Desktop Management (SCCM) - Frequently Asked Questions

Last updated:  March 18th, 2015


1. What is SCCM 2012 SP1?

System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) is a software product made by Microsoft for managing large groups of computers primarily running the Windows operating system.

2. Who will receive the SCCM Software?

Clients on St. John's campus whose PCs or laptops are supported by ITS running Windows based (7 and up), Vista or Mac running virtual Windows O/S.

Not included in this project:

  • Clients located outside St.John's campus
  • Servers
  • Mobile devices
  • Non-Windows devices (or XP and below)
  • Devices not supported by ITS
  • Departments with their own IT Support
  • Mac OSK

Future projects will expand coverage.  Timelines for these will be announced as projects are scheduled.

3. Who will be installing, using and administering SCCM?

SCCM will be used by Information Technology Services (ITS) as a desktop management solution on Memorial’s St. John’s campus.  In the first phase, this tool will be implemented for users directly supported by ITS. However, over time, we will open up access to this capability to all units that wish to avail of the service.

4. Why does Memorial need a desktop management product like SCCM?

Many of the virus issues from which the university suffers arise because of the use of outdated or unpatched software, and with the university’s computer network growing every year, it gets more and more difficult to effectively manage and support client needs. There are insufficient resources to manually visit every computer and update software on a regular basis. A desktop management solution like SCCM will allow ITS, from a central computer, to provide faster and more efficient PC support and help reduce the university's IT security risks.  SCCM has many benefits and will help create a more up to date and secure computing environment. Common uses of SCCM include:

  • Installing windows updates and software patching (e.g.  Java)
  • Remote assistance
  • Operating system deployment and installation
  • Various software updates

5. What will be installed on my computer?

SCCM software will be installed remotely on your office PC or laptop, much like a McAfee virus update.  The install may not complete until the next time your system is rebooted and you should not see any interruptions or any impact to your daily routines. Laptops must be connected to the wired network to receive the software. 

The software will work in much the same way as the McAfee Antivirus software currently installed on your computer and it will allow your PC to communicate with ITS's SCCM server. With certain features enabled, ITS will be able to provide services and support to your computer remotely.

6. Who will have access to files and personal information on my computer?

Remote assistance to your computer will be authorized by you as part of a support request to the ITS Service Desk. Patching of specific software will be done via automatic updates similar to McAfee updates.

7. Does SCCM track new software that is installed? 

SCCM, performs a weekly scan to detect new software that is installed on your pc.

8. Are home computers included in the deployment and support of SCCM software?

As general guidelines:

·        Memorial owned laptops are included  under the SCCM support umbrella while they are on campus if they have the enterprise version of McAfee Antivirus installed by ITS* and are physically connected to the network.

·        Memorial owned desktops that remain off campus will not be included under the SCCM support umbrella.

·        ITS does not support personally owned computers (PC or Laptops).

There may be certain situations that result in exceptions to these guidelines. If you are unsure, please contact the ITS Service Desk

* The free version of McAfee Antivirus available to MUN students, faculty, staff and retirees is not the enterprise version approved for use on university owned computing equipment.

9. Will we receive notification of updates before they occur?

When updates are ready for release they will be published/advertised.  An SCCM notification will appear on a client machine notifying the client of the updates that are available.  A time frame will be available for clients to perform the update themselves if they choose to do so.  At the end of this timeframe, software updates will be applied automatically.  Please see windows update to see how software updates are managed.

10. Do I do anything different to get help if I have SCCM installed?

Please contact the Service Desk as usual and they will make an assessment on how the solution should be handled.

11. Will I be forced to upgrade my software?

As currently implemented, SCCM will only be configured to perform Microsoft updates.  Therefore only the Windows operating system and other Microsoft software will be updated.  These updates are generally considered essential to the security and operation of the products.  Clients will be able to defer Microsoft updates for a few days but once the deferral window expires the updates will be automatically installed.

SCCM is now configured to update various software.  Please refer to the SCCM project page for dfurther details. 

12. What information is collected by SCCM?

ITS is responsible for the security of much of Memorial’s sensitive and highly sensitive data.  Memorial University takes data privacy seriously and this is reflected in its IT policies and guidelines.

Appropriate Use of Computing Resources

Electronic Data Security

ITS Departmental Mandate

ITS Data Classification Policy

Information Access and Privacy Protection

In the course of offering and supporting its many services, ITS staff may have access to data deemed to be sensitive or highly sensitive.  Every effort is made to ensure user privacy and all ITS staff are required to sign confidentiality agreements when they are hired.  By transitioning to a centralized and automated desktop management system like SCCM, ITS is actually reducing the likelihood that ITS employees will have to view or manage client data when performing support related duties.

SCCM is configured to only collect data pertaining to the hardware and software installed on a client PC.  For example, it will know that the computer is using an Intel processor and that Microsoft Office 2010 version 10.2.3700 is installed.  It will not capture what websites a client may have visited nor will it be used to gather information on the types of files being stored.  SCCM is intended to assist us in the support of client systems by making sure that software is patched and up to date and to ensure that computers on campus are in compliance with applicable laws and university policies.  

Software and hardware configuration data is stored in a central SCCM database within ITS’s secure production environment.  This data can only be accessed by a select group of administrators at ITS.

Clients having any questions about what information is stored in or can be accessed by SCCM are encouraged to contact the ITS Service Desk at 864-4595 or 

13.How come I can't open the EMET application?

A user must have admin rights to open the EMET console.

14. Who can I contact if I have further questions?

Clients with further questions are encouraged to contact the ITS Service Desk at 864-4595 or