Bomgar Offers an Appliance for All Remote Support Needs

By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Print this article Print


Desktop-as-a-Service Designed for Any Cloud ? Nutanix Frame

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.

Frank Ohlhorst Frank J. Ohlhorst is the Executive Technology Editor for eWeek Channel Insider and brings with him over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field.He began his career as a network administrator and applications program in the private sector for two years before joining a computer consulting firm as a programmer analyst. In 1988 Frank founded a computer consulting company, which specialized in network design, implementation, and support, along with custom accounting applications developed in a variety of programming languages.In 1991, Frank took a position with the United States Department of Energy as a Network Manager for multiple DOE Area Offices with locations at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), FermiLAB and the Ames Area Office (AMESAO). Frank's duties included managing the site networks, associated staff and the inter-network links between the area offices. He also served at the Computer Security Officer (CSO) for multiple DOE sites. Frank joined CMP Technology's Channel group in 1999 as a Technical Editor assigned to the CRN Test Center, within a year, Frank became the Senior Technical Editor, and was responsible for designing product testing methodologies, assigning product reviews, roundups and bakeoffs to the CRN Test Center staff.In 2003, Frank was named Technology Editor of CRN. In that capacity, he ensured that CRN maintained a clearer focus on technology and increased the integration of the Test Center's review content into both CRN's print and web properties. He also contributed to Netseminar's, hosted sessions at CMP's Xchange Channel trade shows and helped to develop new methods of content delivery, Such as CRN-TV.In September of 2004, Frank became the Director of the CRN Test Center and was charged with increasing the Test Center's contributions to CMP's Channel Web online presence and CMP's latest monthly publication, Digital Connect, a magazine geared towards the home integrator. He also continued to contribute to CMP's Netseminar series, Xchange events, industry conferences and CRN-TV.In January of 2007, CMP Launched CRNtech, a monthly publication focused on technology for the channel, with a mailed audience of 70,000 qualified readers. Frank was instrumental in the development and design of CRNTech and was the editorial director of the publication as well as its primary contributor. He also maintained the edit calendar, and hosted quarterly CRNTech Live events.In June 2007, Frank was named Senior Technology Analyst and became responsible for the technical focus and edit calendars of all the Channel Group's publications, including CRN, CRNTech, and VARBusiness, along with the Channel Group's specialized publications Solutions Inc., Government VAR, TechBuilder and various custom publications. Frank joined Ziff Davis Enterprise in September of 2007 and focuses on creating editorial content geared towards the purveyors of Information Technology products and services. Frank writes comparative reviews, channel analysis pieces and participates in many of Ziff Davis Enterprise's tradeshows and webinars. He has received several awards for his writing and editing, including back to back best review of the year awards, and a president's award for CRN-TV. Frank speaks at many industry conferences, is a contributor to several IT Books, holds several records for online hits and has several industry certifications, including Novell's CNE, Microsoft's MCP.Frank can be reached at frank.ohlhorst@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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