Georgia school district invests in student success with Microsoft Surface innovation

Customer profile

Paulding County School District, Georgia. A public school district with 5,000 faculty and staff members and 30,000+ students.


The SHI/Microsoft partnership was ideal for the rollout plan, replicating at scale throughout the district over the coming years.

Digital Workplace  |  Education  |  End User Computing  |  Mobility  |  Modern Desktop





    Faculty and staff members




    Student Windows device strategy

    SHI and Microsoft partner to deploy an ‘A+’ device rollout plan.


    A large Georgia school district has worked to enhance technology infrastructure, equipment, and systems while preparing to invest in a 1:1 student Windows device plan. With the help of their SHI and Microsoft account teams, the district made progress in their use of Microsoft Endpoint Manager for deploying and managing their current Windows devices. They successfully moved from Windows Desktop over to M365 A3 with a subset of A5 for 40 users, while beginning to use Autopilot in the last 12 months.

    The new devices needed to leverage their existing investment in Microsoft Endpoint Manager, allowing for simplified remote deployment and management across all schools and the ability to deploy the needed apps for state testing and content filtering. They also had to meet their budget requirement utilizing NASPO ValuePoint, an approved state purchasing contract.

    The customer considered low-cost Windows devices that would allow them to be fiscally responsible with public funding, while also meeting several Win32 applications requirements. Initially, they needed a Windows-based laptop for their middle school students that’s easily managed with MEM and allows for a safe and secure digital learning environment. Operating with a shared device experience, the school district wanted to start their 1:1 plan with middle school students and implement future rollouts to elementary and high school students.


    SHI and Microsoft assessed the use case and determined a clear front runner in Microsoft Surface. To demonstrate the features of the Surface Laptop SE, SHI provided the district with eight Laptop SE units, which allowed for more long-term strategic evaluation than a typical loaner.

    By owning the evaluation units, the district was able to perform more in-depth evaluations of Autopilot deployments, application request process, and installation of approved apps that were supported by technical resources on an account team.

    Paulding opted to move forward with the Surface Laptop SE which fulfilled their standards in device hardware, deployment, and management capabilities. The model stood out among other low-cost Windows devices due to its build quality, screen, and performance. Windows 11 SE’s simplified approach to security and management, the ability to deploy via Autopilot, and manage with MEM were critical pieces of this choice as well.

    Backed by the ongoing support of both their SHI and Microsoft account teams, the partnership was an ideal fit for their rollout plan, replicating at scale throughout the district over the coming years.

    Cost was also critical, so deal registration and special pricing were instrumental in securing pricing within the customer’s budget. SHI worked extensively with our Microsoft Surface CE and PDM teams to meet the NASPO contract pricing requirements.


    As this is the first time that the school district utilized a 1:1 device strategy, they planned to start the deployment with one strategic middle school and then expand to an additional eight schools over the following months.

    The strategy began with an Autopilot user-driven deployment model, with the students receiving their devices at/near the start of school year and following step-by-step guidance. The FastTrack team partnered with the district prior to the first deployment to ensure their work in MEM was as needed and followed up post deployment to address any potential pivots. A network of SHI and Microsoft support were on hand to resolve any incoming issues as well as provide the necessary information to prepare for the next steps accordingly.

    As they moved into the 2022-23 school year, the school district continued to purchase and deploy additional Laptop SEs, rolling out 3-5K units to the middle schools in FY 2023 depending on enrollment numbers. An additional 20K Laptop SE units will be needed in subsequent years to deploy to the high school and elementary levels.

    The district also begins to evaluate devices for their upcoming teacher device refresh and has purchased units to demo Surface Laptop Studio, Laptop 4, Laptop Go, and Surface Go 3, focusing on Surface going forward.

    “A large Georgia school district has worked to enhance technology infrastructure, equipment, and systems while preparing to invest in a 1:1 student Windows device plan.”


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