RTC Group plc, based in Derby, England, is a highly focused recruitment group providing temporary, permanent and contingent staff to a broad range of industries and clients in both domestic and international markets through its wholly owned subsidiary businesses.
The company faced an ongoing challenge because its mission-critical recruitment software is Java-based. While RTC Group was happy with its software, the Java element made it difficult to maintain across several hundred users spread across the United Kingdom, India, Afghanistan, and Dubai.
“Our Java-based recruitment software requires a number of very specific settings for our users’ computers,” says Justin Taylor, Group Information Manager at RTC Group plc. “Java can’t be managed through traditional Microsoft Group Policy, so we needed a way to adjust settings—and to adapt to new Java releases—without touching individual machines.”
The company also wanted a better way to manage policy for Microsoft Internet Explorer and Google Chrome browsers. “We didn’t want to be administering Java or browsers by hand across individual machines,” Taylor says. “So I performed an Internet search to see what I could find.”
Early into his search, Taylor came across PolicyPak, liked what he saw, and soon afterwards deployed the on-premises version of PolicyPak Suite to support all of his users at RTC Group.
“I found some PolicyPak videos of Jeremy [Moskowitz, PolicyPak CEO] describing how to use the product,” Taylor says. “Everything looked highly professional, so we decided to test the product. PolicyPak Suite was able to tick all of our boxes. It met all of our needs and looked easy to use and easy to deploy. There was no need to look elsewhere.”
RTC Group initially used PolicyPak Suite for Java and Internet Explorer, and later expanded its use for Google Chrome and are now managing even more applications via the Suite.
“The ability to lock down Java and to prevent users from doing their own updates was the big one for us,” Taylor says. “Our use of Java requires some 20 to 30 settings, and this isn’t something you want to do by going to individual computers—especially when we have users throughout the UK and beyond.”
Taylor notes: “We’ve been using PolicyPak Suite since 2014 and are very happy with it.”
RTC Group has gained a number of benefits since deploying PolicyPak Suite, including ease of deployment, saving administrative time, gaining freedom from remote sessions, reducing help desk burden, and enjoying great support.
Easy to Deploy
PolicyPak Suite’s ease of deployment was much appreciated by the RTC Group. “We didn’t want to deal with something with a big deployment manual,” Taylor says. “We didn’t want to have to set aside a week to understand how it fully works.”
RTC Group found PolicyPak Suite was easy to deploy and easy to understand. The many PolicyPak videos were also a plus.
“PolicyPak documentation is easy to understand and comprehend,” Taylor says. “We also found that PolicyPak has very helpful and well-produced videos that clearly describe whatever you want to do. We liked that the videos provided step-by-step instructions of how to do the basics of rolling out PolicyPak Suite and getting started using it. And there are plenty of deep-dive documents and videos to walk you through the more advanced uses as well.”
Saving Administrative Time
PolicyPak Suite has greatly reduced the time RTC Group would otherwise spend on adjusting computer settings to support Java and browsers.
“I can’t say just how much time we save, but we are saving hours of admin time and engineer intervention time because PolicyPak Suite gives us the ability to automate tasks that were once very time consuming,” Taylor says. “Without PolicyPak Suite, it would be a nightmare to maintain settings by going around to each user or performing remote sessions. There would be a lot of time wasted.”
Time is also saved by locking down Java so users don’t download new versions that might not be compatible with their Java-based recruiting application. Taylor notes that even if a user managed to download a new version of Java or a browser, “PolicyPak Suite changes the settings back to how we need them, so they will be able to safely work.”
Freedom from Remote Sessions
Adjusting settings via remote sessions to other countries used to be a time-consuming operation—especially when dealing with slow connection speeds.
“In some locations, such as Afghanistan, we had to use a dial-up connection for our remote sessions,” Taylor says. “The latency was so bad it was like watching paint dry. With PolicyPak Suite we can just press a button. It’s like click and forget.”
Reducing Help Desk Burden
The same PolicyPak Suite benefits that reduce administrative time also help reduce demands on the help desk.
“The help desk system is based on tickets, and if you constantly have to fix issues that could be done through group policy, then other people are left waiting,” Taylor says. “Most days before we deployed PolicyPak Suite, the help desk had to go out to desktops to re-do policy settings, and then reboot and test. So, PolicyPak Suite has helped us to streamline operations to provide better help desk support.”
All of this fits with Taylor’s vision of supporting RTC Group users wherever they might be working. “Within support we are all trying to make life easier for the end users,” Taylor says. “We are in the background, so they don’t really notice us much, but what we are all trying to provide a stable IT environment so everyone can just focus on doing their work.”
Flexibility to Create Your Own Paks
PolicyPak Suite already provides Paks for so many applications that RTC Group hasn’t found a need for custom solutions, but likes the idea that should they ever need to, they can create their own Pak using PolicyPak Design Studio.
“Having the ability to create our own custom Paks with PolicyPak Design Studio is amazing because it gives you the ability to manage almost anything on our desktops,” Taylor says. “You can use your own custom Paks to manage nearly anything you need using Group Policy. Depending on how tight you want your security, you could create GPOs using PolicyPak instructions to lock down pretty much anything in your environment.”
Great Support from PolicyPak
On the few times Taylor has needed to contact PolicyPak for support, he’s been impressed by the speed and completeness of the response.
“We had a situation in which there was a new Java release that wasn’t working with our application so we needed an updated Pak,” Taylor says. “I e-mailed support at 5 p.m. here in the UK, and went home. When I came in at 8 in the morning, the work was done. With each issue I’ve had, the response from PolicyPak has always been fast, and professionally handled.”