Setting Up Remote Support for MDM: A Comprehensive Guide
Even the best MDM solutions need effective remote support mechanisms to ensure smooth and seamless business operations. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the critical considerations for setting up remote support for your MDM system. We'll cover its benefits, key features, prerequisites, and offer a step-by-step guide for implementation.
This article is part of our guide "Mastering Mobile Device Management Operations: A Guide for Admins".
Why You Need Remote Support in MDM
Ensuring Business Continuity
In our 24/7 business world, any interruption in services can have detrimental effects on an organization's bottom line. Remote support, integrated into an MDM platform, provides a robust solution to quickly address software and hardware issues, thereby ensuring business continuity. It allows administrators to remotely access devices for diagnostic and remedial actions, minimizing any potential business disruption.
Remote support streamlines the troubleshooting process by offering immediate intervention options. According to a report by Gartner, the average cost of IT downtime is $5,600 per minute, underscoring the financial urgency of swift issue resolution (Gartner, "The True Cost of IT Downtime").
Without the need for on-site visits, employees can receive quicker resolutions to their issues, significantly reducing downtime.
In fact, a study by Rescue by LogMeIn suggests that remote support solutions can resolve issues up to 20% faster compared to traditional methods (Rescue by LogMeIn, "The Efficiency of Remote Support"). This real-time efficiency not only saves both money and time but also contributes to the organization's overall productivity.
With quicker resolutions, employees can return to their work tasks sooner, mitigating productivity losses that can cost businesses an average of $1 million per year according to an IDC study (IDC, "The Business Value of Reduced Application Downtime").
Enhancing User Experience
User experience is a key performance indicator in today’s business landscape. When employees face fewer obstacles in their workflow due to timely and effective remote support, it significantly boosts morale and work satisfaction. The seamless technology experience enables employees to focus on their core responsibilities, increasing overall productivity.
Benefits of Using Remote Support
Faster Resolution of Issues
In the traditional model of tech support, an IT specialist might need to physically access the problematic device. With remote support, this barrier is removed. Admins can access a troubled device from their own computers, swiftly diagnosing and often resolving issues in a fraction of the time it would take to send a technician on-site. This translates into less waiting time for employees and quicker resumption of work.
Lower Support Costs
Remote support dramatically lowers the costs of providing effective tech support, with some industry estimates suggesting that businesses can reduce their support costs by up to 30% through the use of remote assistance tools (Industry Estimates, "Reducing Support Costs with Remote Assistance"). There are direct financial savings in terms of travel expenses for technicians, which can add up to thousands of dollars annually according to a Forrester report (Forrester, "Reducing On-Site IT Support Costs").
These savings are complemented by indirect cost reductions stemming from reduced downtime and increased employee productivity.
In fact, a study by MetricNet found that the cost per ticket can decrease from $22 for a Level 1 service desk to $8 for a self-service portal when remote support is deployed effectively. When you couple these substantial cost benefits with a capable MDM system, the financial gains can be quite significant, reinforcing the ROI of your IT investment (MetricNet, "The Economics of IT Support").
Enhanced User Satisfaction
Customer and employee satisfaction is increasingly becoming a top business priority. Remote support can enhance this metric in a tangible way. The speed and effectiveness of remote troubleshooting can significantly contribute to a positive experience, which, in turn, fosters loyalty and retention.
Features That Make Remote Support Easier
A picture is worth a thousand words. This saying holds true in remote support, where screen capture features can be invaluable. By seeing what the user sees in real-time, an admin can quickly understand and reproduce the issue at hand, making the process of troubleshooting more efficient.
System logs are often the first place to look when diagnosing an issue. Remote support solutions that include log capture capabilities offer administrators a deep dive into system activities, helping them identify anomalies or configurations that may be contributing to the issue.
Having access to comprehensive device information such as operating system versions, installed software, and hardware specifications, can provide the admin with contextual data that is often critical in understanding and resolving issues quickly.
Video Chat Options
In more complicated scenarios, where text or voice communication may not suffice, having a video chat option can be a game-changer. It facilitates a more nuanced and detailed discussion between the admin and the user, ensuring that issues are understood fully before a resolution is attempted.
Prerequisites for Setting Up Remote Support
Before you start implementing remote support, ensure that the devices in your organization support the necessary protocols. Cross-check operating system versions and hardware capabilities against the requirements of your chosen remote support software.
Network Infrastructure & Security
A robust and secure network is a prerequisite for effective remote support. Check your firewall settings and ensure that your VPN can handle the additional data load that comes with real-time remote interactions. Conduct a network vulnerability assessment to identify any potential security gaps to make sure that noone else but you can access user devices remotely.
IT Staff Training
Your IT team should be proficient in using the remote support tool. This includes understanding its features and limitations, knowing how to initiate sessions, and being trained in security protocols to maintain data integrity during remote sessions.
User Authorization and Consent
Before initiating any remote support, written or implied consent from the end-user is a must. Make sure that your MDM solution allows for easy capture and storage of these consents to remain compliant with regulations like GDPR.
Step-by-Step Guide to Enabling Remote Support in MDM
Step 1: Vendor Selection
Here's a shortlist of popular vendors known for robust remote support features:
- Multi-platform support: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS.
- High-security standards, including end-to-end 256-bit AES encryption.
- Offers advanced features like remote printing and file sharing.
- Comprehensive reporting and analytics features.
- Relatively high cost for enterprise-level features.
- Occasional lag reported during remote control sessions.
- Requires stable internet connection for optimal performance.
- Strong focus on enterprise-level solutions, great for large organizations.
- Excellent audio and video capabilities.
- Includes 1TB of cloud storage in its enterprise plan.
- Can be complex to set up.
- Limited customization options.
- Pricey for small businesses.
- Extremely lightweight, easy on system resources.
- Low latency and fast data transmissions.
- Offers a free version with basic features.
- Lacks some advanced features like session recording.
- Limited support documentation.
- User interface not as intuitive as competitors.
- Cost-effective, offering a good range of features for its price.
- Supports high-definition video streaming.
- Multiple concurrent sessions allowed.
- Limited reporting capabilities.
- Customer support has room for improvement.
- Some users report connectivity issues over longer distances.
- Zoho Assist
- Integrates well with other Zoho products and third-party apps.
- User-friendly interface.
- Offers free version with essential remote support features.
- Limited features in the free version.
- No option for on-premises deployment.
- Some users report mobile app to be clunky.
Step 2: Software Installation and Configuration
Once you've selected a vendor, the next step is to install and configure the software. You'll need to enter your admin credentials, and configure settings like timeout periods, encryption levels, and permissions.
Step 3: User Onboarding
Make sure that users know how to request remote support and what steps they need to follow to grant permission for remote access. This could be through a prompt or a dedicated application within your MDM solution.
Step 4: Test Run
Conduct a test run with a small group of users to ensure that the system works as expected. Collect feedback on any issues or bottlenecks and fine-tune your setup accordingly.
Step 5: Full-Scale Deployment
After the successful completion of the test run, roll out the remote support features to all users. Ensure to monitor system logs and user feedback to make any necessary adjustments.
Deployment of Remote Support Apps via MDM
Setting up remote support apps on a fleet of mobile devices could be daunting without the right tools. With an MDM solution, you can seamlessly automate this task, cutting down on manual efforts and mitigating the risks of errors. Below are some methods to deploy these essential apps via MDM:
Managed configurations allow administrators to remotely push settings to mobile apps, thereby automating their deployment and functionality. Here's a detailed guide to utilizing managed configurations:
Identify Configurable Apps: Check whether the remote support app you intend to use supports managed configurations. This is typically documented in the app’s enterprise deployment guide or can be confirmed with the vendor.
Create Configuration Templates: Most MDM platforms offer a user interface to create configuration templates. Navigate to the app management section, select your remote support app, and you will find an option to set managed configurations.
Define Parameters: Here, you can set various configurations such as pre-defined server settings, user roles, and permissions. You can also specify whether a user can modify these settings or not.
Apply to Devices: Once the template is ready, you can push these configurations to targeted devices or user groups directly from your MDM console.
Validation: After the managed configurations are pushed, it’s critical to validate that the settings are correctly applied. Use test devices or feedback from pilot users for this verification.
How to Push Remote Support Apps through MDM Policies
Pushing a remote support app through MDM policies involves selecting the app and specifying the devices or user groups that should receive it. Here’s a step-by-step guide:
Source the App: First, you'll need to source the remote support app. This can be done by uploading the app package to your MDM or by linking to the app’s listing in a public or private app store.
Create a Deployment Policy: Navigate to the app or policy management section in your MDM console. Create a new deployment policy and add the remote support app to this policy.
Specify Targets: Choose which devices or user groups should receive the remote support app. With some MDM solutions, you can get very granular, targeting devices based on their OS, geographic location, or even custom tags.
Set Triggers: Configure triggers for the policy execution. For example, you can set the policy to execute when a device enrolls for the first time, or when a device complies with certain conditions like connecting to a specific Wi-Fi network.
Deploy: Once the policy is fully configured, initiate the deployment from your MDM console. You can either push it immediately or schedule it for a future date and time.
Monitoring and Troubleshooting: Most MDM solutions offer robust reporting features. Utilize these to track the success rate of your app deployment and troubleshoot any issues that arise.
Feedback Loop: Keep a channel open for users to report issues or provide feedback on the remote support app. This helps in making necessary adjustments to the policy or the app settings.
Remote support is not just an add-on but an essential part of an effective MDM strategy. While many MDM solutions require extensive training and time, Appaloosa's Mobile Device Management offers a streamlined experience. With excellent user experience and admin training as part of the onboarding process, maintaining your MDM has never been easier.
Looking to set up remote support through your MDM seamlessly? Appaloosa.io can guide you through every step of the process. Contact us today for specialized consultation tailored to your unique needs.