Citrix Online Debuts GoToAssist Express - InformationWeek

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2/17/2009
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Fredric Paul
Fredric Paul
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Citrix Online Debuts GoToAssist Express

The remote-support service is designed to let small business and even individuals and small businesses offer online technical support over the Web, with no software installations required.

The remote-support service is designed to let small business and even individuals and small businesses offer online technical support over the Web, with no software installations required.Announced along with GoToAssist Corporate -- designed for multi-agent support centers -- GoToAssist Express is aimed at letting small businesses easily access their clients PCs or Macs without having to travel for an onsite visit.

Brenda Dentinger, Citrix Online product manager, said the product is also useful for supporting traveling clients and employees.

Users simply go to fastsupport.com, and enter the 9-digit session key they get from their support provider. No signup required.

At that point, the support person can take control of the client computer to troubleshoot problems, run diagnostics, install software, and provide training. Professionals (such as accountants, who often provide a wide range of casual support services to their small-business clients), meanwhile, can use the service to remotely update their client's software (such as Peachtree or Quickbooks), conduct routine maintenance, or even create reports right on the client's computer.

Since the client computer can retake control just by moving the mouse, the service can also be used for training and consultations, Dentinger said.

For my money, though, the most interesting capability is unattended support, which lets you control the client's computer even when they're not around -- as long as this option is pre-installed.

Citrix_unattended Citrix Online's GoToAssist's unattended support option lets you control client's computers even when they're not around.

Obviously, unattended support raises a number of security issues, but Dentinger points out that the system is 100% permissions based, on a session-by-session basis. "It's a matter of trust," she says. "If you wouldn't leave someone alone with your machines, don't give them unattended access." Citrix Online even has a blog covering the best practices of unattendend support.

GoToAssist Express allows file transfers, chat, notes, and automatic reconnect so support folks can reboot the client computer and not have to worry about reconnecting.

Pricing ranges from $69 per month to $660 per year. The product has been in beta for more than a year, Dentinger said, and Citrix Online has made many changes during that time based on beta user feedback - including a special $9.95 per day package for individual "computer gurus" who want to support their friends and family. (This option does not include unattended support.)

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