St. Margaret’s Hospice Care uses Awingu for secure remote access to staff and external contractors
St. Margaret’s Hospice Care is a non-profit charity in the UK that provides palliative care to the population of Somerset. They are one of the largest hospices in the UK. In 2020, they cared for more than 5,000 people across Somerset, mostly in their own homes. As well as their community teams, the hospice also has two hubs, one of which includes a 12 bedded In-patient Unit. To allow secure access for their remote-working employees, they chose Awingu.
- External contractors: “We work in very close partnership with some NHS consultants. Traditionally giving them access to medical databases has been a real pain in the backside, but with Awingu, it has been a lot more comfortable. In this case, they are just another remote user of the hospice. It has really helped us onboard external users.”, says Nick. Jack adds: “It’s absolutely convenient. Otherwise, you give someone a corporate laptop to use about once a month just for them to access our network via VPN. And now, you just say: here’s the URL and your credentials. It’s definitely easier this way.”
- VPN replacement: Before COVID hit, the hospice was using traditional VPN-based services to allow remote access sporadically, which unquestionably caused some challenges. “We were very restricted to the fact that people had to use a corporate device for us to be able to get them onto our system. We didn’t want to put a VPN on their home computers; that’s like opening Pandora’s Box in terms of IT security. Everybody also knows that VPN technologies are around since the 80s and haven’t changed a lot. So there’s quite a large overhead to VPNs and the governance around how you control that data. That was a real concern to us”, Jack Gorman (Senior IT Technician) told us. St Margaret’s Hospice’s IT department then started to look for another solution.
- Secure and simple: They had feared multiple authentication prompts like in systems they used before, but in Awingu, the SSO worked exactly as expected. Besides that, they were able to quickly improve their remote access security by using the built-in MFA, something they weren’t able to use before. “One of the most important benefits for us,” Nick tells us, “was being able to scale to a large number of users quickly. As Awingu ‘plugs in’ to our AD, our users didn’t have to make new accounts and familiarize our employees with them. We were up and running from our first introduction to rolling it out to our users in no time.”
- Fewer support tickets: Moreover, they also see fewer support tickets coming in. “When the employees rarely stumble across an issue, it’s never with Awingu itself, but rather an application in the environment, the internet connection, etc.” Apart from that, they also like the reporting capabilities inside Awingu. “We think it is useful having a full visibility into what people are doing and what are the most-used applications are,” says Nick.
When I started researching, the first thing he noticed was Awingu's pricing model. It impressed me that you publish your pricing, which is important from our non-profit point of view. We hate to spend hours discussing and researching a product to get a price tag we can't afford in the end. We also immediately saw it was a competitive price, so we went from there, and the more I read about Awingu, the more I was excited.”
“One of the most important benefits for us was being able to scale to a large number of users quickly. As Awingu ‘plugs in’ to our AD, our users didn’t have to make new accounts and familiarize our employees with them. We were up and running from our first introduction to rolling it out to our users in no time.”