University of Reading rolls out ‘more consistent’ remote desktop support service

The University of Reading IT services department is implementing a new desktop support tool that will enable it to provide a more “consistent” and “auditable” remote service.

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The University of Reading IT services department is implementing a new desktop support tool that will enable it to provide a more “consistent” and “auditable” remote service.

“Before, we were unable to offer support [to some users]. We had Windows Remote Desktop tools [but] our Mac and Linux users were left out in the cold,” said Gordon Roberts, customers services and communications manager, IT services at the University of Reading.

The tool, from Bomgar, was chosen when the university looked at replacing its highly customised Remedy IT service management (ITSM) tool with a more standardised version from TOPDesk, and found they had an integration with Bomgar in common. It is moving to TOPdesk by Easter 2014 for functions including service catalogue, and has a Bomgar appliance on-premise in its infrastructure.

“From within a call in the ITSM, you can go in [to a user’s desktop] straight away,” said Roberts.

The ability to have an audit trail of the IT support was another useful feature of Bomgar, Roberts said, in order to comply with the university’s legal and governance requirements.

While the tool will be used to support the university’s 4,000 staff in the UK, Roberts said that the IT team will also be able to provide instant support to employees based at its Malaysia campus, over a dongle.

“You can downgrade screen resolution to give better connection quality on low speeds,” Roberts said.

The university is starting by rolling out the tool for ITSM, IT support desk and the facilities support teams. There are plans to implement it further in the financials, student records and student services teams to enable them to provide remote support to their customers as well, and to other departments in nine to 12 months’ time.

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