Providing 24/7 IT support to enterprise users is not a new concept. IT pros and system administrators are often called upon at all hours of the day (and night) to assist end users with hardware and software problems. Over the last few weeks, as more companies are shifting their workforces into remote work due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, that support has become much more challenging.
Some of these companies will already have a robust toolbox to support those workers who are now working from home. Others have likely been scrambling to make sure their enterprise users can work effectively from their temporary home offices. As such, the enterprise demand for IT tools that support remote working has increased significantly.
The good news is that those tools for remote access and support already exist, so getting ramped up to support your remote workers can happen very quickly.
Both MacOS and Windows operating systems already have built-in remote desktop clients that can be used effectively to manage remote assistance. Windows 10 even has a feature called Quick Assist that provides very rudimentary features that give you remote control of another Windows 10 device, but the user must be in front of the screen to establish the remote connection. While useful, the capabilities of these in-operating system tools are somewhat limited compared to many of the tools that are available on the market today.
While there are other free third-party remote IT support options, many of them are limited to home/personal use. Some of them can even lock you out if they detect you might be using the tools/service for work-related functions and support.
That's why an enterprise company tasked with providing 24/7 IT support to their remote workers will need to consider subscription-based services. This will help avoid any licensing issues plus give you a range of support options from the company providing those tools.
Here are ten remote IT support tools to consider for your organization.
Provided client computers are running the remote application, this remote desktop tool works on computers running Windows, MacOS, Linux and FreeBSD, as well as mobile devices running Android and iOS. The service offers an own-network option for remote employees who cannot or should not access a cloud for security purposes.
Beyond Trust Remote Support Software
This service allows IT help desk employees to see remote employees' screens and fully interact with the remote desktop – in other words, if someone needs help changing passwords or updating programs, the IT help desk employee can get the remote worker to download the client app, launch it and let the help desk tech take over and do the rest. Features supported include remote control and screen sharing, unattended access, annotations, file sharing and remote mobile device camera sharing.
Aimed at organizations that have incorporated bring-your-own-device (BYOD) or choose-your-own-device (CYOD) policies to their machine management, this cloud-based service can establish secure connections to corporate networks and accounts. Thus, it is equipped for remote mobile device control.
Microsoft Endpoint Manager (MEM)
MEM was announced at Microsoft Ignite last year and utilizes analytics and intelligent actions in a new dashboard interface utilizing Intune and Configuration Manager data. IT pros can manage Windows, Apple and Android devices including operating system, security and firmware updates. This service directly supports Windows Autopilot, the next 24/7 IT support service on our list.
This software and service targets your need to set up and pre-configure hardware heading out to your remote work force. Using either available hardware inventory or new purchases from partner OEMs, you can decide on the full configuration of software and group policies for a remote worker's device without having to install any software on the device itself. The device is shipped to your end user and, upon receipt, they log in with proper credentials to trigger the cloud-based configuration process. You can even perform remote resets, repurposing and recovery of devices using Windows Autopilot.
Formerly known as GoToAssist, this remote IT support software and service can be used not only to support PCs and Macs but also Android and iOS mobile devices across your company. The 24/7 IT support services allow for remote control of the end user’s hardware, can provide remote diagnostics and can allow for unattended access without a user being present. The software can handle multiple remote sessions – up to 10 – at the same time to help with productivity. A built-in chat feature can help triage problems to help with managing urgency around support issues.
This service has similar features to RescueAssist including attended and unattended support options, the ability to support iOS and Android mobile devices, fast chat and file transfers, deep diagnostics for troubleshooting end user devices and the ability to record remote support sessions. These features are included in the basic subscription package for the service. Additional features such as batch scripting, registry editing and real-time session monitoring require a higher-level subscription.
This service offers a three-tiered subscription (Standard, Professional and Enterprise) for remote IT support plus an additional two options to get unattended access capabilities. Among the features you will find at the entry-level subscription, are file transfers, reboot and reconnect, screen capture and the ability to run two simultaneous sessions. To gain other remote assistance features like mobile support, session recording or more simultaneous sessions, you will need to bump up to higher subscription levels.
There are two variations of this IT support service – Support and Access. ConnectWise Control Support provides complete remote-control abilities for your help desk personnel so they can perform on-demand remote support and problem solving 24/7. This includes support for Windows, Mac and Linux plus the ability to remotely view the screens of ChromeOS, Android and iOS-based devices. ConnectWise Control Access brings to bear unattended remote access to your work from home users. Remote monitoring of machines helps you to identify and resolve problems without causing any disruption for your remote workforce.
MSP360 Remote Assistant
This is another renamed service; it used to be known as Cloudberry Lab. According to the product website, this software is “absolutely free” although a registration form needs to be filled out to gain access to the download. The feature list for this IT support software is robust and comparable to many of the previously mentioned services in this list. Among the key abilities, you will find remote and unattended access, a quick support client, file transfers, and support for Windows, MacOS and mobile devices running iOS and Android. In addition to those features, there is also voice and text chat plus a meeting option with unlimited participants. This software could fill in multiple remote workforce capabilities for many smaller companies.
There are no doubt other tools and services available to help enterprise IT pros provide the 24/7 IT support their end users need in this unexpected work-from-home environment. Whether a company is refining their remote support tools or creating a new plan to encompass all those needs, there are plenty of options available.