27 Jun 2014
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Calling all Kiwi firms... Can we make remote IT support a little easier?

Does this kind of conversation ring any bells?

“It says it’s connecting now…oh hang on…are you in yet? No? I’m sure it said it was connecting…let me try this, wait a second…are you in?”

If this reminds you of an unsuccessful attempt to gain control of a user’s PC, you’re not alone!

There are few things more frustrating than knowing that you could solve a problem in minutes but are struggling to do so because you (or, perhaps more frequently, the user) can’t make the remote connection work.

Thankfully, remote support tools are getting much better, especially when it comes to minimising user interaction and avoiding the kind of frustrating moments mentioned above.

Even so, there’s plenty you can do to make your interactions with remote users more straightforward.

Let’s try to put this tactfully: some users are easier to support than others. Some individuals just aren’t that tech-savvy, and they’re the ones that often make you want to bang your head on the desk, especially when they keep trying to steal the mouse pointer from you once you actually have established a remote session!

Now the end user is not to blame. They are probably very good at their own jobs! So how do you help them help you? When you hand a PC over to a remote user, explain how your remote access tool works, giving a demo if possible.

Teach them about the things that could land them in trouble, like inadvertently accessing phishing sites and leaking data.

Also, try to gently tell them not to let their kids use their company laptop for games, or allow it to be used as a comfortable, warm seat for a cat (and yes, these things have both happened in real life, more than once).

Choosing the right remote support tool will go a long way to removing your stress, especially if you can gain quick PC access and perform reboots without having to get the user involved.

Sometimes, however, you will still come unstuck and wish you were there in front of the PC.

If you look after branch offices, it’s a good plan to identify someone who’s reasonably technical in each one. Then, be really nice to them!

You can then make use of this person in tricky situations, instead of having to spend five minutes explaining what a USB port looks like.

By doing this, you really can make trekking to a remote site a last-resort option.

By Jackie Wake, Product Manager, GFI Software

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