• August 1, 2006
  • By Colin Beasty, (former) Associate Editor, CRM Magazine

Selecting a Remote Relief

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Commercial real-estate firm Ryan Companies understands that before it helps its customers it has to help itself. In the company's effort to improve the construction services it offers to clients, Ryan decided to install an employee help-desk system. Forty-five percent of the firm's staff works from remote construction sites throughout the United States--keeping employees' laptops up and running is essential. The company's construction superintendents store project schedules on their laptops, so any PC downtime would be a serious drain on productivity. "If our people were in the field and had an issue, such as a virus infection, [we would] have them ship the computers back to us," says Greg Dosser, Ryan Companies' help-desk team leader. When this wasn't an option, help-desk employees would, in some cases, provide several hours' worth of phone support for the superintendents, or fly from the company's Minneapolis office to one of many construction sites. "The travel costs were adding up," says John Leeper, CIO. The company turned to Citrix Online, a division of Citrix Systems that offers Web-based access, support, and collaboration software. In 2005 Ryan Companies installed Citrix GoToAssist, a Web-based service that connects computers and enables help desk personnel to share a computer screen, mouse, and keyboard controls. The help desk uses GoToAssist to remotely resolve issues in the field, getting employees back to work within minutes. The firm reduced help-desk calls by 90 percent, lowered shipping costs from returned laptops, and has saved on travel expenses by keeping the help-desk team from flying to job sites. Leeper says that GoToAssist has "[allowed] us to keep the PCs in the [teams'] hands, and that helps us to keep our commitment to completing a project on time."
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