Net management house hosts local administration gateway

Von Russell Bennett

South African support organization, Netvision, has launched a hosted PC remote control solution aimed at driving down the costs of IT maintenance through outsourcing.

The product now on offer is called NetworkStreaming Support Desk, and provides customer organizations with complete remote support services via the Internet. Netvision has invested in setting up a locally-hosted NetworkStreaming solution, so as to provide South Africa clients with a connection via a locally available agent, which is fast and easy to set up.

"The Network Streaming Support Desk provides total remote control functionality to ensure that support agents are able to fully resolve any problems which arise, even if it means walking the customer through the entire process. This can be achieved transparently through the corporate firewall, due to the investment that we have put into hosting a local server, through which the user can initiate the session at any time and get a fast response," comments Jonathan Atkinson, Netvision Network Services director.

Licensing for the service is provided per connection to the network being administered. This means that a single licence allows one support representative to support all the PCs on the customer LAN. Purchasing additional licences allows for faster resolution of multiple issues by making multiple agents available.

Continues Atkinson: "This Network Streaming server is a first for SA, in that local clients wanting such a service would in the past have needed to log on to an international portal with overseas support representatives. We now have true, on-demand support functionality available through this solution."

Netvision also provides local customers with alternate versions of the Support Desk solution apart from the new hosted service. Support Desk Pro makes use of a Network Streaming gateway appliance to provide similar functionality, while Support Desk Lite offers smaller organizations with more limited budgets similarly high levels of Internet-based support, at a more economical price point.

All Network Streaming services can be accessed after a small client component download, and the solution features built-in security mechanisms in the form of SSL 128-bit encryption. There are also file transfer and chat capabilities built-in.

Even unattended servers and systems can be accessed using the Access Desk component of Network Streaming. The architecture features data compression to keep WAN traffic for support down to a minimum, and its "Reboot and auto-reconnect" function means that, even should the support agent need to restart the customer machine, the connection will automatically resume once this procedure has been successfully completed.

"We have already had a lot of interest, and a number of clients have signed-up for the remote management capabilities and associated cost benefits," states Atkinson.

Netvision aims to provide a complete outsource management solution by leveraging the abilities of Network Streaming and its investment in the local market hosted platform. Atkinson believes that the cost savings which this support model brings to the offer will meet the needs of a wide variety of SA customers, who require external IT support organizations to ensure that their infrastructure remains operational.