PowerTerm WebConnect SupportView - Session Shadowing on Steroids
When entering an arena where an established solution already exists it is critical to provide added value beyond that solution; otherwise it can be very difficult to make any sort of headway. In fact, providing just “a bit of added value” is insufficient. To change the balance of power, alter preconceived notions, and firmly establish yourself in the market, your solution must be permeated with added value.
In the case of PowerTerm WebConnect we have put a lot of effort into creating such added value. Some of it is obvious:
- Ease of installation (minutes instead of hours and days),.
- increased capacity (up to 60% more sessions per server),.
- Greater scalability (a single PowerTerm WebConnect server can manage thousands of Terminal Servers and concurrent sessions),.
In this post I would like to focus on a non-obvious value add:our SupportView feature.
SBC solutions often are used to provide remote access. In such cases supporting end-users can be very challenging. When users’ devices are located in remote geographical locations gaining direct access to these devices directly can be difficult and costly. Moreover, the downtime until a problematic device can be reached and fixed can also incur significant costs. For these reasons it is essential to provide functionality that enables administrator to view and manipulate user sessions remotely.
The more robust SBC solutions provide a Session Shadowing feature that enables an administrator to access user sessions on the Terminal Servers. While this feature is eminently useful it has two significant limitations:
- It cannot be used to diagnose problems in the local device – only issues on the Terminal Server itself.
- If the user is working in seamless mode – and probably with a mix of both remote and local applications – the administrator sees only half the picture.
To overcome these limitations, we introduced our SupportView client. Using this client the administrator can assume complete control of a user’s local device, pcAnywhere-style. The administrator can see exactly what that user is seeing, including both local and remote applications. Mouse and keyboard interactions are directed to that device. So, for example, the administrator can access the local Print Manager or registry, download and install patches and updates, run an anti-virus, etc. Furthermore, the remote support session is fully encrypted using SSL, supports dynamic IPs and can work through firewalls.
SupportView is just one example where we provided add-value through innovation for SBC. I will be blogging about additional value-adds and innovations in PowerTerm WebConnect in future posts.