Virginia Tech Remotely Supports Over 2,200 Devices Across 140 Sites

Increasing efficiency and reducing costs of IT teams by using remote access

VIRGINIA TECH COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE AND LIFE SCIENCES

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) at Virginia Tech is comprised of about 140 sites with more than 2,200 computers and devices. An IT team of 7 help desk staff and 6 Area Information Technologists (AITs) manages and supports all of the computers and devices.

THE CHALLENGE

IT Support Specialist Edward O’Dell described the challenge for his team, particularly the AITs who traveled around their assigned districts providing support to faculty, to ensure that all of their endpoints were running smoothly.

“Two of the districts had two AITs overseeing them and the others had one each,” said O’Dell. “Each AIT was covering a large territory and travel was expensive. Plus, while they traveled, they were unable to support anyone else. With a remote desktop session, they could have done so much more work.”

Searching for a solution that would allow them to remotely support their endpoints, Virginia Tech CALS’s IT team initially tried SimpleHelp. However, they ran into various issues and soon started looking into replacements.

“We tried to use SimpleHelp,” said O’Dell, “but it didn’t always work. Also, it required the user to go to their website and download their support application, which some users found complicated and confusing to do.”

VIRGINIA TECH CALS CHOOSES SPLASHTOP

As O’Dell and his team looked for a new remote access solution, they focused on finding a product that would make it easier for them to quickly connect to their clients’ computers. O’Dell stated, “the biggest thing that we wanted in a solution was for it to have a persistent client so that we can just go through some type of admin console to connect to it.”

After researching multiple solutions, the team found that Splashtop Remote Support met this requirement and included many other benefits.

Splashtop Remote Support is used by IT teams for unlimited unattended remote access into their managed computers. It works by deploying the Splashtop Streamer onto the managed computers. Once the streamer is installed, IT admins can remote into the device at any time through the Splashtop app.

In addition to remote access from an unlimited number of devices, Splashtop Remote Support includes a comprehensive set of features to help IT admins complete their day-to-day tasks, including file transfer, multi-to-multi monitor, session recording, and attended support.

Virginia Tech CALS’s IT team utilizes many of these features to support their endpoints. One feature O’Dell especially values is two-factor verification, which Splashtop Remote Support users can enable to optimize the security of their accounts.

“We like that you can force two-factor authentication across all your technicians,” said O’Dell. “If you just leave the accounts open without two-factor verification and someone happens to get in, then they have access to every single machine loaded in your system.”

O’Dell also praised the Computer Grouping and User Grouping features for their convenience.

“We like that you can group systems,” said O’Dell. “Each different person can have access to one machine or a group of machines or all of them.”

Finally, O’Dell highlights Remote Support’s attended support feature, which works well for when IT professionals need to support clients on a break/fix basis. Technicians can remotely support any device by connecting with a simple session code, giving them the ability to support devices that are not already managed in their Splashtop Remote Support account.

“The attended support feature has been wonderful; when we need to get into a client’s device, we can have them go to the Splashtop website, download the application, and we’re in.”

BENEFITS – CUTTING COSTS, REDUCING TRAVEL, INCREASING EFFICIENCY & MORE

Overall, O’Dell and his team have been very satisfied with how Splashtop Remote Support has allowed them to support their devices.

Aside from the core remote access capability, Splashtop Remote Support has had additional benefits for O’Dell and his team such as cutting costs, reducing travel, and being able to resolve issues in a shorter amount of time.

“We wanted something that gave us the ability to take over a user system and help faculty with their problems. Cutting cost and reduced travel were added benefits, but not requirements. We still put an emphasis on trying to have face- to-face time with our users. But our workload has grown so much (and we have had many staff changes for about a year) that we have to do things by phone a lot or working from the office with Splashtop. Remote Support makes it a whole lot quicker to fix your problem now than to wait for someone to be there in two weeks.”

Moreover, O’Dell reported being able to work more efficiently with Splashtop Remote Support.

“Lots of times we schedule a time with users to remote in and take care of their problems because we’re able to do that and work on something on the back end simultaneously,” said O’Dell. “That way, we can take care of two big problems at once. For example, if I’m trying to install this software for you and it’s having issues, then I need to wait until it runs through the installer to see where it fails, so I can do something else in my office.”

In addition to providing support, O’Dell uses Remote Support for remotely deploying new computers.

“We also use Remote Support when we are deploying a new computer for somebody. We ship them a PC and once they plug it in, we remote into it and finish the little bit of computer set up that needs to be done. For instance, we help them get their email system configured, our backup system configured, and we transfer them data that they might need.”

Another benefit of Remote Support is that O’Dell can give faculty remote access to their work computers. To do this, he utilizes his unlimited secondary accounts (included in all Splashtop Remote Support packages) to enable end-user access.

“We have more than 50 staff members now who use Remote Support in their homes to remote back to their office or lab PCs to do work,” said O’Dell.

In total, the IT team at Virginia Tech CALS has used Splashtop Remote Support for more than 9,000 remote connections in less than three years. O’Dell stated, “One of our technicians has used it over 1,900 times. He was someone who used to travel all the time; now, he is not traveling as much. Even when addressing something where he could walk people through over the phone, sometimes it is just quicker to do it for them with Splashtop Remote Support.”

Recently, O’Dell even recommended Splashtop Remote Support to the library at Virginia Tech. Since then, they have evaluated and purchased the solution.

“We looked at all these other companies,” said O’Dell. “But we recommended Splashtop for a variety of reasons: the cost, persistent client, enforced two factor authentication, and user management for individual technicians.” O’Dell continued, “Here at Virginia Tech, we have a university policy that software has to be approved through our legal team before it can be bought. It was already approved, we liked it, it worked for us, so we recommended it.”

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Splashtop Remote Support is a cost-effective, high-performing, user-friendly alternative to other remote access/support products like Bomgar Remote Support and LogMeIn Central. It is the best-value solution for education IT teams to remotely support their managed computers and servers. Try it for free (with no credit card required) or schedule a demo for more information.

DETAILS

Summary

The IT team at the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) is responsible for supporting more than 2,200 computers and devices across 140 sites.

With an IT team of 7 help desk staff and 6 Area Information Technologists, meeting the growing demands of clients scattered across large territories has been challenging. After trying other remote support solutions, the team at Virginia Tech CALS found exactly what they were looking for with Splashtop Remote Support.

Once onboard with Splashtop, the IT team was able to increase efficiency and reduce travel time and costs by being able to remotely access any of their managed devices at any time to provide support.

Splashtop Remote Support Benefits

  • Broad Device Support: Support Windows and Mac computers from any other Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Chromebook device.
  • Fast Remote Access: Splashtop Remote Support is powered by the same award-winning remote access engine found in Splashtop’s personal use solutions. Enjoy fast remote connections with HD quality and sound.
  • Increased Productivity: Splashtop Remote Support comes with the top features IT teams need, including file transfer, chat, remote wake, remote reboot, session recording, user and computer management, grouping, and more.
  • Cost Savings: Splashtop can save you over 80% when compared to other solutions. Plus, Splashtop doesn’t have a history of price increases like other remote access providers.

Why Choose Splashtop

Here’s why education IT teams like the one at Virginia Tech CALS love Splashtop:

  • Splashtop Remote Support costs up to 80% less than other remote support products.
  • IT teams can easily meet growing demands thanks to increased efficiency.
  • Enable end-user access so your faculty can have remote access to their own computers.
  • Complete daily tasks with ease thanks with Splashtop’s suite of top tools and features.


“We recommended Splashtop for a variety of reasons: the cost, persistent client, enforced two-factor authentication, and user management for individual technicians.”
– Edward O’Dell

PDF Version of the Case Study

Virginia Tech – Remote Support for IT

Virginia Tech – Higher Education IT