REVIEWER: Russ Long, director of IT at SDS Pharmacy, Inc.

BACKGROUND: SDS Pharmacy is a small-town pharmacy company owning and operating three retail pharmacies in the St. Clair County, Mich., area, and serving more than 5,000 customers.

PLATFORMS: SDS Pharmacy is currently using primarily Windows-based systems for pharmacy management and point of sale systems. We also use Windows-based systems in our back office and Linux-based servers for files, backup and point of sale.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Our three stores are separated by more than 50 miles, and we need to be able to troubleshoot and support systems at our remote stores from our main office. Paying someone to drive to the remote stores whenever an issue arose was getting prohibitively expensive and leading to long issue resolution times. After looking into several options, we realized the most cost-effective solution was a remote support offering, and we ultimately chose Bomgar’s appliance.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Bomgar offers several features that have helped us reduce our support call time and increase overall issue resolution time. Bomgar provides functionality that increases the productivity and efficiency of our support team, such as their “Jump Technology,” allowing us to access unattended devices and “Bomgar Buttons” that let our end users get support with just one click. The ability to resolve issues that would otherwise cause a customer to wait in our store was a primary goal in our search for a remote support platform. Bomgar enables us to see and support the remote system from anywhere with an Internet connection, and also allows users outside of our networks to request a remote support session.

STRENGTHS: Bomgar has consistently proven to be the correct choice for our remote support needs. Being able to see the screen, access a terminal window, view system information and transfer files all from one tabbed window is a major advantage in dealing with support issues. Security is another great strength of the Bomgar system. Given that we handle sensitive health care data, the security of our customers’ personal health information is extremely important to us. Because Bomgar is a self-hosted appliance, we have the ultimate control over all data accessed. Bomgar is FIPS 140-2 and PCI compliant. These compliance standards are important, because they show our customers that their information is being kept safe in remote support environments. Bomgar also has the capability to provide detailed logs and session recordings for reporting and auditing purposes. From an auditing standpoint, being able to visualize all information accessed via remote support is a definitive advantage. We are also able to support employee laptops and smartphones. Bomgar provides a Remote Support Portal where any user with the Web address is able to request a remote support session.

WEAKNESSES: The Bomgar platform has some minor weaknesses, which the company is currently working on for future product updates. The inability to support the Android platform is one weakness that we are encountering, given the large increases in the number of Android phone users. This inability is largely due to the Android system security itself, however, and not Bomgar. Another weakness relates to the updating of the Bomgar appliance, as there are sometimes situations where configurations are not saved or issues with the appliance accepting the upgrade. These issues are quickly resolved by Bomgar’s support staff.

SELECTION CRITERIA: Flexibility to support multiple platforms (Windows, Linux, Mac, etc.) was a major deciding factor for us. Another major criterion was the security of our data. Bomgar excels in both of these areas. Cost was an additional consideration; compared to other similar platforms, Bomgar had the lowest cost for what we were looking to accomplish.

DELIVERABLES: Bomgar allows us to maintain our own remote support platform, have local access to the logs and support session recordings, and provide instant remote support to our users and systems.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Bomgar provides instant support to their customers on any issue related to their appliance. Product assistance is often provided by the same people who work on improvements for future versions of their software, which lends further credence to the support team. Also, Bomgar offers an online community for users to share experiences and issues.

DOCUMENTATION: Bomgar’s product documentation is high quality and accurate, documenting everything possible for their appliances and software. Most of the documentation is provided and kept current on Bomgar’s website, which means that the customer always has access to the most updated information available.

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