Tech Upgrade (Real-World Solutions)

Putting Students First with Technology

The world has grown increasingly reliant upon mobile technologies in recent years, and academia is no exception. Faculty want to be able to check email from their smartphones, administrators want the ability to access university systems when working remotely, and students expect to bring their laptops or tablet devices of preference into the classroom. To address all of these areas and continue Boise State University’s “students first” commitment, it was necessary that we re-engineer our help desk to better support today’s academic environment.

Boise State implemented a remote support solution in 2002 to provide hands on support at the point of contact with support to managed PCs on our network. The technology had several limitations, including complexity for the support personnel and that it was solely for the Windows platform. Since approximately 30 percent of our students are now relying upon Mac devices, this was a significant drawback.

Additionally, this legacy support tool didn’t enable us to assist individuals working off-campus, preventing us from fully serving our distance learning students and faculty when they travelled to conferences or were conducting research in the field.

We began looking for a remote support solution that could provide multiplatform support and ultimately selected Bomgar. We’ve seen a number of improvements. Instead of being limited to supporting only certain university-sanctioned applications and devices, we’re now confident in our ability to assist any end-user, regardless of what device or operating system he or she is using. In addition to meeting our BYOD support needs, the solution allows us to assist faculty, students and staff even when they’re not connected to the university’s network.

In addition to furthering our “students first” mission, our enhanced support environment has significantly improved our experience as help desk representatives. Not only has it eliminated the frustration of not being able to help a user due to device limitations, it also makes us much more efficient.


This article originally appeared in the College Planning & Management November 2013 issue of Spaces4Learning.