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Cape Fear Community College Switches Remote Support Solutions

Cape Fear Community College in North Carolina has switched from an open source virtual network computing (VNC) solution to an enterprise remote support solution to provide IT support to students, faculty and staff and to provide secure vendor access to campus systems for the purpose of maintenance or upgrades.

The community college previously used UltraVNC, an open source Windows application that lets users remotely control other computers. However, latency issues frustrated the IT team when they tried to use the system for remote IT support, and they often chose to travel around campus to provide in-person support, instead.

Since the college has grown significantly over the past few years and the IT team now handles more than 400 support calls per month, they decided it was time to upgrade to an enterprise remote support solution. They selected Bomgar B200 Remote Support Appliance, which lets them provide campus-wide support from the IT office without latency issues, according to Dallas Baldwin, desktop support specialist for the college.

According to information on Bomgar's site, the solution lets IT staff remotely connect to and control desktops, servers, laptops, tablets and smartphones through an SSL-encrypted session. Bomgar resides on the school's network using in-house security measures, and the system logs each support session without passing data to a third party. When the support session is complete, Bomgar uninstalls from the remote client.

Bomgar features that appealed to the college's IT team were its vendor access feature, Bomgar button, and integration with the Dell KACE systems management solution, according to information from the company.

With Bomgar's Embassy vendor access feature, the college can give vendors temporary access to campus systems for the purpose of maintenance or upgrades. The feature restricts vendor access to specific systems and captures an audit trail of every vendor action on those systems.

The Bomgar button is a support call shortcut button installed on campus computers. When instructors need to request help, "they can click the Bomgar button to instantly connect with our remote support team right from the machine," said Baldwin in a prepared statement.

The integration with the Dell KACE systems management solution lets IT staff initiate remote support sessions directly from the Dell KACE service desk and inventory systems, and "session details, such as chat transcripts and notes, are appended to the record when the remote session ends," according to information from Bomgar.

Cape Fear Community College is located in Wilmington, NC and offers associate degrees, diplomas and certificate programs. The college serves 11,000 students and the IT staff supports more than 6,000 software products on 3,500 campus devices.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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