Bomgar Offers an Appliance for All Remote Support NeedsBy Frank Ohlhorst | Posted 2009-01-13 Email Print
Bomgar's remote support appliance eliminates many of the worries associated with security, remote access and remote control in one convenient package.
Pity the poor help desk worker, often tasked to solve near impossible problems with nothing more than a telephone and a sense of humor. Add to that the distributed nature of today’s enterprises, and it is easy to see why good help desk folks are hard to find.
Bomgar (formerly NetworkStreaming) is aiming to make help desk workers' lives a little easier with the Bomgar Box, an appliance that creates a secure platform for help desk support. Simply put, the Bomgar Box is a remote control support appliance that one can own, as opposed to renting a remote control service from a hosted software company.
The key marketing message behind the Bomgar Box is "Stop renting remote support." In other words, the company plans to bring the joy of ownership to organizations that could only rent or lease support service solutions in the past.
For the channel, Bomgar’s products offer some interesting opportunities. For example, a solution provider could choose to resell Bomgar’s products to enterprise-class customers, MSPs and other organizations, or use the products in-house to build their own support and solution center (think MSP business model). Either way, the Bomgar Box is well-equipped to meet the task.
First and foremost, the Bomgar Box is a device that enables clientless remote control of any Windows, Linux, Mac or Windows Mobile system by creating a remote connection from the support rep's and end user's systems to the Bomgar Box outbound through firewalls.
While that may sound like a major accomplishment, the truth here is that there are several hosted services that can accomplish the same thing, yet Bomgar does offer a distinct difference (or capability). That difference comes in the form of security. The Bomgar appliance can live inside of the corporate firewall, and no data is ever routed through a third party. By using the Bomgar approach, solution providers can further crank up the firewall to keep unwanted traffic out and also block other remote access products and prevent data leakage.
The Bomgar Box offers several features above and beyond remote control, including extensive auditing capabilities. Worth noting is the appliances' ability to log each and every session. Solution providers will find that the ability to track who does what with whom, when and where is a powerful tool. That capability can be used to generate reports that show the proficiency of tech support personnel or, better yet, create detailed bills. The appliance can also be integrated with HP Service Manager to build a complete end-to-end service tracking solution.
Some will appreciate a feature called the "Bomgar Button," which is little more than a button-based link that can be put on a user’s desktop. The magic behind pressing the button is pretty impressive. An end user needing assistance just has to click on the Bomgar Button (which can be customized) to automatically contact a tech support individual and launch a support session.
The product also offers the ability to control unattended PCs using Bomgar’s "jump technology." The idea here is to allow administrators to take control of remote PCs to apply patches, install software or make other changes as part of scheduled maintenance. By removing end-user involvement, those chores can be done from anywhere at any time, even during the off hours, when most maintenance chores take place.
In the world of troubleshooting, information is king—and the Bomgar Box does its best to provide technicians with ample amounts of information. Technicians launching a support session have access to a configuration pane, which shows most every detail about the PC being supported. Here, technicians can view windows updates, system information and many other foundation elements that will give a technician a good idea of what he or she is dealing with—before even asking the client a question. That ability not only improves the quality of the support session, but should also gives client an indication that they are dealing with a technician who knows what he or she is doing.
For sites that use staggered or multilayer support, the product offers an integrated escalation capability. Simply put, a technician running a Bomgar support session can pass that session off to another technician, without end-user involvement. That allows for a seamless approach to kicking a serious problem up the food chain.