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How satisfied are you with your Remote Access software? even though you could be saving 75% of the costs

How satisfied are you with your Remote Access software?

even though you could be saving 75% of the costs!

As a result of the seismic changes in ways of working which the pandemic has wrought upon many organisations, the dash to enable “Working From Home” has led many to adopt one or other of the “knee jerk” options when choosing a solution to the issue of remote access of critical business systems.

But how is that working out in practice and how sustainable are these over the long-term?

Especially when there is an alternative available ( 2Go Universal Mobile Access ) which could save you over 75% of your TCO? For more details read on…

This article sets out to explore the “real world” experiences of users of such names as Citrix, VMWare and others in an effort to shed some light on what issues you may already be facing or may face in future. The content comes from researching independent reviews of user experiences and, whilst we’ve not publicised their names, we are providing details of the type and position of user as well as the organisation profile to enable you to see what others in a similar field might be commenting upon.

For ease we’ve split the summary into 5 main sections:

Resource requirements:

The one common theme which seems to reoccur throughout the user reviews is that the solutions provided by these vendors all require significant levels of IT skills and expertise to be able to design, construct and maintain the various elements involved in each vendor’s system. There are frequent references to the complexity of the solutions and the demands thus placed upon the technical teams involved to “keep the lights on”!

… getting it set up so I can see everything I want is extremely troublesome” – Product Support Specialist, Tier 1 ERP vendor

There is a bit of a learning curve for the set up on the main system and it takes a knowledgeable tech person to properly install and keep the system moving smoothly” – Universal agent, Retailer

Requires a knowledge of Active Directory, DNS, networking, building servers, maintaining servers and a good organizational mindset to architect your infrastructure (tailored to your needs). You also have to intimately know and understand storage.” – Director of IT, Architecture and Planning company

It takes knowledge to setup/install and integrate .. into your environment. It also takes time to learn the skills to manage the product well” – IT professional, Government agency

Other products were more cost effective, offered a better support contract, had less dependencies on third party programs, were much simpler to configure, had better documentation, and didn’t require as much hardware.” – IT Administrator, Banking company

Infrastructure constraints:

As a result of the development of these solutions over a substantial period of time, there have been many additions to the core capabilities with a number of these demanding their own or specific hardware to support the functions. This has led to numerous comments about the complex infrastructure required by all of these vendors.

For a correct implementation, several virtual machines with sufficient hardware resources are required” – Account Technical Manager, hardware vendor

 “We spent a great deal of money up front to build out our environment.” – Lead Desktop Analyst, Life insurance company

The challenge is that it has a number of moving parts (i.e., security servers, external connection broker servers, internal connection broker servers, etc.) and when something goes wrong, troubleshooting can be difficult.” – Network Engineer, Higher Education college

Implementation issues:

Whilst many organisations may well have the resources to implement a Remote Access solution successfully, this is not necessarily true of all.  Having a complex structure coupled with significant demands on the skill and expertise of those charged with ensuring a good implementation has led to a number of critical comments within the reviews, such as:

The implementation on-premise is still a little complex due to the components required..” – Account Technical Manager, hardware vendor

… it needs to be set up well and network infrastructure needs to be taken into account for the number of users “ – Infrastructure Manager, Software company

… does have a slight learning curve because the delivery model of the desktop will change, so organizations need to be prepared to commit resources, and provide end user education to ensure a successful implementation and best return on technology investment.” – Partner, IT Services company

… as a whole has a tendency to expose shortcomings in an environment that may have gone unnoticed prior to deployment. This can be a shortage of IOPS in the storage array, over subscription of CPU/Memory in the hypervisor or a lack of general Systems Administration skills.” – IT Engineer, Law practice

Issues with overlapping settings caused troubleshooting to be a problem during the early stages of deployment.” – Engineer, DoD

There are known issues with smart card detection within ICA sessions, causing issues with users accessing published web applications that require smart card for authentication.” – Systems Engineer, IT company

Cost implications:

Clearly any organisation requiring a rapid solution to the problem of how to enable its workforce to work remotely needs to consider both short term and longer term financial impacts and with the extreme urgency created by the disruption of the pandemic, it is understandable that many organisations chose to rely upon the short term “knee jerk reaction” fix rather than take time to consider the fuller impact of these decisions.

However, if you are either reviewing the decision made regarding your chosen Remote Access software solution or are contemplating extending the installation or even embarking on deploying for the first time then it would pay to consider the following comments:

If you’re a large company with enough budget to maintain infrastructure and pay the expensive professional partners, only then should you consider this solution.” – IT Consultant, Software company

Expensive upfront – …  isn’t cheap to implement for an organization our size.” – Lead Desktop Analyst, Life insurance company

Licensing … is not cheap.” – Engineer, IT company

“ It is not appropriate for small sites with 10 or fewer users due to the cost of ownership.” – Systems Architect, IT Consultancy

Renewal cost of support contract is 80% of initial purchase price. Other companies’ renewal cost is significantly less.”  and  “The cost of upgrading (and dependency on) RDS licenses prevents us from upgrading “– IT Administrator, Banking company

When assessing the costs involved in implementing a Remote Access solution it is also important to approach these with a Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) view as it is evident from studying the various reviews that there are a series of cost elements to consider, such as:

  1. The cost of hardware required to be purchased or dedicated to delivering the infrastructure involved in a specific vendor’s approach
  2. The cost of providing sufficiently trained expert staff to enable the solution to be implemented – whether these are in-house staff or external consultants
  3. The cost effect of extended time periods involved in creating complex infrastructure setups to support the chosen system
  4. The “hidden” cost of management involvement in handling the changes in working practices brought about by both the time delay in implementation as well as the learning period to adapt to a new system of working
  5. The cost and nature of any software licenses required, whether these are for the Remote Access solution itself or dependent technologies
  6. The amount of time (and therefore cost) involved in maintaining and supporting the chosen vendor’s solution

Careful assessment of these TCO costs requires significant planning, especially when considering the life expectancy of the chosen solution.

As mentioned at the start of this article, you could be saving up to 75% of your current TCO costs by switching to 2Go Universal Mobile Access as your remote access solution.

After sales Support:

Any solution adopted needs to work – and work well  – across all of your requirements for you to be satisfied so it would pay dividends to consider carefully the level and nature of support available to ensure that it continues to do so. Unfortunately this is often a last minute consideration leading to some of the comments shown here:

Customer service does not appear to know how to configure, answer question, or assist with configuring the product.” – IT Administrator, Banking company

High learning curve for support” – President, IT consulting company

Support is kind of hit or miss from my experience.” – IT User, Hospital and Healthcare

Each time we have reached out to support for assistance the process has been drawn out and usually, we are unable to get an engineer who is knowledgeable on the phone “ – IT User, Healthcare company

support is overall pretty poor, unless you have great skills and experience in the platform already and can speak the Tier I support language enough to get them to pass you on to Tier II” – IT Team Lead, Transportation company

So what’s the alternative?

Well, why not find out about a simpler, straightforward approach which requires significantly less hardware and IT skills to implement yet still delivers the ability for users to work securely and remotely on any and all of the systems you need them to use – even those semi-forgotten but still critical “legacy” applications which can be found in most organisations?

Why not consider using an alternative solution which not only delivers this BUT also enables your work force to productively work on smartphones and tablets rather than having to provision laptops for everyone?

Why continue to spend more money on complex, complicated solutions like Citrix and VMWare when there is a much more affordable solution available from us?

For more information about just such an option why not check out our comparative study here and if you’d like to check it out, sign up for a free Proof of Value call at https://2gomobilenow.com/contact/


David Monks

Responsible for the day-to-day operations at iNovar. David's current focus is to scale 2Go through partnerships with System Integrators and Consultants.

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