PlumChoice Helps MSPs Service PCs Without Getting Their Hands DirtyBy Frank Ohlhorst | Print
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PlumChoice offers turnkey remote support to MSPs and their customers looking to fix thorny desktop PC issues, install new applications or maintain systems.
Remote support is nothing new—most computer manufacturers have been offering some form of remote support for years now. However, vendor-provided support is typically limited to supporting the system "as delivered." While this is great for warranty purposes, most users need more than as-delivered support. After all, PCs don't start to have any real problems until applications are installed, hardware is changed or Web access begins.
PlumChoice Online PC Services is looking to build a bridge that reaches beyond warranty support to offer complete support for any technical issues that a PC user may encounter. PlumChoice offers a remote computer support service that uses a "virtual hands-on approach," allowing PlumChoice's professional technicians to remotely access and repair malfunctioning PCs, install new applications or perform most any other task a user might need.
The service works by setting up a remote control session with a PlumChoice technician, who then takes over the subject system and performs the needed diagnostics and repairs or requested chores. Of course, the PC has to have some functionality to make all of that work; more specifically, the ability to boot and launch a browser session is critical. To control the user's PC remotely, PlumChoice technicians use Citrix Systems' GoToAssist, which is automatically installed when a user visits the appropriate page on the PlumChoice Web site. Technicians remain in contact with the customer via phone during the whole process and explain what they are doing and how they are resolving problems on the PC.
PlumChoice offers to do the following:
- locate and remove viruses and install and configure anti-virus software; stop pop-ups, remove adware and spyware and install and configure anti-spyware software; install home and small office networks (including wireless networks), ensuring security
- fix e-mail and software problems
- fix printer, scanner, digital camera and other peripheral problems
- help with MP3 players, PDAs and other mobile devices
- speed up computers and increase performance; provide PC tune-ups
- perform standard maintenance, Windows updates and patches
- install, configure and train users on new software and hardware
- assist in data backup processes and transferring data from one PC to another
- set up secure wireless networks
- provide training, or take the user shopping online
- fix error messages or frozen screens and more
PlumChoice has demonstrated significant success in the end-user support market and is now looking to bring its services to resellers, MSPs (managed service providers) and other service organizations. Currently, the company is offering a fledgling channel program to recruit partners that want to resell the service. Ideally, an MSP can sign up with PlumChoice and then offer access to the service for its customers. At this time, PlumChoice brands all services under its own name, but the company may offer "self-branding" capabilities in the future that would make it more appealing to MSPs.