Growth of devices, applications changing IT support: Citrix

Online services vendor sees further opportunities in online support technologies

Citrix Online saw some "seismic changes" coming to the support arena as early as three years ago.

According to Citrix Online IT support general manager and vice president, Elizabeth Cholawsky, the company saw two things happening.

“One was the explosion of devices and the other was the combination of growth and complexity of applications,” she said.

To illustrate how software now runs everything, Cholawsky said the spa controls on a hot tub may be controlled by a Web application that the user logs into.

“When they call for help, they are troubleshooting the Web application,” she said.

“This means the support agent needs to use a remote support tool, one that they wouldn’t have been able to access three or four years ago.”

Trends such as these are driving what Cholawsky calls “a renaissance for remote support,” which has translated into renewed demand for that side of the vendor’s applications.

“It has created a demand for associated parts of a central IT tool to be combined with remote support,” she said.

In response to these trends, Citrix Online made the decision to take GoToAssist, its Cloud-based service that enables users to access and control remote Internet connected devices, and make it applicable to adjacent areas of need in the IT world.

Cholawsky said GoToAssist is what really started the vendor down the road of adding in a monitoring module.

“Customers had already been asking us for an easy to use, Cloud-based help desk system,” she said.

“So we ended up creating the only Cloud based set of integrated tools for the IT support world that supports a mobile work style area.”

Keeping it simple

As for why Citrix Online is keeping such a close eye on support market, Cholawsky said the vendor’s remote support technology is “what really put [it] on the map.”

“We basically created the market in remote support over ten years ago,” she said.

“The core of our product lines all have machine to machine remote technical support.”

Citrix Online saw a market in helping people and unattended machines, such as an executive who is not at their desk or a server in a dark room.

Despite the product line being global and translated into 15 different languages, Cholawsky said the approach that works is “simpler is better.”

“Remote support is orientated at SMBs, but large enterprises such as BT and CA Technologies also use GoToAssist products,” she said.

“They are all running their contact centres with Citrix’s remote support technology.”

Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.

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