Swapping Microsoft remote support for Bomgar

Service Management

by Amy-jo Crowley| 17 January 2014

The University of Reading has found a way to resolve IT control issues faster.

The University of Reading says it has resolved service management issues more quickly after deploying Bomgar's Box solution.

Gordon Roberts, customer services and communications for IT services at the university, tells CBR his department supports various operating systems. Over a year ago, the university had used Windows remote software to back them.

"That was found not to be satisfactory. It was only limited to Windows systems, so we weren't able to support other operating systems and mobile devices," he says.

Roberts, who joined the university in 2008, looked at remote support from LogMeIn and Dameware before settling with Bomgar's remote support solution.

"We looked at some of the major providers and all of them that came in said, 'oh and we integrate with Bomgar's," he explains.

"The fact that it's so heavily integrated with IT service management tool made it the easy choice...It just takes it into a whole different league compared to the others."

Roberts, who also looks after the social media presence and website, implemented the system in May 2013.

"We ran a pilot, which has now gone into service. We bought some licences at the end of our financial year, so the end of July, and it's been pretty much active for the whole of this term."

Bomgar provided two three-hour training sessions for the staff, explaining the main functions of the system and how to customise it to match the university's identity.

"It was very quick and easy if you've used remote systems before, which most of my help team have," says Roberts.

The solution reports on IP and MAC addresses as well as the overall hardware state.

"If a customer is having a problem on that particular machine and they phone up help, we can go straight to that machine because it ties into their active directory login, so we can see what machine they're connected to," Roberts explains.

Other features include Jump Client settings, which enables faster connections.

"When someone says there's a problem with that machine, we can connect to it and see straight away where there might be a problem because the hardware is reporting on its condition," he says.

However, there are limits on how many active Jump Clients they deploy on the desktops.

"The hardware is limited because our estate is 4,500 staff, then you've got teaching rooms on top of that - that's an awful lot of hardware calls if everything is actively talking to one box," he says.

"There's no need for that level of overhead, but on areas like teaching space, that's actually a worthwhile element to employ because if it's anything that speeds up our response to incidents in teaching, it's very useful."

The solution also includes governance capabilities, such as text transcripts and video sessions, providing customers with a full audit trail of every session.

"So staff and students who are having the problem can be fully confident that they can question any of the activities that go on and got a full audit trail available to them if they want to look at it," says Roberts.

He adds: "Working in a higher educational institution, there's a lot of concern around audit trail, governance and managing them and the most effective one for that was quite clearly Bomgar because of the sessions.

"If I were to hold a session with you now, you would be able then to download a video and there can never be any doubt about what's gone on in the sessions."

The installation came with teething problems around the configuration of access as to who has access at what level.

"When you set up the box, you can set it up, so you've got full administrator access, different group levels of access and then different teams with different levels of access, so who can access and review the audit trail and who can configure how the thing looks," says Roberts

"Now I can't actually change the colour, but I think I can get over that. It's just a question of our staff getting our heads around the ways some of the dots should be configured."

Does he expect to make a return on the investment?

"I don't know how I'm going to measure the financial returns. How I anticipate it being measured is through throughput, the ability of the help staff to resolve more tickets at first call, so first time fix ratios should go up, and called fix times should go down. That's how it will be measured," he says.


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