Touching Customer`s Desktops with LogMeIn Rescue

By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Print this article Print

LogMeIn Rescue brings you to the customer’s site without leaving you office or having to pre-install any software on you customer’s PC.

Let’s dispense with the obvious, LogMeIn Rescue is a remote control service. It’s not magic and it’s not for everyone. But, whether you are trying to troubleshoot a PC or train a remote user, it’s pretty hard to beat what LogMeIn Rescue offers the solution provider looking to offer instant support, without having to step foot in a customer’s office.

Sure, there are a gaggle of remote control products on the market – free ones like VNC, Remote Desktop, which comes as part of Windows, and service based offerings like Citrix Online’s GoToMyPC. Unfortunately, all of those products tend to share a major shortcoming: each has to be preconfigured and preinstalled on the remote PC.

Sure, in an emergency, you could have an end user try and get one of those products up and running to help them out – but, odds are, that puts a technical burden on the customer, whom is already calling for help and the possibility exists that the customer might just make things worse. What’s more, many customers (or potential customers) may be very uncomfortable with the idea that a remote control package is running on their PC, just waiting for someone to take control!

That’s where LogMeIn rescue differs, the product is a service that a solution provider can setup and brings remote control to a remote system by allowing the user to click on a simple URL and input a connection code. The URL and connection code are only good for the current session and the customer has to do little more than click a link to get the process started. Solution providers will like how easy the whole process is and end users will like that they have full control over when someone can access the PC. When clicking the link, end users can choose whether or not to give full control to the remote support specialist or just allow that remote technician to view their screens.

The real key here is that the customer still feels that they’re in control of the situation and can watch everything that is being done and can feel that they are still protecting their data from snoops. In other words, LogMeIn rescue builds confidence in security, yet still allows full support from their solution provider.

Solution providers looking to get started with the product need only visit the company’s website and signup. LogMeIn offers a free 30-day trial for those wanting to kick the tires. Sadly, the subscription service isn’t cheap – a year’s subscription for unlimited use for a single technician (supporting only one PC at a time) comes in at $1,188. While that may be a chunk of change, realistically most should be able to pass that cost onto their customers by charging a remote session/support fee.

Another cost factor to consider is how much the product can save in time and travel expenses, solution providers will no longer have to hit the road to solve a multitude of customer problems or offer a quick demo or training session. Of course, there are a few other vendors that offer a similar service, GoToMyPC Assist for example and TechinLine remote desktop (Assist costs more; TechinLine offers fewer features).

Solution providers will find that LogMeIn Rescue is a well designed service that keeps the chores of the help desk in mind. The product works with both Internet Explorer and Firefox and as a service, can work around most firewalls. Everything takes place in an attractive management screen that runs from a Web browser. Here, technicians can track sessions, input information, launch support sessions and generate service reports. All of those features can help solution providers to capture fees that otherwise may go unbilled and also helps to establish a support history for customers, perhaps saving a tech countless hours in researching a problem, which may have occurred before.

The service accomplishes more than just remote control – techs can copy files, capture screen shots, access task manager and even chat with the remote user. Although the service has been around for some time and has become well established, some recent enhancements are worth noting. The company has added support for BlackBerries, Window’s Mobile Devices, Symbian OS devices and Macintosh. While those features do increase the subscription fee, they prove to be an excellent way to extend support to even more devices and grow a solution provider’s managed services capabilities.

While some may consider something as simple as remote control old hat, LogMeIn Rescue can help solution providers improve their service offerings or be used as a first line of support for system integrators. It will be up to the savvy solution provider to optimize the potential offered by LogMeIn Rescue (and products like it), but those solution providers will probably discover unanticipated situations where the service can become a real ally.


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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