The company ISEC7 recently won the Enterprise category of the BlackBerry Developers Challenge with a pretty unique product for the BlackBerry called B*Nator Remote Control.
ISEC7 actually sells a BlackBerry monitoring suite, but it is this remote control tool that got all of the attention, and for good reason.
What is B*Nator Remote Control?
As the name suggests, B*Nator Remote Control allows a BlackBerry support person to take control of a BlackBerry. Not only can they take control of someone’s BlackBerry, but they can do this over the air!
How it Works
There are two parts to B*Nator Remote Control. The first part is a client that resides on the BlackBerry. This client acts as the eyes and thumbs of the support person. The second part of B*Nator Remote Control is a server component made up of a web server and some database software. The web server is used by the support personal to perform the actual remote control on the BlackBerrys.
So let’s say that you are on an enterprise Help Desk, or even a carrier support line, and you receive a call from a BlackBerry user who is having a problem. Normally you would spend a lot of time asking them questions about the problem and what screens they were looking at, and what application they were using, etc.
With B*Nator Remote Control you now have the ability to take control of that BlackBerry and see for yourself.
So the first step is to request a remote control session. This would not be a secure enterprise solution if anyone could control any BlackBerry. So the support person logs into the B*Nator console on the web server and sends a request for remote control to the email address of the BlackBerry user. This web console would normally be hosted inside the firewall of the enterprise, but could also be hosted externally as long as proper security measures were in place.
Figure 1: B*Nator Remote Control Request
Figure 1 above shows the B*Nator remote control request screen as seen on the BlackBerry.
Once the user clicks on OK, their remote control session shows up on the B*Nator web console as seen in Figure 2 below.
Figure 2: Available remote control sessions
The support person now finds the BlackBerry they would like to take control of by looking for the PIN number or email address, and hitting Connect. Within a few seconds they will see the BlackBerry on screen along with some useful information.
Figure 3: Taking control of the BlackBerry
Device information is shown along with tabs for Service Books, and installed Applications.
If you look at Figure 3 you will also see a section for writing text and sending it to the BlackBerry. This is simply a faster way of entering text instead of clicking on the keys on the keyboard one-by-one.
The support person now has full control of the BlackBerry. They can type anything and navigate the BlackBerry. The BlackBerry user is not locked out of the device during this remote control session, and they can take control at any time.
The support person can click on the virtual BlackBerry anytime to receive a screen shot of what the BlackBerry user is seeing at any time, or they can check the Auto screenshot box and a new screen shot is sent about every 30 seconds.
While controlling a BlackBerry there seems to be a two second lag between the action taken on the web console and that action occurring on the BlackBerry. Since this is all happening over the air, it does not seem like an unreasonable amount of lag time.
B*Nator Remote Control is truly a unique product. It is one that I have been asking for and waiting for, and now it is finally here! I am sure that you can only imagine how this product can reduce the troubleshooting times for BlackBerry calls, not only for enterprise clients, but for carriers, and hosted BlackBerry solution providers.
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