Remote Support of Mobile Devices

We frequently receive questions concerning remote support for mobile devices. While we do offer mobile clients for the technician to use when supporting customers; the ability to actually control a mobile device is a bit more elusive. The two big operating systems right now (iOS and Android) along with the related mobile device manufactures limit the ability for remote support tools to control or even view the screen of their devices. The exception lies with devices that are jailbroken or rooted, this practice permits tools to be installed at the root level where they have access to control and view the display.

Several remote access solutions including Bomgar and LogMeIn Rescue provide limited connectivity to the file system, chat, and various diagnostics such as email configuration and internet settings. But remote control of the screen is restricted unless the mobile manufacturer has pre-installed the client or the device is jail broken/rooted. This is an industry wide concern, that each remote desktop/remote access/remote support solution is encountering and no-doubt looking for a resolution. These restrictions and limitations imposed by the mobile operating systems have slowed the development in our respective industry. Hopefully through the constant prodding and requests by the vendors and users, options will be implemented so all remote support companies can provide a remote support client that can be used to support these devices.

So what are our plans moving forward? We are looking at what options are available and are considering various mobile clients for our future builds. We are constantly talking with our community to determine what features are necessary and what would be nice to haves. We will continue to evaluate the mobile OS market and do our best to provide the most comprehensive and compatible remote support solution available. And when the mobile operating system providers expose the necessary components to view and control their devices, we will certainly be one of the first to release a full featured client.  If you have thoughts, opinions, or ideas about how we can improve our mobile clients for the technician and eventually the customer please contact the ScreenConnect sales staff. And if you work for Apple, Google, or one of the respective mobile phone manufacturers we would love to talk with you about how to get our ScreenConnect client installed and working so that our users can continue to help make the migration to your devices easier.

 

Posted by Anna Morgan at 6:10 AM       1 Comments       Share
Categories: Remote Support | ScreenConnect

March Madness Productivity Blues

We are right in the thick of March Madness and very excited that two teams from the Triangle made it to the Sweet Sixteen- the underdog Wolfpack of North Carolina State University and the Tar Heels of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill! According to the Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. 2012 March Madness Report companies lost an estimated $175 million last week due to employees watching games, checking scores and managing their brackets during office hours.

It is apparent that many workers plan to follow the tournament whether the workplace allows it or not. Eighty six percent of respondents to a MSN poll indicated that they were going to keep tabs on the action. Whether you choose to call in "sick" and work from the couch or take a long lunch to catch the games at a local pub, ScreenConnect offers employees the option to work remotely. Download the ScreenConnect mobile application to easily connect with your client or work computer via your Android or Apple device.

In the Triangle we take basketball very seriously. As an incentive our office featured the NCAA tournament games on the conference room televisions. Most offices aren’t so nice. Here are our "Top 10" ways to not get caught when working remotely:

  1. Utilize text and email when possible
  2. Prep desk and computer to seem used
  3. Turn on webcam so you can see if anyone stops by
  4. Make sure and send emails consistently throughout the day
  5. Route office calls to mobile
  6. Prep documents earlier in the week that can be sent out for review during the games
  7. Do a drive by of locations early in the week to check wifi, cellular reception, and tables with power outlets
  8. If possible try to be seen at work early in the morning and again between 4:30 to 5:30
  9. Don't seem to knowledgeable about the games
  10. Find a location far enough from work that you don't run into your boss
Posted by Jeff Bishop at 8:55 AM       0 Comments       Share
Categories: Remote Support | ScreenConnect | Support

Educational IT, the 1-2-3's

Educational institutions from K-12 schools to universities allow access to their network by third-party contractors for various reasons such as maintenance or software installation and updates. Common practice is to grant access using the contractor’s remote support portal to tunnel into the school system’s network. This process is viable and secure, but in each instance, the administrator has to set permissions and securities based on the software and client. Managing each contractor connection through a different remote portal can be timely and a headache to maintain.

To offer an easier solution, many of our educational patrons employ ScreenConnect to manage access to their network. Using role-based securities, administrators can easily predetermine permissions and control security for each third-party vendor they allow into their network. The vendor connection will appear in a stored list of unattended connections for easy, one-click access and management. This saves time and puts administrators at ease when providing a secure remote access connection to their network.

ScreenConnect not only saves time for their customers, but also money. As the US economy and government face huge cuts, educational institutions are burdened and having to make budget cuts across the board. An excellent way for institutions to save money is to invest in software that doesn’t have reoccurring monthly fees. ScreenConnect is a one-time payment, once you buy it, you own it, forever! Please contact us or your local IT partner about setting up ScreenConnect at your educational institution.

Posted by Jeff Bishop at 10:18 AM       0 Comments       Share
Categories: Remote Support | ScreenConnect | Support

Server Security

Potential security vulnerabilities are huge concern when setting up and maintaining a server and server based software applications. Often support is performed by third party IT consultants or OEMs that reside outside the company firewall. Here at ScreenConnect we have some suggestions to help you with the setup and maintenance of your server.

What is the best infrastructure for a secure network? Self-hosted remote support applications can be installed inside the company network and accessed via Windows or Form Authentication. Restraining the application within the LAN prevents data from being transmitted outside the company network, thus minimizing the overall security risk. Contrarily, SaaS-based remote support solutions increase the likelihood of a data breach since packets are shipped to a centralized server over the internet and back to the local technician.

What is the best method for allowing remote support, training, backups, and software updates? Administrators can grant third parties access to the central web application by way of role-based securities. Granularity can be defined by the administrator depending on the level of rights and permissions they wish to grant. Additionally, the customer has the ability to view the data being transmitted during each session to ensure safety. This provides the secure infrastructure that most companies need along with allowing access for third parties that play a crucial role in maintenance.

Posted by Jeff Bishop at 8:33 AM       0 Comments       Share
Categories: Remote Support | ScreenConnect | Support

Simple Resx Editor for language controls

We've had several users tell us they've found Simple Resx Editor useful in assiting with their local translations for the ScreenConnect web application.

Resource files allow one to store localized values for controls. The localized values are based on language and culture. At runtime the executable can select the appropriate value stored within the resource files.

Simple Resx Editor is a valuable application to simultaneously view, edit and translate resource files. The simple drop and drag interface allows you to load multiple .resx files and highlight differences and coincidences. Since resolution files contain objects other than just text, Simple Resx Editor has the ability to only show rows that contain text, thus simplifying your search for strings to translate.

Simple Resx supports a variety of languages including English, Spanish, Italian, French and Russian among others. A short demonstration of the auto translation feature of the tool can be seen here.

Posted by Jeff Bishop at 5:33 AM       0 Comments       Share
Categories: Remote Support | Support

Remote Access in Japan

Japan is home to some of the fastest and least expensive fiber optic networks in the world, creating an ideal environment for remote access. Though Japan has been reluctant to adopt technologies that improve efficiency and productivity, the devastating earthquake has created a growing number of businesses who now encourage telecommuting.

This article from the BBC examines this new “work revolution” developing in Japan, changing both the home and work environments. The advent of cloud computing has alleviated many security concerns, and the costs of remote access per employee have dropped considerably.

It remains to be seen whether the implementation of telecommuting will lead to happier, more efficient workers in Japan. Do you telecommute? Has your productivity risen or fallen? Chime in below in the comments!

Posted by Kat Palacios at 5:21 AM       0 Comments       Share
Categories: Remote Support

Remote Support for Small Businesses

PCWorld’s article, "Choose the Right Tech Support for Your Business," lists tips for small companies in need of an IT staff. Remote support software is listed as one of the IT solutions for a small business owner. Often less expensive than calling a technician over, a remote support session can save both time and money, valuable resources for small businesses around the globe.

The article also includes information on finding a knowledgeable IT person to hire when the small business expands. There are also warning signs provided to steer small business owners away from less than honorable IT personnel.

We welcome all small business owners to share their IT staff stories. Feel free to post a comment and share your experiences!

Posted by Kat Palacios at 6:40 AM       0 Comments       Share
Categories: Remote Support | ScreenConnect | Support

Managing Kiosks Remotely

Kiosks are appearing everywhere, at universities, airports, museums, and even shopping malls. Some provide web services for a fee, while others run a specified set of programs for users to interface with. One important issue with kiosks is servicing them.

Remote support software, such as ScreenConnect, can often help with upgrading and troubleshooting kiosks. By utilizing ScreenConnect’s ability to run unattended sessions, administrators can repair broken or frozen terminals without interfacing with a person on the other side of the connection. Additionally, to protect the kiosk from those who may want to tamper with the system’s settings, the screen can be blacked out as the repairs are taking place.

See what other features ScreenConnect offers that will make your kiosks successful!

Posted by Kat Palacios at 7:39 AM       0 Comments       Share

ScreenConnect Feature Spotlight: Blank Screen

As part of our 2.0 release, the ScreenConnect team has added a blank screen command to the remote support session’s kit. A technician, to perhaps maintain privacy, can now blank out the guest’s screen while he or she works on the machine. The guest will only see a black screen with white text (which can be changed by altering Client.ApplicationTitle in the appearance tab of the administration panel) until the technician turns off the blank screen feature.

This blank screen command would be extremely helpful for troubleshooting kiosk environments, where the technician might be discouraged to show the workings of the kiosk unit so publicly. Send any feedback on the blank screen feature our way, and feel free to suggest a feature for our next release on the forum!

Posted by Kat Palacios at 7:33 AM       0 Comments       Share
Categories: Remote Support | ScreenConnect

ScreenConnect Feature Spotlight: Drag-and-Drop File Transfers

A very nifty feature we’ve added to ScreenConnect 2.0 is drag-and-drop file transfer functionality. Now, a technician can easily drag and drop files from one window into another window on the target machine. Files and folders can also be copied and pasted (using the right-click mouse buttons) from one window on one machine to the other.

If you encounter any difficulties or if you have a few more questions, do not hesitate to contact us or visit the forum!

Posted by Kat Palacios at 7:30 AM       0 Comments       Share
Categories: Remote Support | ScreenConnect