Citrix Online Tool Seeks to Assist VARsBy Pedro Pereira | Print
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The new version of GoToAssist contains features designed with VARs and integrators in mind as they move toward managed services.Citrix Online has released the seventh generation of a product the vendor is marketing to VARs and integrators as a remote services tool.
The product is GoToAssist 7, which allows support organizations to get a view of a user's desktop environment through a remote connection for troubleshooting purposes.
As growing numbers of VARs and integrators move toward managed services, through which they remotely take over customer IT functions, Citrix Online executives say GoToAssist is an essential tool in delivering those services.
A technician working with an end user now has the ability to hand over the session to another technician, record the session and share entire file folders, as opposed to single files, Wells said.
For VARs and integrators, he said, having the ability to record the sessions allows them to better keep records on customer contacts.
Wells said Citrix Online has received plenty of feedback from VARs and integrators and developed some of the new features with the needs of channel service providers in mind.
Originally, Citrix Online marketed GoToAssist to channel companies for resale to customers. But VARs and integrators quickly realized they could use the tool for their own businesses, so they started to get it for themselves, Wells said.
To Citrix Online, this opened a new customer set with significant growth potential, especially in light of the movement toward managed services. To capitalize on that, Citrix Online forged a partnership with Ottawa-based N-able Technologies Inc., which has integrated GoToAssist into its N-central managed services platform under the name AccessIT.
"That's just one example of how VARs are embracing this technology," said Wells. "You've got to have a tool like this if you're in the business of servicing clients remotely."
Mark Scott, president and CEO of N-able, said the partnership with Citrix Online has proven valuable to the VARs and integrators that do business with N-able.
"Citrix Online technology enables managed services providers to offer effective and profitable managed desktop services, which is the hottest sector in the managed services industry today," he said.
Citrix Online is exploring partnerships with other providers of managed services platforms, Wells said.
By using GoToAssist as part of a managed services offering, VARs and integrators are virtually at customers sites all the time, he said.
"They're the first responders if something goes wrong," Wells said.
Citrix Online, which also makes the GoToMyPC remote access and GoToMeeting online conferencing solutions, sells its software on a subscription basis that has more in common with utility models than traditional software licenses.
The vendor maintains the servers and distributes enabling client software by e-mail.
The company started out in 1997 as Expertcity in Santa Barbara, Calif., and was sold to Citrix last year in a $225 million cash-and-stock deal.
VARs buying GoToAssist get discounts of 25 percent to 30 percent, depending on volume.