21 August 2014
Founded in 1923, Derbyshire-based Bowmer and Kirkland (B&K) Group is said to be one of the UK’s most successful construction firms. It employs around 1,400 staff at offices in the UK, USA and Dubai, and operates 29 subsidiaries. Among its key projects was the redevelopment of Warner Bros Leavesden studio as the Harry Potter Experience, and the building of Centre Parc’s fifth UK village in Woburn.
A large percentage of B&K’s workforce is involved in construction – a tough and mobile environment in which to keep IT kit up and running. Previously, the company operated three separate IT tools (including Netviewer Support) for remote troubleshooting, auditing and helpdesk.
The lack of integration, particularly between online ticketing and support, caused problems for the IT team that had to look after around 1,000 PCs. Using Netviewer, it couldn’t support a computer without having somebody actually sitting in front of it to enter a session number.
“It was almost impossible to remotely access machines in order to put problems right with minimum delay,” says IT core services manager Kevin McDonald. “Few users on busy construction sites were sitting at a desk, able to type in a code, and connect to a remote agent.”
McDonald’s team replaced Netviewer with Citrix’s GoToAssist. This “triple play” helpdesk solution offered remote support, device management, monitoring and auditing. Citrix says its software was quick and easy to implement and meant that B&K had to change very few processes in order to be up and running.
It adds that this was matched by the system’s “highly intuitive and easy-to-use functionality”. This typically involves the use of the Monitoring module’s alert feature to identify a malfunction and 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, we are now able to log the call on the system and provide rapid response from our end-user support team,” says McDonald. “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.”
The next step for B&K is to automate user crib sheets in order to make fixes more transparent and accessible to the whole IT team. McDonald is also considering expanding access to the knowledge base articles so that staff can resolve issues without involving his team.