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Open Source Cloud Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Esmeralda Swartz, Yakov Fain, Cloud Best Practices Network

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Kaiser Permanente Transforms IT Support Capabilities with Bomgar

Bomgar, a leading provider of secure remote support solutions, announced today that Kaiser Permanente is using the Bomgar remote support solution to provide dependable and comprehensive technology support to employees across the country. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente is one of the nation’s largest not-for-profit health plans, serving more than 9 million members. In addition to its health plan, the organization operates 37 hospitals, more than 600 medical offices and other outpatient facilities as well as conducts clinical research ad health education programs.

Kaiser Permanente’s division of research has more than 600 employees with approximately 60 principal investigators responsible for hundreds of research projects on a wide variety of subjects, including clinical trials and program evaluations covering numerous diseases and health issues. Headquartered in Oakland, California, the department’s research teams work in a variety of locations across the country, collaborating with researchers in other parts of Kaiser Permanente’s organization and with numerous academic institutions.

Prior to Bomgar, the IT support staff for the Division of Research had to travel to a desktop user’s location or ask laptop users to bring in their computer to fix support issues. Users not located near headquarters were burdened with having to mail a broken or malfunctioning device to the support staff if they needed assistance. “Our division has a very large remote workforce because so many of our investigators are out in the field meeting with patients and working with others on clinical research projects,” said Richard Navarro, director of IT operations for the Division of Research. Both former methods of tech support were time-consuming and costly, and IT staff did not have an adequate way to collaborate with peers in other parts of the organization to resolve problems. After coming on board with Kaiser, Navarro quickly realized that a remote support solution was what the support team needed.

Navarro and his team of 28 IT service staff evaluated a number of remote support solutions, including Bomgar. “The team attempted to use remote support tools before I joined the organization, but found them to be very unreliable when it came to establishing a connection. Certainly, then, one of our main requirements was reliability. An equally important requirement was that the solution needed to be secure, because Kaiser takes security very seriously. And lastly, we wanted an easy-to-use interface for our end-users.”

Of the remote support solutions evaluated, only Bomgar met all of the IT department’s requirements. Bomgar’s simple and reliable user interface and ability to enable robust collaboration set the solution apart. “We really like that all users have to do is visit a website or receive an email and click on a link to begin a support session,” Navarro said. “Some of the other solutions required users to follow a set of instructions to change administrative privileges or download software.”

Bomgar has dramatically improved the IT department’s ability to serve its user base. “One of the biggest benefits is that we no longer have to ask people to drive to our facility in Oakland or ship their computer to us when they need support. We can just connect to their machine remotely and help them,” Navarro said. “The ability to collaborate with remote peers is now also possible thanks to Bomgar. There are times when our team needs to access the expertise of our national service desk or an engineer in another part of our organization. In the past, we used WebEx or found some other way to get them involved in real time. Now, we can quickly invite any expert or outside vendor to join a session.”

Nathan McNeill, co-founder and chief strategy officer at Bomgar, emphasizes the importance of productivity levels for both information workers and IT representatives. “When an employee’s machine is down or they need assistance, it negatively affects the work they are able to complete. Moreover, when that device has to be fixed via an on-site visit or mailed to an office, productivity for both the worker and IT rep decreases. With Bomgar, your information workers are disrupted for much smaller lengths of time because IT support can instantly connect to the device, no matter where it’s located, and immediately resolve the issue.”

Overall, Navarro sees Bomgar’s ability to improve the end-user experience as the paramount benefit for his department. “When you get a call from a researcher and they are upset because their computer isn’t working and their project is stalled, you don’t want to tell them to bring their machine in tomorrow. With Bomgar, our support staff can help them immediately.” Navarro’s number one goal for the support team was to transform responsiveness to the users they serve, and with Bomgar, they have achieved it.

For a full case study about Kaiser Permanente’s use of Bomgar, please visit: http://www.bomgar.com/customers/

About Bomgar

Bomgar provides remote support solutions for easily and securely supporting computing systems and mobile devices. The company’s appliance-based products help organizations improve tech support efficiency and performance by enabling them to securely support nearly any device or system, anywhere in the world — including Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, BlackBerry and more. More than 6,500 organizations across 65 countries have deployed Bomgar to rapidly improve customer satisfaction while dramatically reducing costs. Bomgar is privately held with offices in Jackson, Atlanta, Washington D.C., Paris and London. You can find Bomgar on the web at www.bomgar.com, or on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google±.

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