City workers in Garden City, Kansas, now have access to Web-based content they need to do their jobs without being hampered by slow information technology (IT) network speeds or having to call their IT department to view blocked content. Since the Garden City IT department deployed the Bloxx Web Filter, network bandwidth has improved dramatically, as has employee productivity.
“We were reasonably happy with the filtering provided by our previous Webroot solution, but latency and unnecessary overhead meant that the effective bandwidth on our wide area network (WAN) was reduced from 50 MB to 15 MB,” said Jason Allen, director of information technology for Garden City. “This meant that employees were frustrated with the slow Web browsing speeds, resulting in a lot of calls to our IT service desk. Video content, for example was constantly buffering, which meant it was unusable.”
The Bloxx Web Filter was installed in Garden City’s data center and configured to filter all Web browsing for city employees working in various departments across 13 sites. The Bloxx Web Filter, the only genuine real-time categorization product on the market, analyzes the content of Web pages at the point of request, places the page into one of 50 content categories, and allows or blocks access depending on the requestor’s access policy. This dynamic real-time approach is dramatically more effective than legacy Web filters that rely on URL lists or keyword scoring and lets organizations better manage access to the rapidly growing Web.
“We developed a range of filtering policies that are automatically synchronized with our Active Directory server, so we can allow Web access based on department or job function,” said Allen. “And because employees have access to Web content that’s relevant to their role, they were no longer calling IT to get access to blocked content. This flexibility, coupled with the improvements in browsing speeds and reclaimed network bandwidth, had a tangible impact on employee productivity including IT staff.”
The time Garden City, Kansas’ IT staff needed to manage Web filtering was reduced not only due to less frequent calls by employees to the service desk, but also the ease of use of Bloxx’s technology and support for the product. “We rarely have to make any changes to the configuration apart from adding an exception to filtering policies,” said Allen. “The user interface is very intuitive and anyone on my team can easily make these changes.” Continued Allen, “I’m impressed with Bloxx’s support team compared with our previous supplier as they helped us through some complex deployment issues ensuring the transition happened with minimal disruption.”
Concludes, Allen, “With Bloxx, we finally get to use our entire Internet pipe, customer support has been a lot more responsive and our employees are much more satisfied with the Web access they now have. We have significantly less headaches than with our previous Web filter.”