SOTI, the developers behind SOTI Pocket Controller-Pro, let us know about another one of their programs called MobiAssist a cloud-based service for enterprise users to perform real-time remote control and advanced diagnostics. Sounds like a mouthful right? Basically, its Pocket Controller-Pro on steroids, I mean transformed into a helpdesk, to make managing and supporting their devices easier. It's a powerful assistance tool that provides support to employees no matter where they are and helps reduce those tricky tech support phone calls we all know and love. Click on the jump for more details.
Pocket Controller and MobiAssist share many of the same features. They both offer remote control capabilities through Wi-Fi or the BlackBerry's internet connection and the ability to control a device with a monitor, keyboard, and mouse. If you're familiar with PC Pro you should have no trouble navigating the MobiAssist console. Although I must warn you that the lag from using the 3G connection remains. While connections may freeze or time out on 3G, WiFi runs just fine.
Sessions are a breeze to initiate no matter how they are created: technicians can send a text message or email with the session PIN number and/or link to download the device app, employees may enter the pin into the app if already installed or use a preconfigured Hotline for immediate assistance. When connected, the users name appears in the queue along with any other sessions already active. To bring up a session simply double click on the line item. Sessions can be put on hold, transferred to another technician (i.e. if one department handles Torch devices only), or closed out with an explanation loaded by the administrator.
MobiAssist displays a complete snapshop of the device like PC Pro. For me the most important feature is the two way chat. You can hold real-time conversations with fellow technicians and device users (employees). When reviewing Pocket Controller-Pro 8, it didn't seem to like my Bold 9700 or Torch 9800. Using MobiAssist they pinpointed the issue while asking me questions simultaneously. It was cool walking around NYC and talking to SOTI in Canada at the same time. Also, I'm the type of person who dreads answering support calls. This feature definitely eases my lack of patience in these situations.
The macro feature is a little gem hidden in the capture tab. When enabled, all actions subsequently performed on the device are recorded. Once saved, macros can be recalled as many times as needed on similar devices and OS's to perform that action. This saves time in the long run by simplifying repetitive processes. For example, you could create a macro to run the Event Log (ALT LGLG).
The online portal is your one stop shop of important information. It allows administrators and technicians to manage their queues and configurations, access and download MobiAssist software, run detailed reports (session history, etc.), and create hotlines. What's important is that this is accessible anywhere. So even from home I could remote into my co-worker's device in Virginia.
The online reporting system also tracks issues to help technicians solve reoccuring problems by OS / model. So let's say you remotely accessed a Bold 9700 with a particular issue. If another user with a similar problem needs support you can sort by model, OS, or technician to find it.
MobiAssist is quick, easy, and doesn't require user travel or long time-consuming phone calls. Why explain an error message when a technician can view it in real-time. This helpdesk is a great way to speed up response times and improve service. Just today I used MobiAssist to perform an enterprise activation on my co-worker's Bold 9700 because he was leaving for London and had wiped his phone due to a java error.
SOTI offers a 45-day free trial and a live demo with one of their representatives. Subscriptions are available on a yearly or month to month basis and vary by the number of support representatives using the system. It is compatible with most BlackBerry devices running OS 4.6 and higher and most Windows PC's running XP or later. OS 7 is currently in beta and is due out in October. So why not take it for spin and see if this cloud based solution is right for your company.