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.

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