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Secure remote PC control now supports Mac OS X and Linux

Sonicwall : 25 October, 2007  (New Product)
Remote VPN security product now features remote support capabilities and wider operating system coverage.
SonicWALL has expanded the capabilities of its SSL VPN secure remote access solutions for small and mid-sized businesses (SMB) to include a clientless remote support add-on module, allowing technicians to remotely take control of a customer's PC or laptop to quickly and easily remedy technical issues. SonicWALL Firmware Version 2.5 also expands its NetExtender capabilities to support Mac OS X and Linux operating systems in an effort to open the product line up to a more diverse market of users.

Customer satisfaction is a key business driver for IT departments. Technical support via phone, e-mail, live chat and pre-installed remote support clients can often result in frustrating and time-consuming experiences. Clientless tools eliminate the need to download and pre-install "fat" clients, minimising customer frustration, set-up overhead, and reducing on-site travel expenses and equipment cross-shipping costs.

SonicWALL Virtual Assist allows technicians to quickly and easily diagnose problems on a customer's computer by gaining instant access to the customer's computer via a web browser. Technicians are then able to remotely support any application on their client's desktop or laptop by securing control of the mouse and keyboard. Virtual Assist enables IT support departments, help desks and call centres to reduce the cost of supporting remote employees, shorten average time-to-resolution, and increase staff productivity levels.

"Providing speedy technical support is a key part of being able to provide our clients with the best service possible and maintaining satisfaction levels," said James Eitzen of NetworkNow. "With SonicWALL's Virtual Assist it's almost like being right there next to the customer, without the costs or inconvenience associated with being onsite, or their having to ship their computer to us. Virtual Assist is especially helpful in situations where the client is less technically proficient and where the normal procedure would be to walk them through a step-by-step process."

SonicWALL Virtual Assist includes online chat capabilities, secure file transfer, a personalised customer web portal, tight integration with the existing authentication infrastructure and seamless integration of the SSL VPN appliance behind any firewall.

Support can be initiated in one of two ways. A customer can submit a request via the user-friendly web portal or a technician can send an e-mail to the customer requiring help and the customer simply has to click on an embedded link to enter the customer portal.

"As a channel-focused company, SonicWALL is constantly working on innovative ways to help our partners increase and achieve higher profitability," said Jan Sijp, product line manager of SonicWALL's SMB SSL VPN appliances. "IT Support is an important aspect of our partners' businesses. Innovations from SonicWALL that combine ease-of-use and quicker time-to-resolution helps to improve customer satisfaction and aids in achieving this goal of higher profitability."

In an effort to expand SonicWALL's secure remote access market reach and cater to more diverse IT environments, Firmware version 2.5 introduces cross platform compatibility with Mac OS X and Linux NetExtender clients. Users of Mac- or Linux-based operating systems can now gain network level access to resources in addition to the portal access currently available with the use of SonicWALL's SSL VPN 2000 and 4000 appliances.

Current users of SonicWALL SSL VPN 2000 and 4000 appliances with a valid support contract automatically receive updates for Firmware version 2.5. SonicWALL Virtual Assist is available only on SonicWALL SSL VPN appliances running Firmware version 2.5 and must be purchased as an additional license to the SSL VPN appliance.

SonicWALL launched the industry's first range of SSL VPN solutions for remote network access, supporting an unrestricted number of concurrent tunnels at no additional cost in 2005. This powerful family of appliances makes remote clientless access simple and affordable. Today SonicWALL's SSL VPN line extends from entry-level solutions up through the enterprise with the company's acquisition of secure remote access leader Aventail in July 2007. Aventail's pioneering SSL VPN solutions cover security, access, end point control, policy and mobility.
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