Many UK businesses are adopting a more flexible approach to work, and it’s not hard to see the benefits. A more mobile workforce is agile and equipped for more customer-focused business models, while integrating teleworkers can mean a more efficient company and happier, more productive employees. However, good as this is for businesses and employees, it can also be a challenge in terms of IT support. With everyone in the same office, technicians can troubleshoot problems or manage systems just by strolling around, but add mobile workers or remote workers into the mix, and how do you keep them up and running?
Introducing LogMeIn Rescue
LogMeIn Rescue could mean an end to these remote support nightmares, both for busy IT professionals and the users they assist. It enables instant remote support while providing a robust toolkit for finding and fixing problems across the Web, allowing IT pros to deal with issues as easily as if they were sitting at the user’s desk. It’s a powerful remote support solution, but not necessarily an expensive one. Even smaller companies adopting remote workers can afford to take it on, though larger organisations will find the system scales up to meet their needs.
The way the service works is fairly simple. IT technicians run a Technician Console, which has all the tools they need to track and switch between several support requests at once. When a user comes through with a problem, IT Support can email them with a link or a special six-digit code. After clicking the link or entering the code at a predefined URL, the user is prompted to download a small applet. The technician can then start the remote session, which the user then authorises for both to continue.
Once the session is operational, the technician has no shortage of options. First and foremost, they can use the console’s Customer Desktop view to control the user’s PC in real-time, running and stopping applications, drilling down into settings and control panels, making security updates or updating drivers, and doing just about anything they would normally do if they were sitting right in front of the PC.
Working Together – No Matter the Distance
Fixing problems can be a collaborative process, but if the IT pro and the end user need to communicate, that’s not a problem. Both the Technician’s Console and the Customer App have a real-time chat window, and the Customer Desktop view offers tools with which the technician can mark areas with the screen as if it were a whiteboard, or point to buttons and icons with a virtual laser pointer. And while both parties get a detailed history of the session to peruse, the technician can also capture screengrabs or a screencast of the desktop for viewing later on.
Throughout, the end-user has as much control as the IT pro; they can stop the remote session or revoke permissions at any time, or transfer a file if requested. Meanwhile, the IT pro can have several sessions running at once, pausing them, ending them or switching from one to another as needs be.
The Total Toolkit
So far, so good, but what really separates LogMeIn Rescue from vanilla remote desktop applications is its robust toolset and the level of control it allows. A File Manager view allows IT pros to check through files on either their PC or the remote PC and easily transfer them from one to the other. A System Info panel provides detailed information on the PC’s specification, and on the applications, processes and services it’s currently running – vital if you’re troubleshooting a software fault or trying to work out if a system’s security has been compromised.
Through the Technician’s Console it’s also possible to check what drivers have been installed, see what applications and services are run at startup, and look through recent security events. The information available is very comprehensive, but also very clearly presented. In a way, you’re getting remote desktop and system-fix utilities in the one package.
Meanwhile, IT pros have the ability to reboot the remote PC in a number of different ways, ranging from a simple reboot and reconnect, through to rebooting the machine in safe mode with networking available. Nor does the end user have to remain sitting at their screen while a problem is fixed. The Technician console has tools to set up unattended access for a specific time and a specified period, and also to request any credentials needed to enable the connection. It’s the virtual equivalent of sitting at the user’s desk to fix a problem while they pop off for an early lunch.
LogMeIn Rescue, then, can be a great addition to the IT pro’s software armoury – and an essential one as their company adds more mobile workers or teleworkers. For the user, it means an end to frustrating support calls where they might have to interpret a technician’s expert jargon into step-by-step procedures.
Of course, these days mobile workers and teleworkers aren’t just confined to laptops or PCs. Luckily, neither is LogMeIn Rescue. Through an optional Smartphone support service and an app for Android devices, LogMeIn Rescue gives IT pros control of a user’s smartphone or tablet, along with the ability to transfer files, configure settings and view vital system information. The service also includes real-time chat. Levels of control vary from device to device, but most running Android 4.0 or higher won’t pose any problems.
There’s also support for BlackBerry thanks to a fast-loading applet that can be downloaded over the air. LogMeIn Rescue Mobile allows IT pros to share control of a user’s BlackBerry handset and even transfer files and folders to the device. For iOS users, there’s a Web application allows more limited management of remote devices.
The other great thing about LogMeIn Rescue is that it scales up for larger businesses that need to support more remote workers. A single subscription only covers one technician at a time, but with multiple subscriptions it’s easy to set-up a whole helpdesk team. The Web-based Administration Centre enables IT managers to coordinate multiple technicians, and setup support channels that automate the connection between end-users and the IT pros supporting them. There are options to switch sessions instantaneously from one technician to another, and the Administration Centre even incorporates tools to track technician performance and end-user satisfaction.
LogMeIn Rescue might not be the only remote support package on the market, but it’s certainly among the most comprehensive. Whether you’re a small business handling teleworkers or a larger organisation, its well worth looking at the free trial, and finding out how LogMeIn Rescue could work within your company.
Click here to find out more about LogMeIn Rescue.