The British Council – The Citrix GoToAssist Solution


The EnterpriseThe Internet Business Development team at The British Council.The ChallengeTo provide customer support to over 800 web authors contributing to 150 British Council websites across the world.

The Citrix GoToAssist Solution

Using GoToAssist, The Internet Business Development team at The British Council can support its global customer base and resolve issues remotely. Using GoToAssist, support technicians within the Internet Business Development team can view and control PCs across the world, via the internet, to rapidly isolate and rectify problems.

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The Results

By adopting GoToAssist, The British Council is able to handle queries and solve problems remotely, boosting productivity by troubleshooting problem PCs in far flung countries including Japan, Armenia, Albania Canada and Chile. GoToAssist allows The British Council to quickly identify whether difficulties their customers are facing are caused by faults in their own enterprise content management solution or by incorrect local operating system configuration.

The Return on Investment

Prior to the implementation of GoToAssist, in the worst cases, customers abroad were losing around 30 working days as the business development team tried to troubleshoot problems over the phone. The British Council has found that by enabling its technicians to take control of customer’s machines, in the four months they’ve been using GoToAssist, they have saved around 60 working days.

By increasing the productivity and quality of its customer service, the British Council anticipates that GoToAssist will save the organisation around £15,000 a year.

Citrix GoToAssist Helps to Deliver ‘The Best of British’

The British Council is the United Kingdom’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. It represents Great Britain overseas, staging cultural events designed to build international relationships and encourage influential people abroad to engage with Britain.

The British Council operates from 216 towns and cities across 110 different countries and is supported by around 150 websites, each authored by approximately 800 contributors, based across the world. Every one of these 150 websites is hosted centrally from the UK office in Manchester, with responsibility for their upkeep falling to the Internet Business Development team, based in the UK.Whilst maintaining each of the 150 websites, the Internet Business Development team is also required to provide technical support for its own content management system that is operated centrally from the Manchester, UK office. The team originally provided support to its customers, based across the world, over the phone. This gradually proved more and more problematic as International Operations Manager, Ian Barnes explains: “Providing support for our content management solution is a massive international operation. We have customers based in just about every country across the world, so we’re never going to be able to justify the cost of travelling to each country to meet them face-to-face.

We therefore had little choice but to try to resolve issues over the phone.”Barnes continues: “The problem with giving technical support over the phone is that a significant number of customers didn’t feel comfortable enough to describe their local computer environment over the phone. We wanted to see for ourselves the problems they were facing.” The team therefore decided to look for a tool that would enable them to provide virtual onsite support.Barnes and his team began to look into services that would enable technicians at The British Council to access customer PCs remotely. As he reveals: “We needed a web-based, remote support service that would allow us to access our customers’ PCs from our office.

Other solutions such as pcAnywhere and Interwise but GoToAssist became the tool of choice for the team because of its simplicity in setting up and management. Barnes adds “We needed a secure service that is easy to use and that wouldn’t hit us in terms of required bandwidth. GoToAssist satisfied us on both counts. It allows us to resolve issues, which had previously been dragging on for months, in the click of a button. GoToAssist is instantaneous – if we know what we’re looking for, we can access our customer’s PCs and, if necessary, download applications from the internet and install them on their PCs without leaving the office.

We can carry out this and other processes that require specialised IT knowledge. More importantly, we can also see if the local operating system is of a sufficient high specification to run our content management solution.”The Internet Business Development team found that a high percentage of reported faults were due to problems with their customers’ IT systems, as Barnes explains: “If the local IT infrastructure fails to meet the minimum running requirements of our content management system, the service is inevitably going to operate more slowly. Customers inevitably assumed however, that the fault lied with our software. By using GoToAssist we can see with our own eyes whether the local system is struggling or the browser has been set up incorrectly and inform the customer if necessary.

“From a business perspective, GoToAssist has had an extremely positive influence on the technical team’s overall efficiency and productivity as Barnes points out: “In the four months that we’ve been using GoToAssist, our increased productivity means we have saved around 60 working days. I estimate that GoToAssist therefore will save us in the region of £15,000 a year. Although this is obviously a huge saving, it’s the increased quality of our service that really matters.”Ian Barnes concludes: “GoToAssist has been a revelation for us and it’s revolutionised the way we work. It has made us more productive and enabled us to provide comprehensive, personal customer service extremely cost effectively. We are so pleased with GoToAssist that we’re in the process of enquiring about another licence!”Citrix Online are exhibiting at The Helpdesk ; IT Support Show 2005, the most important date in the calendar for helpdesk professionals across Europe.

The Show features over 80 exhibitors and a stimulating programme of free seminars on a wide range of Technical and People ; Process topics. The Helpdesk ; IT Support Show runs from 26th to 28th April 2005, at the National Hall, Olympia, London.


1. GoToAssist will save us in the region of £15,000 a year.2.

GoToAssist has been a revelation for us.3. GoToAssist has revolutionised the way we work.


Web-Based Solution

No installation is necessary on end-user machines. One-click access puts your users in immediate communication with your support reps and enables them to remotely view and control your users’ computers, reducing handling time and increasing first-time resolution.

Fast and Easy to Implement

Your enterprise can be up and running within 48 hours; no additional infrastructure is needed. GoToAssist does all the setup and hosting on our secure servers.

Low Cost of Ownership

GoToAssist is the most cost-effective managed service for remote assistance. There are no hidden per-session or per-customer fees.


GoToAssist is firewall friendly, making connectivity extremely reliable. It functions at optimal levels via high-security facilities, redundant systems and 24/7 monitoring.


State-of-the-art security features, proprietary compression technology and 128-bit AES encryption ensure that the data exchanged between users and support reps is completely secure. Citrix Online, provider of GoToAssist, is SiteSecure Certified, a standard that ensures the security of your systems and data, and that of your customers, when using GoToAssist.