Founded in 1923, Derbyshire-based Bowmer & Kirkland has grown to become one of the UK’s most successful privately owned construction, engineering and development groups. The company employs around 1,700 staff and has regional offices in the UK, USA and Dubai. It operates 29 subsidiaries ranging from construction services to homeland security products, with major customers including some of the UK’s leading food retailers.
• Minimise operational downtime with integrated remote IT support tools
• Capture and record problem solutions through incident tracking for faster resolution
• Enhance quality of service to end users with easy-to-use functionality and unattended support
A large percentage of the Bowmer & Kirkland workforce is involved in construction projects, providing a tough and mobile environment in which to keep IT equipment up and running.
Previously, the company operated three separate IT tools, including Netviewer Support for remote troubleshooting, an auditing solution and a help desk to log user calls. However, the lack of integration between online ticketing and support in particular caused problems for IT core services manager Kevin McDonald and his team in supporting and maintaining around 1000 PCs.
Using Netviewer Support, the IT team could not support a machine without having somebody actually sitting in front of the computer and entering a session number. “It was almost impossible to remotely access machines in order to put problems right with minimum delay,” recalled McDonald. “Few users on busy construction sites were sitting at a desk, able to type in a code and connect to a remote agent.”
To overcome the lack of an unattended support feature and the challenge that a lack of help desk integration caused, Bowmer & Kirkland sought an integrated solution that would bring together remote support for attended and unattended machines along with service desk functionality, allowing the firm to more effectively manage its equipment around the globe and keep staff operational.
GoToAssist provides the ideal response
After looking at what the marketplace had to offer, Bowmer & Kirkland identified GoToAssist as offering the ideal package of remote support and help desk management that the business needed. The integrated help desk feature was particularly important for the IT team and a key factor in its decision to move to GoToAssist.
As part of a phased launch, the migration of the existing Netviewer Support solution was quickly followed by the implementation of GoToAssist remote support and help desk software. “The whole process was both easy and seamless,” McDonald said. “With many software implementations, the business needs to upgrade its procedures to align with the new system. In contrast, the flexibility of GoToAssist meant that we had to change very few processes
in order to be up and running and benefit from the integration of the solution.”
A more effective approach
Ease of implementation was matched by each module’s highly intuitive and easy-to-use functionality, which meant that McDonald’s IT team was immediately able to enjoy such GoToAssist advantages as improved service quality and time savings. Once a malfunction is identified, the team uses the Remote Support module to resolve the problem. All the data about the support case is then stored automatically using the Service Desk tool.
“Instead of the previously fragmented and slower resolution of IT problems, with GoToAssist we are now able to log the call on the system and provide rapid response from our end-user support team."
-Kevin McDonald, IT Core Services Manager
“Problems are recorded and monitored, with lessons learned forming part of the team’s ‘help user guides’ as part of the knowledge base, enabling faster resolution when similar problems arise in the future.”
Having all the information about device performance in one central location and on one screen is more cost-effective; it drastically reduces the business’ dependence on multiple service companies and maintenance contracts. Full incident tracking also ensures the IT team can identify troublesome devices much more quickly.
The new, easy-to-use web-based system offers greater mobility, enabling the IT team to access any device wherever they are located. Previously, an engineer would have to be dispatched to often remote locations to fix a problem, which represented a significant cost to the IT budget and typically extended the time the user was without the device. Now, the only time IT support needs to be physically present to work on a device is in areas of poor connectivity. The unattended support capability also improves operational efficiency allowing technicians to access machines after hours or when workers are away from their desk. “GoToAssist offers an incredibly fast response, even on a slow connection,” added McDonald.
Bowmer & Kirkland has enjoyed rapid growth in recent years, yet this has not required a parallel increase in IT support. “Over the past six years, we have seen turnover almost double,” he confirmed. “However, thanks in large part to the flexibility and scalability of GoToAssist, we have been able to maintain the same size IT team.”
McDonald has been delighted with the responsiveness and proactive support provided by Citrix, believing that “they practice what they preach”. The next step for Bowmer & Kirkland is to automate user crib sheets in order to make fixes more transparent and accessible to the whole IT team.
Looking further ahead, McDonald will consider the introduction of the user self-help capability by providing access to knowledge base articles so they can resolve issues without involving the IT team. “In both cases, these initiatives will be designed to make an already great system even more efficient and cost effective,” said McDonald.