Friday, February 17, 2006

Remote control software: A growing market

Remote control software:
A growing market




While remote control technology has been around for quite some time now roughly about twenty years, in this day and age of the Internet, wireless networks both local area and broadband, self-support and heightened security across your e-business infrastructure, remote control is perhaps the one IT support tool that has received the least amount of face time over recent years. It's mostly because remote control traditionally has been viewed as software that was a luxury rather than a necessity. That is until now.

Remote control software is changing quickly and dramatically. No longer is it just the primitive peer-to-peer dial-up technology we remember that could put us in contact with our remote hardware, software and networks in an effort to avoid a physical trip. Web based remote support software and internet based remote support software is based on computer remote control. Controlling computers, servers, and laptop for web based remote support and internet based remote support is at the core o applications that are used for technical support and assistance for remote users. With the advent of the web and the emergence of the support portal, our old well established and liked friend is growing up. It has moved into the enterprise, as well as the call center help-desk, and become a valuable technical support tool. And now it's evolved to more than fixing problems on computers but into roles that include e-support, e-learning and the ASP model.

The growing market

Computer remote control over the web

"Essentially the remote control market has had a few different faces over the last several years," says Stephen Drakel, senior research analyst at Framingham, Mass.-based IDC. "Its origins started in early remote access software, and over the last few years it has moved to more of a complementary component to management software and help desk software and is really a key component there."


The remote control market is so healthy, in fact, that in May 2000, Drakel forecasted the market would grow 19.8 percent from 1999 to 2004-moving from annual revenues of $349.2 million to $638 million respectively. At that time, Drakel also projected a growth rate of 19.4 percent with annual revenues of $417 million for 2000 alone.

But if the market has remained relatively steady in terms of its offerings, one must ask what is prompting this growth and with the sudden uptick of interest in PC remote control technology and its capabilities?

Drakel thinks much of the new limelight being cast upon remote controlis due to the growing influence of the Internet and e-support market, as well as the ongoing pain businesses continue to feel when it comes to hiring and keeping skilled IT staff. And a look at many of the vendors in the computer remote controlmarket space helps to confirm his intuition.



Remote desktop control on the web

I would like to add at this point that I have personally used many locally installed or online web based remote support products and find that they are all an invaluable tool for support. The time that is saved by remote accessing computers to provide computer support is obvious the first time a tool such as this is used. once you have accessed the desktop over the internet and fixed the problem in several minutes whereas just driving to the location could have taken up to an hour with average times to commute to destination for support within the 20 minute to 30 minute range. In my case, tech support trips to the city for resolving even minor computer desktop or network issues, depending on time of day, could take as long as several hours. With luck an hour to get in and at least 20 to find parking before you even enter the customers office and get behind the keyboard of the problem computer. Remotely accessing the same computer now is done in minutes and tech support is much more efficient. Customer satisfaction increases as well since now they no longer have to wait as long for desktop support.
Companies that provide not just per incident computer support have adopted to remote control of computers and leverage computer remote control to assist their users at the desktop user level and at the server level. Manged IT support can only be successful with remote computer control and remote support through the web . Computer remote support is key to their success as they leverage the internet to maintain a larger end user and end-point computer base than would have been capable with only on-site support with no computer or server remote control.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Enexity - Securelink

Enexity - Securelink

Found this
online pc remote support software vendor on the web. They don't have a household name like INtel but it seems there software is reaching approval by support services companies and they've scored some nice deals and contracts.

Below are a couple of excerpts from their news section that names a few of the compnaies that are using Enexity.

12.20.05 - Mediware chooses Enexity's SecureLink™ to enhance remote support and increase customer satisfaction

10.31.2005 - QuadraMed Standardizes on Enexity's SecureLink™ for remote support

09.20.2005 - i2 Technologies Uses Enexity's SecureLink™ as its Primary Remote Service and Support Solution

About Enexity

Enexity helps companies get the most out of their enterprise software applications. We designed the SecureLink™ Virtual Support Network family of products from the ground up to enable secure, remote service and support for your server based software. As a result, you get faster times to resolution with less IT involvement. Our next generation security features keep you in control and you will appreciate the reporting and monitoring capabilities. More secure, more effective... get more out of your enterprise software with Enexity’s SecureLink VSNs.

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Monday, February 06, 2006

VPNremote

VPNet Introduces Powerful New Remote Client

VPNremote 3.0 offers service providers and enterprises a unique remote access solution that provides IPSec security and digital certificate authentication without compromising ease-of-use

Release: 27-Mar-2000

"VPNet Technologies, Inc., a leader in Virtual Private Network (VPN) solutions for service providers and enterprises, today introduced VPNremote(TM) Client 3.0, the latest version of its Windows® compatible remote access software for VPNs. As a key component of the VPNware(TM) family of integrated VPN solutions, VPNremote Client 3.0 offers a unique array of features that greatly reduce the complexity faced by remote users, and dramatically eases the burden faced by security administrators when distributing, configuring, and managing a remote access VPN solution. [For more information on the complete VPNware 3.0 software release, see the accompanying press release, "VPNet Technologies Introduces Innovative Centralized Policy-based Management System for Large-Scale VPNs" also dated March 27, 2000.]

"The need to provide secure remote access over public networks has produced a succession of network access and security technologies that have typically proved to be overly costly to deploy, scale, and manage, as well as being overly complex for the typical end user," said R. Michael Allen, chairman and CEO of VPNet. "The resulting strain on already taxed information technology and end user technical support staffs has had the net effect of slowing down the rate of adoption and deployment of the advanced secure
remote access solutions that have come of age."

Key features of this new client
remote support software release include support for the ISAKMP/OAKLEY (IKE) key management protocol for IPSec; feature rich and easy-to-use GUI-based Certificate Manager, User Profile, and Connection Management utilities; a dynamic client configuration process that simplifies VPN policy distribution; standards-based support for all major PKI vendors and smartcards; and enhanced event and error logging for easy troubleshooting. Together, these features provide a client software environment that overcomes the difficulties commonly encountered in deploying and supporting IPSec VPN remote access clients.

"The principle challenges faced by organizations when deploying a remote access VPN is first, the ease with which a security administrator can deploy and manage the client software, and second, the ease with which the average end user can install, configure, and use the client software solution," Allen continued. "This overarching perspective was used to guide the development of our first release of the IKE VPNremote Client."

Easy Administration of Thousands of Users
Client software pre-configuration and distribution has been dramatically enhanced in this latest version of VPNremote. Using a unique two-phase configuration management process, VPNremote 3.0 addresses one of the most challenging areas of deploying an IPSec VPN remote access solution — the process of setting up and managing the VPN configuration and security policy information on the end user's PC. At time of install, an initialization file is used to construct a user profile containing all parameters required for the user to contact a VPNet VSU(TM) gateway, get authenticated, and have VPN policy information dynamically set up and installed. The security administrator pre-configures these parameters as a part of the VPN setup and software distribution processes — with no end-user intervention required.

Once users have been authenticated at the VSU gateway, their VPN policy information is automatically downloaded and installed on the PC. User configuration information is maintained and updated using VPNmanager(TM), VPNet's VPN management software, and is stored on the system LDAP directory server. Remote user policy information is dynamically updated each time they log on to their VPN using VPNremote's flexible, high-performance Dyna-Policy configuration protocol. The hands-off configuration process is repeated at every logon with no unwanted delays or performance degradation. This dramatically enhances the end-user out-of-box experience, and places VPN policy management responsibility where it belongs — with the security administrator. It also enables a powerful distribution model that makes feasible large-scale remote access VPN deployments and makes VPNremote 3.0 the most easily distributed IPSec VPN client in the industry.

"In deploying VPN client software, our experience has clearly shown that ease-of-use is the paramount issue," said Kamy Kavianian, director of VPN marketing for Concentric Network. "While there are alternatives when considering an IPSec VPN client, VPNet's VPNremote 3.0 offers the advanced features required to provide the robust security demanded by our managed services customers without sacrificing usability and burdening end users and support staff with unnecessary and unwelcome complexity."

Enhanced End-User Experience
VPNremote 3.0 has dramatically enhanced the end-user experience across the board — from installation, to configuration, to actual usage. Installation has been simplified by integrating all files needed for WIN 95/98/NT/ 2000 platforms within a single, small self-extracting executable. This install package contains the initialization file that has been pre-configured by the security administrator. VPNremote 3.0 users enjoy a simple "single-click" installation without being required to interpret or understand the broad range of configuration parameters. Once the
remote support software has been installed, the user is responsible only to enter a username, e-mail address, and password using the intuitive and easy-to-use Connection Manager to get authenticated and begin using VPNremote.

VPNremote 3.0 provides an advanced Certificate Manager that enables end users to easily and intuitively request, import, and use digital certificates. Features such as standard protocol support for on-line certificate enrollment, and standards-based support for smartcards to store and protect RSA keys and digital certificates make VPNremote a powerful but easy-to-use certificate management tool. VPNremote 3.0 supports leading certificate authorities including VeriSign, RSA Security, Entrust, and Baltimore, among others. User's keys and certificates are also exportable as a part of a user's profile to enable them to access their VPNs without having to carry a laptop. A user can store their profile on either a smartcard or disk and access their VPN from any PC or kiosk hosting the VPNremote 3.0 software.

To ease the burden of end-user technical support faced by both service providers and enterprises, VPNremote 3.0 has been designed to be simple to install, configure, and use. VPNremote also provides a number of levels of on-board help and technical support designed to minimize the frequency — and maximize the effectiveness — of technical support calls. The first level is a comprehensive on-line help utility that presents detailed user help and technical descriptions for product features and functions performed. Additionally, detailed error messaging and an on-board event logging and viewing utility have been provided to define in simple terms the cause of problems that may be interfering with or preventing client operation, and to assist with problems requiring help desk
remote support. This allows network administrators to track down problems easily and resolve them quickly.

Comprehensive and Interoperable IPSec Implementation
VPNremote 3.0 offers standards based support for IPSec VPN security. This provides a remote access solution that is robust and secure, and one that offers an enhanced level of interoperability with IPSec-based network security solutions from other VPN and security applications vendors. The VPNet implementation of the IKE key management protocol allows the use of either pre-shared secrets or X.509 digital certificates for authentication and key management. VPNremote 3.0 has been designed to be fully compliant with ICSA 1.1 IPSec certification criteria, including the extended Cryptography, Certificate Authority Interaction, and Enhanced Functionality requirements.

VPNremote Client 3.0 is available in 3DES and DES versions and is compatible with Windows 95/98, Windows NT 4.0, and Windows 2000.

About VPNet Technologies
VPNet Technologies, Inc. (www.vpn.com) is the first company formed with a singular focus on VPNs and is the leading provider of VPN solutions to service providers and enterprises. Founded in October 1995 and based in Milpitas, Calif., the company develops and markets cost-effective products and services for implementing high-performance virtual private networks. VPNet's scalable VPNware System delivers the highest levels of security, performance, and manageability across a wide range of VPN applications. VPNet's innovative VPNsure Services enable service providers and enterprises to outsource the design, implementation, and management of their VPNs."

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