Coastal Housing Group is a not-for-profit industrial and provident society, existing only for the benefit of the community, operating in Swansea, Neath, Port Talbot, and Carmarthenshire.
The team are very mobile during the day. Their jobs require considerable time spent working offsite alongside clients and projects in the community. When in the office, employees are hot desking and sharing available resources.
To allow the team to work effectively, IT needed to be able to remotely manage and respond to user session events.
They also needed an effective way to oversee all logon connections and historical reporting for HR.
Remotely manage and respond to Windows Session Events
The challenge for this company was divided in three distinct and well defined parts related to the way the team works:
- Remote Control over user sessions:
A common case for IT is the request to unlock shared PCs. Users have left themselves logged in at the office, blocking computing resources for others. With users being also encouraged to hot desk, this results in even more demand for abandoned sessions to be forcibly closed.
- Oversight on all user sessions:
For the management, maintenance and planning of available resources, IT need a way to oversee all logon connections; tracking how many people, from where and since when are logged in any one time. When performing significant maintenance out of hours, they need to know quickly who is logged in to make contact.
- Historical reporting on all user sessions:
Historical reporting of user log in/out times for HR investigations, and on user request for timesheet completion.
UserLock to help optimize resources and save time
The IT team was assigned the task to find a third party software that would provide real-time visibility into all users logon activity and allow them to remotely disconnect sessions left opened or locked.
After some research, the IT team decided to try IS Decisions’ UserLock.
Deploying the software proved easy. Kathryn Banfield, the IT Infrastructure Analyst said: “We were up and running and in use very quickly. The software installed with ease, straightforward, out of the box.”
The team found they could now unlock PCs easily. “To release previous user sessions remotely, we simply connect to the UserLock console, browse by user or device and gracefully log the absent employee off.” This saves considerable time so the users can get on with their tasks instead of waiting for IT to physically visit the PC.
UserLock’s real-time visibility into all logon logoff activity gave administrators the overview they were looking for, and the ability to quickly review and respond to any incident or event. The central audit provided the historical reports and insight needed by HR.
Invisible for user, essential for IT function
UserLock has allowed Coastal Housing Group to save a lot of time and to optimize workstation usage. Invisible to the end user, UserLock has helped administrators manage and respond to logon events.
“We couldn’t be without it, we use it every day. We have always fallen back on UserLock to get out of situations over the years.”
It’s also a non-disruptive technology that won’t frustrate IT. It works alongside Active Directory – no modifications are made to Active Directory or its schema.
“It’s reliable and does the job. I find it to be easy to use and nicely designed compared to a lot of utilities we use which are needlessly fiddly. I imagine without Userlock, IT Support would have to attend meditation classes, to keep them calm!"
UserLock’s ease of use also ensured it was a simple task to brief and train the wider operations team on the software.