• May 2, 2007
  • By Colin Beasty, (former) Associate Editor, CRM Magazine

Citrix Tells Customers Where to Go for Collaboration

Citrix Online on Tuesday launched an upgrade to the firm's remote assistance product, Citrix GoToAssist, by adding new team collaboration features, system administrator access capabilities, live monitoring of sessions, and other features. Designed to aid one-call resolution, GoToAssist 8.0 takes advantage of chat and collaboration functionality to provide a real-time interface between support representatives, as opposed to the old-school method of placing customers on hold and transferring them. Companies use Citrix software to provide remote technical support and direct login to remote computers for helping users. The new version includes the ability for support representatives to log in with system administrator access to a computer, to allow for diagnosing and fixing computer issues. While speaking with a customer, a support representative can silently use his keyboard to invite more experienced experts into the session to view the customer's screen and evaluate the dilemma. The new collaboration capability allows the expert representatives to participate "invisibly," so callers can experience uninterrupted end-to-end contact with just one representative. In addition to team collaboration, GoToAssist 8.0 also introduces system administrator access, which allows a representative, with the customer's permission, to handle complex support issues. The new version also comes with full support for Microsoft Vista. "With the increasing number of mobile workers in companies around the globe, providing IT administrators with the capability to remotely support those employees is a powerful benefit for the IT helpdesk of any business," says Stacy Sudan, research analyst for IDC's mobile enterprise software program. But with some companies growing more leery about allowing employees to travel with their laptops because of potential security breaches, remote access services enable traveling staff to access their desktop while on the road, Sudan says. Similarly, with mobile employees--who may split time between company offices, home offices, and the field--retrieving information is necessary to their productivity. Both consumers and businesses can leverage remote access capabilities. But remote access services have had the most penetration within the "prosumer market," which Sudan broadly defines as a product that appeals to both the consumer and professional market and may be targeted to both. "What we find commonly in this market is that consumers will adopt these products--oftentimes for professional use--and then introduce the product into their companies." For instance, an employee may buy the solution so that he or she can access the desktop from home so they can work remotely, and then inform the company since it may be beneficial to other employees. This market has realized the most success with the prosumer market to date because it has been most heavily marketed to them, mostly via the Web," Sudan says. "Most remote access services companies allow these products to be bought through their Web site. However, oftentimes if you get to a certain number of PCs or versions of the services that are targeted towards the business market, you will be directed to their direct sales force. Some companies have found that targeting the prosumer first is an effective inroad to their business as well." Related articles: Secret of my Success: This Old CRM
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