By: Jennifer Woodbridge
User support is the heart of your IT operations. Whether it’s your internal help desk or customer-facing technical assistance, the way you deal with issues and support tickets can make or break your organization.
Over the last 20 years, I’ve worked both sides of the support coin at one of the world’s largest payment and processing companies. We’ve aggressively expanded in the fintech space through acquisitions, and our support tools must keep up with our product expansions.
I started here as a customer support agent and then moved to our internal help desk. When I began here, the company was small enough that a lot of employees wore many different hats, and I had time to learn new skills outside my day-to-day duties. About 10 years ago, I started to assist our remote support system administrator, who taught me the ins and outs of Bomgar Remote Support, which has subsequently been renamed BeyondTrust Remote Support.
The former remote support system administrator left the company six years ago, and I took over as our sole BeyondTrust system admin while still working at our internal help desk. As the company has grown, we’ve had to scale all of our support systems and personnel to meet the increased demand for our expertise. Fortunately, BeyondTrust has continued to evolve to meet our changing needs as we added new products and business services.
BeyondTrust Remote Support is an appliance-based tool that securely connects to macOS, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android devices, and peripherals on your internal network or anywhere else in the world. It offers enterprise-grade, scalable remote support, access, and control tools. A real-time dashboard monitors IT help desk performance and lets you allocate staff and IT resources as needed at the push of a button.
Since 2005, our company’s support teams have used remote support tools to provide IT help to internal users and customers worldwide. One of our support groups added a help button to our software, and users could initiate a chat within an internal application itself. Over time, we expanded this function to other internal groups. We then added the ability to remotely troubleshoot a user’s computer from within the chat session using BeyondTrust Remote Support.
BeyondTrust Remote Support lets me log into multiple computers at the same time and help people simultaneously. I can update drivers on one person’s computer while I’m repairing another user’s VPN permissions and still answer an Office 365 question in another window. With BeyondTrust Remote Support, everything happens in one place. I don’t have to log into one system then fire up a separate chat client. And there’s no need to sign into a third tool to access a customer computer remotely.
BeyondTrust Remote Support also offers end-to-end encryption and port management. The software is uniquely built for every customer and includes an encrypted license file that validates client connections to the BeyondTrust appliance. This combination of multitasking and robust network security made it the obvious choice for our busy IT support teams.
About six years ago, we replaced the physical infrastructure at our data center with hyperconverged internet appliances. The move from 32-bit bare metal servers to 64-bit virtual machines improved security and allowed us to upgrade to the latest version of BeyondTrust Remote Support. This new infrastructure was easier to manage and allowed us to consolidate our remote support websites.
In acquiring other companies and launching new products, our company had accumulated seven different remote support websites and several data centers. By moving to hyperconverged infrastructure, we were no longer tied to physical hardware, and reduced our websites to three.
One of these websites is for internal support, including our help desk technicians, network engineers, database administrators, and other in-house users. The other two sites provide support to our customers around the world. In both cases, we no longer have to dispatch a technician onsite or guide a remote user through the update or issue resolution process. Instead, a help desk team member can take control of the remote computer and make the needed changes for the user.
BeyondTrust Remote Support streamlines the customer support process, as everything happens within the BeyondTrust console. When a customer shares their screen, BeyondTrust asks permission to install a temporary file that allows the agent to take over the remote computer. The agent can then perform the needed actions without leaving BeyondTrust.
The BeyondTrust Remote Support console also logs all support agent activity in real time. We can plan follow-up training by monitoring how help desk staffers work and seeing what points need extra attention. We also record all actions we take on a customer’s machine, in case they ever ask about any changes or maintenance performed.
Unlike our previous platforms, BeyondTrust Remote Support is built from the ground up to safeguard internal and external users. The BeyondTrust appliance resides on our perimeter network, limiting our exposure to external threats. It also incorporates multi-factor identification to prevent bad actors from accessing our network from within, while also protecting external customers from illicit remote access to their machines.
In streamlining our workflows, BeyondTrust Remote Support has increased our productivity by 80%. Instead of walking a customer through an update or troubleshooting process via phone, we can remotely make the changes ourselves. It’s a lot faster and it simplifies our job—but it also makes things easier for our customers. They don’t have to dive into the technical weeds unless they want to.
I can monitor and manage my support team from within BeyondTrust, too. It is a top-to-bottom tool that allows me to control every aspect of our remote support activities. You could say it’s a help desk in a box.
As with any long-term relationship, our partnership with BeyondTrust has grown over time. Initially, our sales representative was local to Atlanta so, not only could I pick up the phone to chat anytime, but we could also easily meet for lunch and discuss anything that I needed. He knew our system inside and out and could troubleshoot it, even when we ran seven sites.
That intimate knowledge is important to us. Even though my company and BeyondTrust have both expanded over the last decade, I can still reach many of the same people that I did when our relationship began. It saves a lot of time and frustration not to have to explain your history to someone every time you open a new ticket.
In 2019, I went to the Go Beyond User Conference, which was enlightening. I saw how other companies use Remote Support, and the demos and panels gave me additional insight into the platform’s newest features. It’s one thing to read about a product from a newsletter or product sheet, but it’s even better when people share their own use cases and demonstrate those new features.
Because of all this, our partnership continues to grow. Our security team has begun deployment of BeyondTrust Endpoint Privilege Management, a solution to enforce least privilege and application control to improve endpoint security, over the last year, and I hear that’s been going smoothly.
BeyondTrust’s secure Remote Support product pays for itself. Every minute you shave off a support call improves the end-user experience, and happy customers are return customers. Every keystroke and mouse click you can eliminate on the back-end frees your help desk agents to deliver better and faster support to internal and external users. And that’s a plus, too.
The only sure thing in remote support is what you don’t know. Hardware and software updates can break everything overnight. While engineers scramble to release patches, your help desk has to keep users running. BeyondTrust Remote Support directly connects your support agents to your customers and end users, eliminating any friction along the way.
Jennifer Woodbridge has more than 20 years’ experience in IT operations and system administration in the financial services industry.