The Union of IT Support and End-user Training

Customer: Amicus
Solution: Vector PC-Duo Remote Control
Summary: Hundreds of PCs supported from over a dozen remote sites are managed using Vector PC-Duo Remote Control.  Vector Networks’ advanced remote control software makes helpdesk support, maintenance and training simple and efficient.

The Challenge

When Khayam Khan took on responsibility for the IT needs of the MSF Union (now Amicus), a company representing over 400,000 members employed in the public and private sectors, he inherited an infrastructure that was ripe for improvement.

The main challenge at MSF was to move all users from a legacy email system to a more scaleable and sophisticated email service. MSF decided to migrate the organization to Microsoft Exchange running on Windows Servers.  The project had to be accomplished in a very short period of time with limited IT staff.  The system included more than 14 sites with hundreds of users across the UK and Ireland.

This situation underlined the need to implement a remote control and maintenance application across the entire organization.  The answer was to use a remote maintenance tool that would allow as many faults to be remedied as possible which have previously required a site visit or a lengthy support call.

The Solution

A Vector Networks’ authorized reseller arranged for an on-site demo for the entire support team. MSF’s IT Manager, Khayam Khan explains, “The support from Vector was outstanding. From day one it became apparent that Vector PC-Duo Remote Control would provide an excellent solution to our remote control requirements at a cost-effective price.”

The biggest problem that had to be overcome was that of confidentiality.  More specifically, how would users react when they realized that support staff could view files and configure PCs remotely without their knowledge?  It was decided at the outset that MSF would enable the Vector PC-Duo option that would give users the option of accepting support staff access with a user entered a password.

The Benefits

It was obvious that the previously accepted practice of dispatching support staff long distances to address minor problems was no longer tenable. This was due not only to the high costs incurred in travel and accommodation expenses but also because support staff were being diverted from other important tasks.  Part of the answer to this challenge was to implement a set of tools that would allow software configuration changes to be performed remotely, either over the LAN, dialup lines, or ISDN links. 

Khan elaborated, “Implementing Vector PC-Duo Remote Control has meant that the level of service to our customers has risen tremendously. Problems which would often have been scheduled for resolution at the next on-site visit can now be remedied immediately. Our end-users are delighted.”

Bonus – A unified Training Solution

An unexpected user training bonus has also been realized from installing Vector PC-Duo Remote Control. In the past, if users in the Glasgow office required training in the use of an office package, support staff would have to travel across the UK, configure PCs, then train the users.  After the session the trainer would then have to break-down the training equipment and install the new solution on the users’ PC.  Apart from being an extremely inefficient use of a technical resource it also diverted allocated funds away from other areas such as development. 

For MSF the answer was to use Vector PC-Duo Remote Control to deliver interactive training to users at remote sites.  Khan concluded, “Vector PC-Duo Remote Control has meant that a virtual trainer is always available for users so the roll-out of any new package brings immediate improvements in performance.”

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