Swansea Housing Association has reduced IT support by 97 per cent using NetOp’s multi-platform remote support solution.
Having grown from refurbishing a number of terraced houses in 1978, Swansea Housing Association now owns almost 3000 homes in the Swansea and Neath Port Talbot areas. Its amalgamation with Dewi Sant Housing Association this year will increase its portfolio to over 5000 properties.
While the unification of both organisations is good commercially, it substantially increased the workload for Swansea’s IT team, particularly as Dewi Sant had no IT support facility. Furthermore, Swansea’s IT team now had to support a totally different environment. Swansea’s infrastructure runs on Windows with Exchange Server, SQL Server, Office, some financial applications and a bespoke asset management solution, while Dewi Sant runs on the very-different Microsoft Terminal Services platform.
To provide support for both infrastructures, Swansea needed a remote-support tool that worked on both platforms. David Piggford, IT manager, Swansea Housing Association, said, “We have always used a remote-control solution. We were running Stac’s Reachout but this didn’t work with newer versions of Windows, so we needed a solution that worked across our two sites on all versions and platforms.”
The housing association short-listed several products, including PcAnywhere and RealVNC, but they lacked the functionality and security of NetOp Remote Control.
Swansea immediately deployed Remote Control to all 33 PCs on the Dewi Sant network, marking the first stage of linking the two systems, as well as upgrading all of Swansea’s 85 PCs to the latest version. The Dewi Sant installation took just an hour, and didn’t even require a site visit. Dave Piggford said, “We simply asked all users to turn on their PCs and automatically deployed the solution to all machines remotely.”
With nine out of 10 problems now resolved remotely, Swansea has lowered its IT support time by 97 per cent and reduced the time and costs of off-site visits by 90 per cent.
David Piggford said, “We were voted one of the Sunday Times ‘Top 100 UK Best Small Companies to Work for’ in 2007 so I think we must be doing something right.”