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Challenge

A two-person IT team needed to provide support for 2,000+ employees in more than 52 locations, but manual support processes were eating away these valuable professionals’ time.

Solution

The ConnectWise Automate IT management platform provides automation and operational efficiencies that make it manageable to support and maintain a growing IT workload.

Results

ConnectWise Automate provides real-time monitoring and alerting that helps maintain the integrity of critical healthcare hardware and software. Automation eliminates the time-consuming hassle of performing software updates, saving substantial IT time. The remote control and access functionality reduces IT response times and helps IT support spend less time troubleshooting.

Imagine that you and only one colleague constitute the entire IT Branch Support team for a midsize company with 52 locations, spread across 9 states. Together, you support 2,000 employees, 300+ endpoints, and 26 servers. Aggressive growth plans call for adding 5 new facilities each year for the next 3 years. And to top it off, the company has a truly critical mission—ensuring the health and happiness of thousands of senior citizen residents.

Pressure…What Pressure?

Feeling stressed yet? Most of us would. But the two technicians at Bickford Senior Living aren’t frustrated at all. In fact, Lawrence Prettyman says he and his colleague go home at 5:00 p.m. most evenings and really enjoy their jobs. How do they stay so cool under pressure? Their secret is ConnectWise Automate.

ConnectWise Automate is an IT management platform that helps internal IT departments increase operational efficiencies by leveraging automation to manage updates, patches, and AVIs while creating more proactive IT support through automated monitoring and alerts. “Our infrastructure is the heartbeat of the company,” explained Prettyman. “If our employees can’t use their computers, they can’t do their jobs.”

Proactive Monitoring of Critical Healthcare Systems

ConnectWise Automate helps proactively maintain systems critical for the health and safety of Bickford Senior Living’s residents. Each location maintains 1 to 3 netbooks that are used to distribute medications. “Medication timing is critical. It has to be completed at a set time, or we can be fined by the state,” said Prettyman. “We also have a resident monitoring system to help keep dementia residents away from restricted areas or doors and to alert our staff to their location or if they’ve fallen. We have ConnectWise Automate running on both of these critical systems, plus a backup, so we can predict and respond to any problem.”

“With our previous remote access system, we couldn’t monitor anything. I couldn’t get statistics. There were times when a critical system went offline and we didn’t know. In ConnectWise Automate, I can see what’s happened if a system goes offline. Tickets or alerts warn me about any hardware failure.”

Lawrence Prettyman, Branch Support, Bickford Senior Living

Eliminating the Hassle of Windows Updates

Prior to implementing ConnectWise Automate, regular Windows updates carved out a huge chunk of every week for the Branch Support team. Prettyman had to log in remotely and manually install an update, then repeat the same process dozens more times until all end-user computers and/or servers were up-to-date.

Prettyman reasoned that if the Windows update process could be automated, the Branch Support team would have more time to focus on proactive support. He made the case to his supervisor and received the go-ahead to evaluate IT management platforms.

Today, ConnectWise Automate is running on 284 of Bickford Senior Living’s computers and all 26 servers. Windows updates are performed automatically. “We are very aggressive with making sure our servers are running and up-to-date, with no hardware issues. We check their health with ConnectWise Automate every day,” he said.

“ConnectWise Automate had the best price and was the better product. Then we had to prove ConnectWise Automate’s benefit and ROI to the business owners. We explained, there are only two of us and new updates every week. We could be more proactive and prevent problems with ConnectWise Automate.”

Lawrence Prettyman, Branch Support, Bickford Senior Living

ConnectWise Automate Provides Faster Response with Reliable Remote Access

Before ConnectWise Automate, Bickford Senior Living owned a remote access tool, but it couldn’t monitor clients or provide any reports or alerts. Worse, the remote connection quality was low, sometimes taking 5 minutes to connect and losing connectivity often.

Using ConnectWise Automate, Prettyman noticed an immediate improvement. “When employees have IT issues, we remote in instantly. With ConnectWise Automate, I’m in by the time they pick up the phone. It’s awesome!”

By investing in ConnectWise Automate, Bickford Senior Living is able to:

  • Support 2,000 employees and 52 branch locations with just 2 full-time technicians
  • Save a substantial amount of time each week by automating Windows updates
  • Proactively monitor and maintain critical systems for tracking medication and monitoring residents
  • Improve IT support with fast, reliable remote access to reduce troubleshooting time by enabling support technicians to see what’s happening with a computer
  • Reduce time on the phone troubleshooting by being able to see into remote computers
  • Resolve issues without interrupting employees’ work

“ConnectWise Automate reduces a lot of our time on the phone so we can focus on other projects. I don’t spend so much time troubleshooting because I can see what’s going on. We’ve shown our company’s owners ConnectWise Automate and its reports, and they love it.”

Lawrence Prettyman, Branch Support, Bickford Senior Living
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