Element Data Group provides IT services to approximately 35 law firms in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area of Minnesota. The company’s extensive expertise in the unique IT requirements of the legal sector, including specialized applications, processes and document management systems, is a key differentiator. Depending upon the size of the client company, Element may provide server or Microsoft Exchange hosting, remote and on-site managed IT services such as help desk and application administration, and even supervision of internal IT teams at larger firms. The company, founded by CEO Gene Lytwyn in 2006, also provides IT strategic planning and consulting.
• Replaces separate products with one integrated tool
• Offers ease of use and high performance across all functions
• Enables fast, around-the-clock support to demanding clients
• Provides an important competitive differentiator
• Supports Mac systems and iPad platform
The challenge: an integrated, affordable alternative to multiple IT tools
As a company with demanding clients, Element had to juggle the complexity of providing remote support, ticketing and inventory management using separate solutions. Jeff Alluri, director of IT, said, “Our clients need a range of managed IT services, such as tracking software licenses and inventorying desktop hardware to have visibility into the age of their hardware, because they want to refresh every four years.”
Remote support is a particularly critical service. Element provides round-the-clock support to attorneys who, according to Alluri, “want everything right now, so we aim for immediate response to a help desk call.” Equally important, his team relies on unattended support capability to avoid interrupting busy clients with routine administration or troubleshooting.
Alluri explained why Element was forced to use disparate products with separate interfaces: “There are a lot of options available, including point products and systems, but many of them are too expensive and don’t deliver. Also, we are very selective about IT tools and found that a lot of them just didn’t work very well. It was a difficult situation.”
Frustrated with the existing tool set, Alluri sought a new solution offering remote support, an affordable price and top performance from every component. Such a tool would not only streamline the provision of managed IT services, but also help Element expand into new geographies and market sectors without adding staff.
Implementing GoToAssist for easier IT support
When Element learned about Citrix GoToAssist Remote Support, which integrates live and unattended remote support with inventory and management of all devices in a single web-based solution, the company found the solution it was looking for. “First, we really liked the interface, which is very user-friendly. Next, GoToAssist supports both Windows and Mac, which is a big thing for us. We run Windows and Mac internally because we need expertise in both areas to support the law firms. Some tools require you to use Internet Explorer, and we wanted greater flexibility.”
The GoToAssist service enables IT organizations to take control of machines on their network, provide cloud-based remote support with a single tool and help people remotely, even from iPad tablets.
Alluri listed several favorite features of GoToAssist. “Numerous members of my team say remote control is one of the best features of the product. It allows us to perform tasks such as copying files to a remote PC. Another important piece is integration with ZenDesk, our support ticket system, which further simplifies our operations.”
Several members of the staff, including Alluri, take advantage of GoToAssist for iPad. “It works really well, which is important to Element because we have standardized on Apple devices,” he said.
“Just as our technicians need a laptop to do their job, they need GoToAssist. It’s an essential tool. We couldn’t run our business without it.”
-Jeff Alluri, Director of IT
GoToAssist helps satisfy clients and win new business
Although Alluri runs the IT management operation, his corporate role has expanded with additional responsibility for business development, including client retention. He has found that GoToAssist also improves the company’s overall value proposition to existing and new clients. “We take pride in our technology tools. The Citrix brand is well known to law firms, and they are impressed by it. Also, GoToAssist enables us to promise and deliver extremely fast live support and reliable unattended support, both of which are critical to client satisfaction.”
He continued, “One longstanding client, a managing partner, has a ranch in South Dakota. He contacted us from the ranch on a Sunday afternoon for help getting on email. It turned out his PC was riddled with spyware. One of my techs remoted in with GoToAssist and used the file transfer feature to upload a utility that could clean up the spyware. This feature was critical because we couldn’t use the web to download the utility — the spyware would have blocked it. Within an hour, the partner was back up and running. It’s this type of after-hours emergency support that clients remember.”
Citrix customer service impresses the support professionals
Alluri had high praise for the GoToAssist sales and support teams. “From day one, we were impressed with their responsiveness and willingness to listen to our suggestions. They would quickly schedule a GoToMeeting session to go over a technical issue and have provided phenomenal support — and as professional support people, we know quality when we see it.
“Equally important, they acted on our ideas — sometimes rolling out new functionality in a couple of weeks. It’s very exciting to help mold the future direction of this tool.” The quality difference became even more apparent when he compared the service to the previous solutions. “A couple of our former tools didn’t even come with support, so this has been a much more welcoming experience.” Alluri concluded, “Just as our technicians need a laptop to do their job, they need GoToAssist. It’s an essential tool. We couldn’t run our business without it.”