From a Distance: Desktop Support Anytime, Anywhere

Ever sat on the phone for what seems like hours with a support technician asking you an endless series of questions as he tries to puzzle out what’s wrong with your PC? It’s an almost-universal experience that most of us never care to repeat.

That’s why remote desktop support — a direct online connection that lets a support representative take remote control of the miscreant PC — is growing in popularity.

With remote desktop support, you give a technician permission to take remote control of your computer so that he can run diagnostic tests, install software patches or updates — or basically perform any task he could if he were sitting at your computer in person. You (or your customer) retain control over the PC, and technicians can’t see any data that you don’t want them to access.

GoToAssist 7.0 dashboard
Click here for a larger image.

Citrix GoToAssist offers remote technical-support and professional-services for companies that need desktop support for their employees and/or for companies that provide desktop support for their customers. Today, the company announced its latest version that it says adds “unprecedented value, security and capability.”

According to Shelly Cobb, a Citrix GoToAssist product-marketing manager, Version 7 provides a secure, fast and easy connection using 128-bit AES encryption. It also collects immediate feedback using a post-session survey, records support sessions for quality assurance, training, or archival purposes and lets you monitor your support team’s performance in real-time.

GoToAssist Session Transfer
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“Support doesn’t have to be painful,” said Cobb, “and remote support is a no-brainer. GoToAssist is what we call S.A.F.E. — secure, available, fast and easy. And since it’s a remote service, it’s a great option for companies that need to support employees who work at home or who travel frequently.”

Some of the new features and enhancements in version 7 include:

Manager’s Dashboard
•Monitor incoming queries and support representative and/or team activity

Expanded Team Management
•Break support reps into tiers or sub-teams to monitor customer satisfaction and track performance goals

Expanded API Integration
•Integrate into your Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) system; lets you route calls only to available support reps.
•ChatLink API – Integrate Chat capabilities into your site so customers can receive live help in self-service, knowledge base areas

Support for Combined Phone and Web Mode
•Manage both connection methods from one control panel, using a single GoToAssist login.

Multi-Session Phone Mode
•Engage in up to eight simultaneous Phone Mode sessions

Customized HelpAlert Toolbar
•Get quick access to commonly used operations

Agent-to-Agent Session Transfer
•Transfer a session directly to another representative or specialist

File Transfer Improvements
•Transfer files and/or folders. Support recipient can also grant one-time approval of all file transfers for the session in progress.

Session History Pane
•Track completed sessions throughout a work shift to follow-up unresolved cases and to track performance.

Pricing Citrix sells GoToAssist on a monthly subscription basis, with a license required for each support representative. Each license costs $352. The price per license drops to $115 for over 100 seats.

Lauren Simonds is the managing editor of

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