowing what’s going on really, again, helps to both the program, you know, where you need to make adjustments, but also, you know, maybe students that need assistance, or, you know, maybe don’t have that reliable access. You can see who’s online. Who’s not.
It’s it’s really very, very key. The last point on there, no hardware to maintain it. In many cases, the staff can’t go to the school to even maintain the hardware. And so, you know, you need a, a cloud-based system that is going to work wherever you are.
I think maybe Rob has cut out. Can someone put in the questions if you’re able to hear Rob.
So, now you’re back, Yep, OK. Again. Sorry about that, didn’t mean to cut off.
So, yeah, I was, I was just saying, you know, that having, you know, anywhere, anytime cloud-based system is not just about, you know, the students on the devices, but, you know, the management of that system, too.
Because, you know, the IT staff is not going to where they can have hands on an appliance or anything like that. Needing to manage all of that from the cloud.
You know, and Rob cut out there for a second, we’re doing all of this in a really similar way to what schools and students are experiencing.
And when you’re thinking about data, when you’re thinking about all of these things, it’s really hard to be able to have this synchronous kind of learning for schools, who often don’t have as good of internet as we do in our homes.
So being able to have those agents and have that in place and get that visibility can just provide a lot of assurance that, you know, some sort of video streaming, or zooming or use of Teams is, is just a little bit too difficult and you run into equity challenges with it. So that visibility, as Rob said, just becomes so key. When you don’t have teachers in a classroom walking around and seeing students devices, you don’t have devices coming back to your network every day and often, you don’t have an opportunity for your teachers, or whoever it is, to have that face-to-face screen to screen time, with every single student.
And, you know, the key to all of this is the Smart Agents, which Rob talked about the multiple operating systems, and the different devices you’re pulling out.
One of the things is being able to support multiple operating systems, being able to work across your mix of devices. Another key there is that it’s got a man in the middle proxy built into it. It’s decrypting the secure traffic. So, you get the visibility and the policy controls you need, across things like Google and YouTube. And when we hop in the interface, we’re going to show some of that all.
But then, the fact that it works anytime, anywhere, and it can’t be removed, you just get that assurance of seamless protection. And wait, we got a couple of questions coming in. And I want to Rob to talk about some of the key differences between the agents that mobile filtering agents that you’re probably using with your Rockets and these Relay Smart Agents.
And I think that what a couple of the things are highlighted on here the SSL, the seamlessness, that even if students come back onto campus, it’s the same experience.
Rob, can you, can you highlight some of those technical differences that make the Smart Agents?
Thanks, Amy. I’m hoping I’m coming through OK now.
So, I think the first thing is that decrypt SSL, that is really, really key to the technology behind the Smart Agents and making this smooth transition.
You know, when it’s not only the fact that, you know, it removes the IT management of getting trust certificates on the device, you know, having to configure PAC files or whatever that might be with, with another strategy.
Because, again, you don’t have the opportunity, in many, many cases, to get hands on the device anymore, or make those updates if you need to.
But also, again, you’re not maintaining a centralized proxy server that that might require hands-on and that kind of thing. So, you’re simplifying both your management and the management of the device. So, I think that is a major difference with the agents is, the Rocket agents did not have that, that built-in decryption engine. So they do have, you know, of course, the kernel level filtering capability, but you’d lose some visibility without that proxy component. So, the Smart Agent really brings that into the system.
The other, you know, the other thing is, when we look at identity, you know, it’s all tied back to that cloud system with Relay. You’re getting that consistent identity, a consistent policy, and, you know that, while they worked on the Rocket and work very well, you know, it used kind of a concept of cache credentials on the device. Because, again, you had an assumption that that device was coming back onto your network for a period of time, that was the way things were, previously.
But, the, you know, the Smart Agent gets inside a little bit differently and ties in with Relay a little bit differently than the Rocket does, and it’s, again, because it’s designed for mobility from the ground up. Its its assumption is you may not ever see these devices. We have schools actually who are
Pre covered that were completely online virtual schools, where they never saw the device actually in their centralized shop, and so, you know, the system had to be designed to handle that. It has transitioned very well into the world, that now all schools are living with the same capabilities.
So, those I think, are the are the major differences you’re going to see. Again, that seamless experience, a seamless decryption, seamless identity.
That you know when you are looking for a system that is designed from the ground up for mobile cloud services.
So, Rob, as expected. Once we start talking about Smart Agents questions start coming in about what do you do then about the devices and the traffic that you can’t put an Agent on how are we solving that with Relay?
Yeah, so, we have what we call the Relay Rocket. Those of,you know now, on this webinar are already, Rocket customers, your hardware will is all capable to update to this version of the software which transitions that
That filter from an inline device into and out of line, agent list filtering for your devices. And it does that primarily through DNS manipulation. And you might think that, you know, well, this is nice, and I’ll worry about this when devices come back in the fall or whatever it isn’t right for your school, but I’m
Actually, implementing a lot of Relay Rockets with, with customers right now, because they’re using those to manage the hotspots that are in the field. You know, you’re getting a hotspot from your cellular provider, you know? Whether it’s Verizon or Sprint or AT&T or T-Mobile, or whoever it might be, you’re getting those and deploying those out, either into home or centralized locations, and in those cases, you don’t necessarily know the device. It could be a BYOD device, or it could be a guest device that’s attaching. And so, actually using Relay Rockets with the DNS capabilities, pointing to those mobile hotspots, is very common implementation we’re dealing with right now.
So even when the device itself may not be covered by an agent, we’re still dealing with BYOD and IOT in today’s world.
Rob, let’s address a couple of the questions that came in about this while we’re here. Number one, does this intercept all DNS queries not directed to Relay?
So, you would do that in a combination of some other settings. So, like on a hotspot you can configure that. So, all DNS settings are routed back to the Relay Rocket on your network, we have some guides and we can help you, but a strategy of basically blocking all other DNS requests and enforcing everything through to the Relay Rocket, usually a fairly simple configuration on your firewall can set up that functionality.
Well, and we’re going to talk at the end about the summer and right now implementation programs that we have going, but the other question is really the flip side of that, but also an implementation. First of all, I want to stress here that we’ll work with schools to figure out what agents and how and what you do with your network, because you’re all a little bit different, But the other question that came in, Rob, is back to the Smart Agents. Can those be deployed to devices without having to make students come back on campus?
Yeah, absolutely. That is, you know, one of the things I mentioned, kind of a previous example when, you know, some of the online charter schools that we work with previously are still, that never even saw the device and so through device management tools, say mobile device management, like Mobile Manager or another that, you might be using, you can deploy the agents remotely. So you don’t have to have hands-on on the device, and then when the agent gets installed, by the way, it handles all its own SSL decryption setup and everything else, so you don’t have to worry about that, did they install the trust certificate or whatever they might be doing on that device. So, it’s all automatic and they can be pushed through any of those mass deployment tools that you have available.
We’re going to take one more Relay Rocket question before we jump into some other features. Robert, how does the Relay Rocket provide SSL decryption?
So, it is, you know, kind of getting more traditional man in the middle for those devices where you need it.
You would configure them to point, you know, as a proxy to the Relay Rocket and then it would handle the authentication and decryption as you need it.
Perfect. Thank you. We’re gonna move on, you can keep putting your questions in there and we’ll do some more at the end. But there’s so much more, we want to talk about and show you.
What we’re looking at here is the Web Activity Log, and I included this because it’s a fairly new feature for Relay and a lot of you, I think have seen demos maybe a year ago. You were on a demo or you did an eval, and this is something that you asked for and we have provided it much like that activity report in your Rockets.
It’s a comprehensive log of everything that’s going on that you can filter that you can search for those deep investigations.
Alot of our Relay reporting is designed to be visual and actionable and easily shard with superintendents and principals and whoever needs to see them that they can understand. But here, we’re providing this IT detailed log view. That you can do all the deep analysis and deep investigation we needed to do.
Another report that really sets Relay apart from what you’re used to in your Rockets and that you asked for is parent reports. Rob, tell us about that. Even more important now with the devices at home, right? Yeah, absolutely. So, kind of like the of the detailed web activity report, the idea behind this is an easy to read, easy to understand report that you can share with your community.
And, again, in the world we’re in today, and the devices are home. You’ve got parents questioning, you know, is my students online, are they using the device for education? You know, it’s sometimes hard to tell.
I have a high school daughter myself, and sometimes, know, you gotta make sure that she is actually doing her work. And so, providing these reports to your parent community, they can know, you know, when their student is online what they’re using the device for. Are they using it for education purposes? Are they doing their classwork? Or are they spending more of their time doing something else on the device?
And so, this this is actually one that, you know, had a fair amount of interest pre covid, but has jumped up quite a bit, as well.
Because, you know, you’re getting more and more questions from your parent community, as these devices are going home. You know, a lot of schools, maybe didn’t have. The device is actually in the home before, and now they’ve had to rush to send them out. And so, this helps you answer that question to your parent community. And these are automated easy to read, you know, sent reports, that come in their e-mail, so that it makes it easy for that information to go out and can relieve some of the pressure on IT and answering those questions.
And whether schools had take-home programs before covid, or whether this is the first time devices are at home, as soon as parents see a device that they didn’t buy in their kids’ hands in their home, they want to know, hey, is it safe? What’s my student going to? Is this educational? And this just provides that assurance to them, and really a no work sort of way. That we’ve got it covered. Your students are protected, we have filtering in place. So just a real headache saver across the board.
Another key reporting and safety feature of Relay that, you know, the shift to the cloud and being focused in the cloud, lets us do so much more real-time analysis. Then, when we’re, you know, go into Rockets, across networks, across schools across the world,
And that is safety check. Before covid really, very recently, before we all closed down and started working from home, a report came out
That showed that suicide among young people, was at a 30-year high, and that younger and younger students, were thinking seriously about suicide.
And now, these students are isolated. They are cut off from other support systems, and from friends, and sports, and extracurricular activities.
For, all of you, when thinking about the school’s role in this, the students are also cut off from, you know, passing a teacher, or a counselor in the hall. And having them be able to make this visual recognition like, some things seems to be wrong, they don’t seem seem happy. I think the student is in crisis.
So, without that visual connection and that time on campus, this is even more important.
What we’re doing is using AI and machine learning technology for real-time analysis on the sentiments behind students’ activities.
And then, as you see there on the right side on my screen, sending real-time alerts when it reaches a severity level that someone needs to act.
Now, I know all of you, mostly these are your all CTOs, network administrators, technology titles. And I know you’re really busy and thinking: is this even my job? I couldn’t handle all of these? One of the keys built into this is the ability to have delegated administration.
So, getting counselors, or principals, or whoever else, in the school network and ecosystem needs to be alerted to these. You can easily set them up.
And, like everything in Relay, all of the things that we’re talking about are configurable at a hierarchical group level. So, you can have a different Safety Check Administrator for each school or for different groups.
And one of the things that I know Rob is going to talk about a little bit later is the way we can integrate with your student information system, or your active directory, or Google Directory, or whatever that is. All of those levels that you create, you can have different administrators.
So, that, it’s really a matter of, you know, it takes a village to keep the students safe, and really, we closed up schools in an unprecedented shift in how everyone is working and learning and teaching.
We did it to keep students safe. So now they’re learning online on the school devices. This just becomes an even more critical piece for the schools that we are talking to.
From here, we’re actually going to shift into the interface and just show a couple of things.
I know some of you have had demos of this. Some of you have never seen it before, so, we’re not going to do a full demo today, but we want to take a look at some of the highlights of that.
You get a sense of what we’re really talking about, how the interface feels, a little bit different experience than just seeing screenshots there and slides.
So, here, we’re on the Relay Dashboard.
Obviously, you can see as I’m going through here that it’s a very visual dashboard experience and where we’re designing this to be able to really take a quick look and know if you need to act, know, hey, why is activity really dropped off yesterday? Those sorts of things.
But one of the other key ways this is different is how we’re reporting on this category. Like activity like YouTube in your Rockets in that web activity log activity report. Now, I can’t remember what it’s called, an activity report. You’ll see all your YouTube traffic. You can filter that you can get to it.
But, Rob, this is a lot different and the kind of thing that schools have been asking us for, right? Yeah! Absolutely. And we’re going to show this in several of the reports.
And Amy mentioned it earlier, that you know, these are meant to be visual actionable reports and, you see that when we drill down into the YouTube category, you get a lot of details, you know, about what are people doing on YouTube. You know, it’s not just, are they going into YouTube, but you can see how many videos are being watched. You know, how many views per user, you know, that kind of thing. What are your top videos that are, that are happening? And, you know, in this case we see, number one is Shakespeare so that probably is good with the educational process.
Number two is Fortnite which may not be as relevant to the educational process, so being able to see that on the fly, and see who’s using these videos, block the video right here.
If you need to, know where we’re seeing a significant increase in assistance, in managing YouTube for schools. You know, I think, again, schools were making heavy use of YouTube prior to covid, but now it has just increased significantly because you know, video is becoming such an important part of how we are communicating with our students and so,
Knowing how YouTube is being used is being used appropriately, blocking the things that you don’t
Need access to keeping the students on task while they’re on those devices and trying to do their schoolwork is really, really, even more critical, again, than it was before, because, again, you know, we keep coming back to this, but, you know, you don’t have that teacher in the classroom that no real time when the student is off task. You know, we have to rely on the reports and the analytics that we have.
That really leads us right into this idea of user reporting. It’s another situation where this same sort of data was in your Rocket logs, if you have the mobile agents and things in place while devices are off campus,
But, you know, if you have 10,000 students to get a user report on each one, you’re creating these custom reports with filters here based on your system integration, your directory, integration, whatever it is, automatically, you get per user reports and this is really a fundamental part of how Relay is different. Rob.
Yeah, I’m going to start off just by the, you know, when we talk about sharing these outside of IT, and I know I’ve talked with many of you on this call,
I know when I was with my district, we’d spend time doing this, you know, the when you would pull a user report in the Rocket, and, again, they were effective for many years,
I’m not trying to talk about them negatively, but, you know, the first thing we identified was either the IP address or the username, the account name of the student, not something that always meant something to those outside of the technology realm.
If you see here, the name at the top of this is Angie, you know, this is pulled from, that user integration.
We know exactly the student that we’re talking about, and then, you know, the reports do a lot of the analysis for you, So, you know, how is Angie spending education time, YouTube? You can see these are easy to read and hand off to somebody outside of IT, again, you know, top websites, top searches, all of this information was available in the Rocket, but would have required a significant amount of time to compile it.
Now, the reason is because with an on-prem appliance, we just, you know, couldn’t build it big enough, right? To do these real-time analytics. You wouldn’t
have been happy with us if what we would’ve had to ask for that appliance. But with this being cloud-based, we have that ability to do that real-time analysis.
You still have the detailed views, like Amy has a period of allowed blocked sites, but, you know, we have made this again, easy to read. You know, one of the things here, Amy, if you pull down that drop-down list, is we can filter out blocked assets. You know, the Facebook logo that is on every page. Is everybody really going into Facebook? Or are they just loading that logo?
And so, this really, again, makes these reports easy to understand, easy to view, by those outside of IT, saving you time to work on all of the new challenges and problems that you have dealing with in today’s education world.
Rob, we probably can’t talk about the SSL decryption enough, and this pulldown really highlights it, those searches, and the YouTube videos, nothing you can’t figure to get that information.
Right, once the agent is deployed, it handles all the SSL decryption. So on your Rocket you may have chosen not to have SSL decryption because of the challenges that went with it, or you went through the work to deploy the trust certificates in the PAC files and everything else you needed to do. But with Relay in the Smart Agents, once the agents are deployed, you have all that visibility. You don’t need to do anything extra. It just comes for you automatically.
Another report, I want to take a look at, actually a dashboard and multiple reports on here, is the Online Activity Dashboard. And this just came out a couple of weeks ago. It’s a great example of how our product and development teams listen to schools and create the things that solve their challenges.
And this came out just a couple of weeks ago, in response to discussions we started having, and our developers started having with schools to find out, what can make this distance learning easier for you?
And this was it. Knowing who is logging in, who is, and when? How much are they doing in school? Are they doing something else?
Rob, I know you’ve been. You’ve been talking to people who are using this. What’s the kind of feedback you’re getting on this information?
Yeah, I mean
things like, you know, inactive users in the lower right here knowing that these students haven’t been online now, you know, what challenges may be presented that have to overcome. Maybe that student doesn’t have Internet access or doesn’t have access to a device or maybe that student is is needing more assistance or you know, in a number of things could, could be impacting that. But, you know, knowing this is, you know, almost the, I know it’s not exactly the same, but the equivalent of you know, the student’s been absent for three days. You know, what’s, what’s going on there. And so, you have that information in real time. And, again, you know, our development team did a great job of turning this around. You know, much of this data was in the system, but it previously required somebody to go look for it, and now, in responding to what we’re looking at today, you know, building out a dashboard like this. So, you know, again, at a glance where the device is being used. You know.
Again, students not online.
Students that have not been active, are they using it for educational purposes, or not, You know, users by time of the day is one that is popular report, because, you know, schools try to build out their plans to support their community, and their students knowing when they’re active on the device, can be key to that as well. So, you know, when do they need to have some support available, or teachers being able to answer questions or whatever that.
We have a couple of other things I want to show in the interface, but I’m gonna hop through them really quickly because we’re getting towards the top of the hour here. Robert, I did one of these webinars, the same Rocket to Relay sort of discussion about a year ago. And I was looking through the notes on that last night, andnd we did a poll. And the number one thing people said that they loved about their Rocket was the granularity and detail of policies. So, just looking at some of these internet access,
A lot of the same things that you’re used to with Rockets, the level of detail on how you can set things, the really granular categories of our database that make it easy to allow educational games and not adult games.
All of those things that you love look a little bit different, but they are here and they’re all able to be set, as I was saying, by the different groups that are your hierarchy is based on.
Same with video rules, Rob talked to when we were looking at the report from YouTube about how important video is becoming in this distance learning situation. And there’s just so much more we can do in making YouTube safe in this Relay environment.
You know, restricted mode and Smart Play, those are the things you were able to do in your Rocket.
But hiding sidebars, hiding comments, keeping students really focused on the actual content and not all of those peripheral things that can be distracting or dangerous or inappropriate, the ability to really easily customize all of that. Just a ton of extra control we can give you for things like YouTube or for social media or all of those things.
I am going to go back to our slides here, and Rob is going to talk about some of these specific differences in how the Rocket works and how Relay works and, and what the fundamental differences are there.
Thanks, Amy. So, I think the first bullet point there is really key. If you look at, you know, the Rocket, the primary identifier was the IP address that the device was using.
In Relay, it is that user, and we kind of showed that in the user report, their identity is kind of the central part of the reporting. We’ve talked about, you know, these next two bullet points a lot, that it is all cloud-based, and agents that work on and off the network, as opposed to a piece of hardware that you have to maintain and scale and build out as your changes occur within the district. After school rules versus schedules, we’ve kind of simplified that scheduling feature based on the feedback from a lot of schools, but still give you that ability to have different rules at different times, as you need to within your environment.
Admin roles, we, you know, we kind of took the delegated admin and then and then took it even further with it and enroll, so it really ties in with your, your hierarchy and your environment and setting, you know, who can get access to what and can they get access to? You know, we showed Safety Check earlier. You know, maybe certain people have access to that data, and other people can see other reports in the system, so, you have very granular controls over all of that.
So, this integration, I think, is really big. You know, we continue to pull information from your directory, but again, also get that says information so we can associate those students with the right classes and the right users, the right policies.
Uh, I think the last bullet point I want to highlight to that, you know, the Rockets kind of covered everything and in Relay the agent is your primary filter and one of the things that isn’t really on the slide but I’ll talk about and I know we’re going to talk about implementation later but there is a transition to make this smooth for you so that as those devices are on your network are coming back to your network as you’re transitioning to Relay,
The two systems can be aware of each other, so, it’s not like, you have to think that this is a, you know, critical do everything at once, but we do have an implementation strategy that allows you to ease into that, because we know you’ve got a lot going on right now.
Rob, let’s just talk right now. Can you tell us about that transition process? And what we’re doing or implementations right now, what that would look like.
Sure, so, I mean, from a transition standpoint, the latest release of the Rocket software is Relay aware so that as you start to deploy those Relay agents within your environment, the Rocket is aware of that and then just lets Relay handle the filtering.
So, that gives you some time to, you know, to transition. You don’t have to worry about, did all my devices get it at once or, you know, I’ve got devices that haven’t come back to school yet, and those haven’t been updated. So, whatever that might be in your environment, the Rockets will be aware of that. In terms of implementation, we have implementation program that is running every week now to help you implement the product and walks you through the steps and takes that through in a very you know, easy to follow easy approach with an engineer on the line to kind of take you through those pieces.
Yeah, and I mean, I think that’s the key there. Depending on what operating systems, depending on your network, depending on several things, it’ll be a little bit different for each of you. So, it’s customized, but that’s the overall process. And we’re doing implementations to help everyone through that. Rob talk a little bit about the process for turning an old Rocket into a Relay Rocket.
Yeah, it’s actually pretty straightforward. Many of you have probably done a Flash update on your Rocket before. As we know, you’ve progressed through the versions with us and the update to the Relay Rocket’s is very much the same. The main difference is you will also take it out of line at that point and you only use the management interface to connect to your network.
But it’s really just a matter of flashing that with the new code, and then, joining that, there’s a little bit of configuration step, it takes a few minutes when you join that Relay Rocket to your Relay cloud instance. And then, once you do that, you’re up and running. You have options to do things like turn on authentication or user authenticated policy, maybe on your guest network or wherever that might be.
Rob, we’ve got several questions coming in about YouTube and that ties into what we’re doing with the Relay Rockets. I mean sorry. Not YouTube, iOS. Can you talk about our plans on iOS?
So we have continued to try to drive iOS forward and overcome you know, the sandboxing and kind of nature of iOS to bring it up to the level of the feature set in the other devices.
And so, if you want and I’m gonna get a little technical here, but when we look at the filtering capabilities and say a Windows or Mac device, there’s really two components to that and we talked about them earlie: there is the SSL decryption engine and the and the kind of built-in kernel filter and those to work seamlessly together in those agents.
In iOS, where we’re really using the same strategy, where we have the iOS agent, that can be, you know, pushed through your MDM. But we’re also utilizing the Relay Rockets in the proxy mode. For those iOS devices, for those things where you need decryption and all that actually gets pushed through your MDM configuration. So you don’t have to have hands-on on the device but you kind of get the best of both, you can use the Relay Rocket to do that decryption capability and the Relay agent to as the catch all on there to give you that full protection and for decryption capability.
Thank you, Rob. I’m kinda surprised about this question but we’ve gotten it several times. People are asking if they can test out Relay and the Smart Agents while their Rocket filtering agents are in place.
I imagine that’s because devices are off network. It’s harder to remove and add and do that testing process. Can you talk about a best practice for that?
Yeah. For best practice, you will want to remove the previous filtering agent on the device, the Windows, say, the Windows or Mac Mobile filter. If you had the identification agents on there, those shouldn’t have any impact.
But having the two filtering agents on the device could cause you some difficulties in management, some double filtering, and that kind of thing.
So, the best practice would be to remove the Rocket filtering agent and replace that with the Relay agent.
Great. Thank you very much. Let’s do one more question. I like to make sure I leave everyone five minutes, so take my little survey and get to there next duty.
Several people really recently asked about collecting devices to push out the agents.
What circumstances would that be necessary? And mostly, can we deploy them while the devices are at home? When would that maybe not be the case?
I would say, probably, if you had a remote MDM, or, you know, remote management capability of those devices. But, even then, you know, I’ve worked with some schools that maybe hadn’t thought of MDM as a tool to manage their Windows devices previously.
But there are things that you can do to automatically even enroll those Windows 10 devices as they’re out in the field. So, you know, it’s kinda depends, kind of specifically on your environment, but there are tools and strategies that you can even bring them into remote management remotely.
So that I think that is something that, you know, we can talk to you about. An Implementation Team can talk to you about some strategies there.
But there may not actually be a need even if you didn’t have existing rebuffed management on those devices.
Thank you. Thank you, Rob, for all of these answers to everyone’s questions. Thanks to everyone who joined us today for taking an hour out of what I know is a really busy time for all of the great questions that you asked. We did not get to all of them, but we will make sure that you get follow ups from account managers or engineers, or support or wherever is appropriate for your questions. As I said, I’d really appreciate it if you take this quick survey that is going to pop up when you leave.
And if you are ready to get either a quote for Relay, if you don’t have it, or implementation assistance. If you have Relay but have not been rolling it out and you’re relying on your Rockets,
Either of those things, you can tell us in the survey, and we will follow up or e-mail your account manager, or sales at LightspeedSystems.com.
And, if you don’t remember all of that, click respond on the e-mails that I’ve been sending you to invite you to this and the follow up that with the e-mail that includes the recording, you can just respond to me, and I’ll help get you into the right place, too.
Thank you all very much. Have a great day.
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