Remote-management package delivers Web-based help desk

3am Labs extended its line of remote management products on Monday, delivering a Web-based help desk platform that allows administrators to gain control of a remote system to resolve problems without having to preinstall any software.

Called LogMeIn Rescue, the product allows either technicians or users to initiate a session through a Web site, where a small applet is downloaded to the user's desktop system. The applet enables temporary remote access. The complete remote support process is permissions-based: End-users must explicitly give permission to technicians for capabilities such as remote view, remote control, file transfer, and access to system information.

Once connected to the remote system, technicians gain a view of all system information -- including running services and processes, installed applications, and recent technical events -- allowing them to check a system's overall health.

Some observers see the elimination of installing software on a user's system as a competitive advantage in that it raises a user's level of confidence about security concerns.

"Eliminating the software raises users' comfort level in that they know a technician has full access to their PC to help them but there is no software being downloaded. It speaks to the value of leveraging the help desk support but is less intrusive," said Stephen Drake, a program director at IDC's Mobile Software practice.

The product comes with a series of incident-resolution tools that aid in curing a range of ills, including Chat, Desktop Viewing, and Remote Control. Rescue also has session-recording capabilities that supply audit trails for things such as legislative compliance and training purposes, as well as History and Notes recordings that tie incidents to specific machines. This results in a clearer understanding of past problems that may influence a current support session, company officials said.

The new product features an online Administration Center that supports several different remote support environments. It has online support channels that can be inserted into support Web pages that offer users live support connection to technicians. Rescue comes with 10 support channels that can be configured to work with a selected group of technicians.

The Administration Center is pre-configured to work out of the box and has a graphical organization tree that enables larger support organizations to be back up and running in a few hours, company officials said.

"We've seen the same growing demand for a more affordable platform like LogMeIn Rescue, and we're confident it will receive -- and exceed -- this level of response. We see it as an important and valuable tool for IT and call center staff to simply and securely resolve remote system problems," said Michael Simon, CEO of 3am Labs.

LogMeIn Rescue works with remote systems running Windows 98, 2000, and XP and Windows Server 2003. It uses a number of broadband connections including T1, cable modems, ISDN, and DSL.

Expected to ship in July, the product costs $5 per session or $99 a month per technician seat. More information about the product can be seen at LogMeInRescue.com.

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