Showing posts with label Service Desk. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Service Desk. Show all posts

Friday, 8 April 2016

Astute Financial Consulting with Citrix GoToAssist

Astute Financial Consulting provides service and support for small to medium-sized security alarm companies that need affordable accounting and business management solutions. Along with its consulting services, the company resells different cloud-based software packages that meet their clients’ industry-specific needs. As an all-around resource, Astute puts an emphasis on building close relationships with its clients. The company is based in Fort Collins, Colorado, and currently employs six people.
Key benefits
• Speeds up technical support and product training
• Reduces email overload for issue tracking
• Saves money and time over old file-sharing solution
• Ensures that clients get and send needed documents

The challenge: serving clients effectively

Astute Financial provides services for everything from accounting to reporting to software. “We’re basically like a partner for our clients,” said Jayme Hilmes, customer support manager for Astute Financial. Responsible for training and technical support, Hilmes is in daily contact with clients to ensure their questions are answered and their issues addressed. As such, she wanted a quick way to connect to clients and provide remote support.
In addition, the large number of requests she received through email made tracking issues difficult. Astute Financial was using Kayako to manage its help desk, but the software couldn’t keep up with the company’s demands. “It was pretty cumbersome,” Hilmes said. “Kayako had a website for a knowledge base, but it wasn’t as expansive as I wanted.” Without an easy path to self-service support, clients would resort to email, so Hilmes often had to sort through requests in her inbox rather than in her ticket queue.
At the same time, Astute Financial was in the early stages of launching a new project called the Benchmarks Program. “We’re gathering data from each of our clients and comparing them so people can get benchmarks on how well they’re doing on different areas in their company,” explained Hilmes.
The team projects that 100-200 people will take part in the Benchmarks Program in the next year, all of whom will have sensitive information to send. Astute Financial was using a service to manage file sharing internally, but with so many clients expected, the service was too costly for the team to roll out externally. Along similar lines, the number of new clients presented a mountain of upcoming paperwork that would need signing — a challenge which the firm’s traditional “print, sign and scan” approach was ill suited to handle.

GoToMeeting Free Trial

Putting Citrix solutions to work
Astute Financial had already been using Citrix GoToMeeting for years, so when Hilmes went looking for a remote support solution, she picked Citrix GoToAssist  “I prefer GoToAssist , because it’s just really quick,” she said. “Most of the clients I talk to everyday have it installed on his or her computer already, so it connects in seconds.”

Astute Financial then followed with GoToAssist Service Desk to replace its existing help desk solution. Hilmes had initially gone through a few different products attempting to find the right one, but they were missing key elements or were just hard to use. “So we tried Service Desk, and I liked it so much better than the other products,” she said. In particular, Hilmes appreciated the broad knowledge base functionality. “I have so many how-tos and guides and videos that I’ve created. I’m putting them all on my knowledge base now,” she said. “That was a big one for me.”

GoToMeeting Free Trial

For its new Benchmarks Program, Astute Financial chose Citrix ShareFile to replace its old service. The features and ease of use were similar between the two, but ShareFile’s pricing model, which includes unlimited client users, made the solution much more affordable. “We knew we needed to do external file sharing,” said Elizabeth Santi, project manager for Astute Financial and its Benchmarks Program. “The price of ShareFile was so much less than anything else that we just had to. It’s the only thing that made sense for setting up all of our clients.”
Astute Financial had also considered another company for its file-sharing needs, but ShareFile was faster in everyday use. “We did not have files synced directly to our own desktops, so sometimes the relay time to open and save a file was pretty lengthy,” said Santi. “I think that’s the biggest difference we’ve seen: time savings.”
Along with ShareFile, Astute Financial picked up Citrix RightSignature, which integrates right into the file-sharing solution so they could send documents for signatures easily. Astute Financial had not used an e-signature service before, instead relying on pen and paper for processing. “Being a technology company, we are expected to have the latest technology. That’s where RightSignature comes into play,” said Hilmes.

“I prefer GoToAssist because it’s just really quick. Most of the clients I talk to everyday have it on their computer already, so it connects in seconds.”
-Jayme Hilmes, Customer Support Manager

Improving and streamlining client interactions

For Astute Financial, GoToMeeting makes connecting and interacting with clients easier for everyone involved. “It’s simple to use on the client end, which is important to us,” said Hilmes. In the same vein, GoToMeeting saves effort for Hilmes, who frequently relies on the web conferencing solution to provide training for clients. For added convenience, she sets up her sessions using the GoToMeeting for Outlook Plugin. “I schedule so many trainings, and they’re all over my calendars, so the plugin is nice to have.”
Hilmes also appreciates how GoToAssist Service Desk handles client interactions. “The fact that they can log in and see their ticket on the Service Desk portal is great,” said Hilmes. “But more so, I like that clients can reply over email.” In GoToAssist Service Desk, email replies are captured inside the tickets, so conversations are kept in context in one place. “Things tend to go on and on, so it’s helping me a lot to keep track of all 50 responses that take place over the course of an issue,” said Hilmes.

Staying on top of document sharing

As part of its Benchmarks Program, Astute Financial is collecting plenty of information from lots of companies. For a project of this scope, it’s important to know exactly where everyone is at in the process. With ShareFile, Santi can easily keep an eye on things.

“The ShareFile Outlook Plugin is great. I like seeing when the recipient has downloaded the file I sent. I’m able to keep track of where we are, and I can reach out to them if I know they haven’t looked at the document yet. It also means I don’t have to worry about file size, or whether the file will translate properly when they open it, since when you directly open a file from email, it opens in Protected View.”
-Elizabeth Santi, Project Manager

Moving forward faster with Citrix

Looking forward, Santi anticipates using folder permissions within ShareFile to give clients direct access to download and upload files for the Benchmark Program. “It will save an immeasurable amount of time. No need to find the file, attach it, ask if they got it and then ask for a return file,” said Santi. “Instead, they just log in and grab what they need, when they need it. It’s so much simpler.”
And when it comes to GoToAssist, Hilmes also has bigger plans in mind. Given how successful it’s been for helping clients quickly, Hilmes is considering adding more seats for others on her team to use. “We are very happy with Citrix — 9 out of 10!” Hilmes said.

Other : Software for Accounting Firm and Tax Advisor

Friday, 3 October 2014

Oil and gas industry reduce cost, enhance PC security via Windows Intune

Omani Oil Services Firm Proactively Manages Field PCs, Reduces Costs Using Cloud Service

Half of Gulf Energy SAOC workers are located outside the company’s Muscat, Oman, headquarters, making it difficult for the IT staff to manage and protect their PCs. Gulf Energy is using the Windows Intune cloud-based PC management service to remotely and proactively manage PCs, reduce support costs, improve productivity, and enhance PC security. With Windows Intune and Microsoft Office 365, Gulf Energy can easily meet the needs of its many field employees.

Business Needs

Gulf Energy SAOC provides oil field services to oil & gas companies operating in Oman. These include well evaluation and optimization, drilling technologies, and well rehabilitation services. Of its 500 employees, 300 are information workers.

About half of the information workers are located in the Muscat headquarters, but the rest are scattered around the region, traveling and working in oil fields with customers. This made it difficult for the IT staff to manage the company’s 250 desktop and laptop computers. “We had a mix of PC hardware and software, no centralized management software, and many manual processes for updating software and remediating problems,” says Saif Al Kindy, IT Manager for Gulf Energy SAOC.

Al Kindy and one other staff member spent most of their days responding reactively to PC problems. They relied solely on Windows Update Services to deploy security updates but had to select and install them PC by PC. Whenever employees needed a new software application or an update to an existing application, Al Kindy and his colleague had to manually install it.

If a PC was infected with malware or had another problem, the employee had to drive into headquarters and hand over their PC for hours or days, during which time they could not work. The IT staff had no way to proactively detect and remediate problems that could disable computers.


Gulf Energy had already worked with a local member of the Microsoft Partner Network to deploy Microsoft Office 365, the complete Office in the cloud that includes the Microsoft Office desktop applications plus cloud-based business email, videoconferencing, and file sharing. “By subscribing to Office 365, we avoided an approximately OMR200,000 [US$520,000] expense in on-premises infrastructure, and we were able to deliver the latest productivity and communications solutions in weeks instead of months or years,” Al Kindy says.

*With Windows Intune and Office 365, we are able to support our employees wherever they are in the field. Proactive management lets us solve problems and deliver new capabilities dramatically faster.*

Saif Al Kindy
IT Manager, Gulf Energy SAOC

After this successful venture into the cloud, Gulf Energy asked the solution provider if Microsoft had a cloud solution for PC management. The solution provider responded with Windows Intune, a cloud-based PC and mobile device management solution that provides centralized, automated, cloud-based management of corporate and user-owned client devices. It includes Microsoft System Center 2012 Endpoint Protection for malware defense.

“Other vendors were pushing us to expand our on-premises infrastructure, but we were trying to get out of the hardware management business,” Al Kindy says. “The solution provider had our best interests at heart and helped us move all our PCs under the care of Windows Intune in just a couple of weeks with no downtime.”

With Windows Intune, Gulf Energy has a single dashboard for viewing the health and hardware/software inventory of all its client devices. To apply security updates, Al Kindy simply selects the updates he wants to install and the time of day he wants to install them, and Windows Intune applies them to all devices, no matter where those devices are located. Gulf Energy also uses Windows Intune to notify IT of unauthorized applications that users may have installed.

When employees have problems with computers, Al Kindy and his colleague use Windows Intune to remotely view the individual’s computer, connect to the computer for diagnostic testing, and usually resolve the problem without touching the PC. They are managing 250 desktop and laptop computers with Windows Intune; 85 percent run the Windows 7 Enterprise operating system and 15 percent run the Windows 8.1 Enterprise operating system.

Gulf Energy is taking advantage of the Windows Intune self-service portal to empower employees to enroll their own devices and download needed software. Because Windows Intune is linked to the company’s Active Directory Domain Service, IT can specify which applications each user is authorized to download.


By subscribing to Windows Intune, Gulf Energy can proactively manage field PCs, reduce PC support costs, improve employee productivity, and enhance PC security.

Proactively Manage PCs, Reduce PC Support Costs

Instead of reacting to PC problems, Al Kindy and his colleague can manage the company’s 250 desktop and laptop computers in a proactive, centralized manner. “With Windows Intune and Office 365, we are able to support our employees wherever they are in the field,” says Al Kindy. “Proactive management lets us solve problems and deliver new capabilities dramatically faster. As we move forward, we are excited that we will also be able to manage phones and tablets using Windows Intune, without adding infrastructure or even more licenses.”

  Whereas Al Kindy used to spend six hours a day on PC management tasks, he now spends less than two hours a day. This gives him more time to work on IT projects that will benefit the business. Gulf Energy also avoided on-premises hardware and software costs by going with a cloud-based solution. “If our PC management infrastructure was a capital expense, we would have to beg for new funds every three years to refresh that infrastructure,” Al Kindy says. “But because Windows Intune subscriptions are an operational cost, it’s easier to budget.”

Another benefit: Gulf Energy can manage more PCs as the business grows without hiring more IT staff. “The oil and gas business is booming in our region, and IT talent is difficult to find,” Al Kindy says. “The ability to scale our PC base without scaling our IT staff is very valuable.”

Improve Employee Productivity

Non-IT employees are also more productive due to less PC downtime, less time spent waiting for security updates and other software to be installed, and less time spent on support calls. “Employees no longer have day-long interruptions to their work due to PC problems,” Al Kindy says. “By using Windows Intune, we can proactively monitor the health of our PCs and deal with malware and other issues before they cause a PC to fail. Using the Windows Intune self-service portal, employees can download the software they need without waiting on IT.”

Enhance PC Security

Company PCs are better protected using Endpoint Protection, which captures more threats than did the company’s previous antivirus software. In the past, Al Kindy dealt with at least seven malware infections a month; today, he sees two or less a month. “One infected PC can infect our entire network, so this level of protection is very important to us,” he says.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7 via Windows Intune to save cost. 通過Windows Intune從Window XP升級到Window 7,節省成本

Some people still prefer to use Window XP despite end of support by Microsoft. But what option you have if you want to upgrade to Window 7 or Window 8?

Moravia IT needed to renew the Windows 7 licenses for its virtual machines, and it wanted to upgrade its physical PCs from Windows XP to Windows 7. The company acquired desktop and virtualized versions of Windows 7 Enterprise included with a subscription to the Windows Intune PC-management service. As a result, Moravia IT kept hardware expenses low and extended the life of its physical PCs.

Organization Profile

Moravia IT is headquartered in the Czech Republic and offers software localization, testing, multilingual publishing, and technical translation services for companies around the world.

*By adopting Windows Intune, we can continue to simplify our IT infrastructure, keep costs down, and still offer more IT services to our customers.*

Přemysl Vala
CIO, Moravia IT

In 2011, Through the Microsoft Software Assurance program, Moravia IT had the licensing it needed for its PCs that ran Windows 7, but not for older PCs that still ran the Windows XP operating system. The company needed to acquire new Windows 7 licenses for virtual machines, and it wanted to upgrade its physical PCs.


In late 2011, Moravia IT began working with a provider of IT services, The IT services provider evaluated the business needs at Moravia IT and proposed that the company adopt Windows Intune—a cloud-based PC-management and security service from Microsoft—and acquire desktop and virtualized versions of Windows 7 Enterprise included with its subscription to Windows Intune.

Because Windows Intune is supported with cloud-computing resources delivered as services over the Internet, Moravia IT adopted the service without having to deploy or manage any new hardware or software. At only slightly higher cost than purchasing the 60 virtual Windows 7 licenses it needed, the company upgraded 40 existing PCs from Windows XP to Windows 7 Enterprise and adopted a remote maintenance tool that it can use to monitor and update its PC environment—even outside the Active Directory domain. By using Windows Intune, Moravia IT can provide endpoint protection for PCs with tools built on the same Microsoft Endpoint Protection Engine used in the Microsoft Forefront Protection Suite.

By May 2012, Moravia IT installed Windows 7 Enterprise on all of its virtual and physical PCs, and it had begun testing Windows Intune in preparation for implementing the PC-management and endpoint protection features throughout its PC environment.


By adopting Windows Intune, Moravia IT obtained the operating system licenses it needed to maintain its virtualized PC environment, kept hardware expenses down, used its hardware and software resources more effectively, and saved money by upgrading and extending the life of its physical PCs.

Cost Advantage Through Virtualization

By using Windows Intune to acquire new Windows 7 Enterprise licenses, Moravia IT was able to maintain its virtual PC environment and preserve the one-third infrastructure savings it had achieved through virtualization. The company added to its virtualization savings by obtaining licenses for virtual versions of Windows 7 Enterprise with its monthly subscription to Windows Intune, instead of having to pay the total annual license fees all at once.

“By adopting Windows Intune, we can continue to simplify our IT infrastructure, keep costs down, and still offer more IT services to our customers,” says Přemysl Vala, CIO at Moravia IT.

通過Windows Intune從Window XP升級到Window 7,節省成本

有些人仍然喜歡使用Window XP儘管微軟支持已經結束 。 但是,如果你想升級到微軟Windows 7或Window 8有什麼選擇 

Moravia IT需要更新的Windows 7虛擬機許可證,並希望其從Windows XP實體PC升級至Windows 7,公司購買桌面和Windows的虛擬化版本7企業版包含雲端Windows Intune個人電腦管理服務。 其結果是,Moravia IT硬件成本費用,延長了其實體PC的使用壽命。 


Moravia IT的總部設在捷克共和國,並為世界各地的公司提供軟件本地化,測試,多語種出版,翻譯,技術翻譯服務。 

*通過採用Windows Intune,我們可以繼續簡化我們的IT基礎架構,降低成本,而且還提供了更多的IT服務於廣大客戶。*

Přemysl Vala

2011年,通過微軟軟件保障計劃(Software Assurance program),Moravia IT運行Window 7的個人電腦有授權,但仍然運行Window XP操作系統的舊電腦沒有 該公司需要獲取新的Windows 7虛擬機的許可證,並希望將其實體PC升級。


在2011年底,Moravia開始委任IT服務供應商,以在Moravia IT評估業務需求和建議,該IT服務供應商建議採用Windows Intune-一種微軟基於雲個人電腦管理和安全服務,端的Windows Intune包括配置桌面和虛擬化版本Windows 7企業版 。 

由於Windows Intune支持計算資源與在互聯網交付服務,Moravia無需購買或管理任何新的硬件或軟件採用这种服務。 公司將現有40個人電腦從Windows XP升級到Windows 7企業版,成本只比購買60台虛擬的Windows 7許可證略高並采用遠程維護工具來監控和更新其個人電腦環境,甚至Active Directory以外。 使用Windows Intune ,Moravia IT可以提供個人電腦端點防護工具建立在相同的微軟端點保護引擎工具Microsoft Forefront Protection Suite保護套件中。 

2012年5月,Moravia IT已經在所有的虛擬和實體PC安裝Windows 7企業版,已經開始測試Windows Intune ,準備在其個人電腦保留環境中實施個人電腦管理和端點保護功能。 


通過採用Windows Intune ,Moravia科技獲得操作系統許可證,維持其虛擬PC環境,保持低硬件開銷,更有效地利用其硬件和軟件資源,並通過升級和延長其實體PC的使用壽命節省金錢 


通過使用Windows Intune獲取新的Windows 7企業版許可證,Moravia IT就能夠保持它的虛擬PC環境,並保留它通過虛擬化來節省三分之一的基礎設施架構 該公司通過其每月雲端版本的Windows Intune ,獲取適用於虛擬化Windows 7企業許可增加其虛擬化架構節省,而不必一下子支付每年牌照費。 

“通過採用Windows Intune ,我們可以繼續簡化我們的IT基礎架構,降低成本,而且還提供了更多的IT服務給我們的客戶,“Moravia IT首席信息官Přemysl Vala說。