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Remote access and remote support free up network pros

Remote access and remote support have freed up the networking staff at a sprawling medical campus.

The network administrator at Bozeman Deaconess Hospital had a daunting task: managing and supporting 500 users on a sprawling campus with limited IT resources.

According to that administrator, Mark Solyst, it was impossible to handle the influx of network-related problems and issues in such a large environment with so few on staff.

For example, if an end user was having a network- or desktop-related problem, Solyst would dispatch a technician to that employee's desk, swallowing precious time.

He needed a networked solution that would allow him and his team to support all of the hospital's technical needs from one centralized location.

"We spent too much time running from our building to other buildings and then back again if the problem recurred," Solyst said. Budget constraints ruled out additional personnel, he added.

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Solyst and his staff needed something that would offer remote-control management and remote access. They needed software that would let them view employees' computers remotely (so management would be centralized) and would grant different sets of access and security privileges to different users and administrators. Solyst said he also wanted a way to configure and deploy PCs and servers from remote locations, to record screen activity on PCs or servers for monitoring and diagnostic purposes, and to give employees VPN access. Lastly, any solution had to give staff network access to all patient files even when the network staff was dealing with server maintenance issues.

Solyst evaluated several vendors, looking especially at products from CA and PC Anywhere. But it was Proxy Remote Control from Proxy Networks that hit each of his requirements and was also able to encrypt a remote-control session to ensure HIPAA compliance.

Staff members are now freed up to handle larger tasks, Solyst said, and routine support tasks are handled quickly through a remote session, without network pros having to leave their desks.

The software gives Solyst a secure infrastructure to ensure that remote sessions are available at all times. The gateway server functions as a virtual router, allowing service providers to find and connect to remote machines instantly.

The Proxy gateway administrator lets the team configure, deploy and manage Proxy infrastructure from remote locations, Solyst said, while the management reports and audit logs add accountability for remote access and remote-control activity on the network.

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