Vocational Rehabilitation

Vocational Rehabilitation

Aqua Connect enables remote access to Mac OS X platform for students and staff

Vocational Rehabilitation is a state agency that helps people with disabilities in Nebraska find employment. They use a large comprehensive information system to collect all of their data in order to meet state and federal government reporting requirements. The system that they use was built on proprietary database software over ten years earlier. Their Intranet became too heavy to use for their remote office users. They have less than 150 staff members supporting over 5000 consumers so they realized that they needed to improve performance quickly before things got even more bogged down.

Before attempting to use Aqua Connect, they came up with a workaround for their problem. They increased their bandwidth and also chose to recycle their aging but usable computers as remote terminals. All of their field staff had two computers assigned to them, with one computer on their desk and another computer at the central office where their information systems were. With a remote management program, their users would connect from their desktop computer to their assigned remote computer and then connect to their primary information system.

By doing it this way, they ran into a few problems. Their aging remote terminals required increasing attention to keep them running and stable. The terminals would require reboots often and tended to fail if left on for long periods of time. It took a lot of time, effort and expense to determine whether it would be worth supporting this two-computer approach. It also cost them more for the electricity for the extra computers and port fees, not to mention the cost and maintenance of installing 13-tons of air-conditioning capability to maintain a good operating condition in the server room. The option to recycle their computers was nice but they didn’t replace them fast enough compared to their failure rate.

They installed Aqua Connect Remote Desktop Services on an Intel Xserve, along with their database software program and two web browser options. Their database required older software to run so they couldn’t just use their newer iMac client hardware to run it.

Instead of having to log into two computers in order to get into their information database, they now only have to use one to log into their server running ACRDS and the database. By moving to ACRDS, their IT staff now has more time to devote to other projects and more space in their server room. As their old computers fail, they will get rid of them and move field office users to ACRDS.

Vocational Rehabilitation started out with a 30-user license but planned on rolling out more Aqua Connect clients shortly after seeing how well Aqua Connect operates. They found the learning curve simple and the technical support requirements to their end users a non-issue.

“The Aqua Connect solution on an Apple Xserve with 16 GB of RAM is much faster than any other remote terminal service we have tried. The custom configuration capability of Aqua Connect has provided a perfect fit for our remote access requirements and instantly antiquated all other software and hardware solutions we had in place for remote access service. Having Aqua Connect now is exactly what we needed, and at just the right time.”

- Dan Dulaney