How to measure the success of a Direct Access deployment

2017-12-07T11:55:00+00:00 October 15th, 2015|biz|

We’ve recently finished delivering an Agile Working project for a local NHS District Care Trust, which has enabled their mobile workers to ditch the old conventional VPN solution and replace it with Direct Access.
The previous product was not scalable, was unstable and also confused many of the users, most of whom are health professionals and not hard core IT users. I actually spent some time sat in the vicinity of the first line service desk at the Trust, and I couldn’t believe the number of times that the VPN was the source of the issues.
Despite some challenges around enabling specific line of business applications – many of which pushed the definition of “legacy apps” to its limit – we are able to get most of them working over Direct Access. One particular core application required us to engage directly with the vendor on behalf of the Trust, educate them about Direct Access and convince them that using hard coded IP addresses in their application probably wasn’t the smartest design decision they ever made.
When we started rolling out the pilot, the early adopters were blown away by how simple it was to get a connection in to the corporate network, even over 3G – basically, “it just does it on its own” was the phrase I heard several times.
But I think the ultimate accolade for the solution is summed up by this anecdote from the IT director.
“Simon, I’m so glad that you got Direct Access in and working for us. I can now walk down the corridor to get a cup of coffee without being pinned to the wall by irate users threatening to emasculate me if I didn’t get that VPN fixed”