|Type||Remote support, IT monitoring and help desk|
GoToAssist is a cloud-based toolset for IT support teams and customer support organizations. Since 2012, GoToAssist has been composed of 3 integrated modules – remote support, IT monitoring and service desk management. GoToAssist was originally released in 2000 as the first Internet-based remote support tool. It is part of the “GoTo” family of products created by the SaaS division of Citrix Systems.
Technology and business development
GoToAssist was originally developed by Expertcity, which was founded in Santa Barbara, California in 1997. GoToAssist Remote Support enables users to access and control remote computers and other Internet-connected devices in order to provide technical support. The solution allows a desktop view of a host computer to be manipulated from a client computer. The two machines are connected through a TCP/IP network. One of Expertcity’s innovations was to employ the Internet for connectivity, protecting transmissions with high-security encryption and multiple passwords. By combining a web-based software service with software installed on the host computer, transmissions could be passed through highly restrictive firewalls.
June 2000 saw the initial debut of DesktopStreaming (now GoToAssist Corporate). GoToAssist was targeted to external-facing customer contact centers and internal-facing IT departments and help desks. Expertcity soon released another product in its GoTo line in early 2001: GoToMyPC, which allows a user to remotely access his or her own desktop.
GoToAssist has gone through a series of editions. Most notably, GoToAssist Express was released in 2009. In contrast with the older version of GoToAssist (which was renamed GoToAssist Corporate), GoToAssist Express (now known simply as GoToAssist) was designed for individuals and small teams of IT professionals and software consultants and marketed to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). While not possessing all the administrative and queuing features of the full GoToAssist Corporate product, the straight GoToAssist version included an additional functionality: technicians could access and control remote computers and servers even when no end-user is present at the machine.
In 2011 and again in 2012, innovations to the GoToAssist product line created additional differences with GoToAssist Corporate; GoToAssist began offering multiple IT tools – remote support, service desk management and IT monitoring – from one integrated platform.
First in 2010, Citrix bought Paglo, headquartered in Palo Alto, for an undisclosed amount. Paglo was an online software service that gave IT managers and technicians the ability to remotely inventory and monitor their IT network, tracking the performance of all connected hardware and software. The Paglo service offered IT professionals a variety of dashboards to visualize trends within their IT infrastructure and also customized alerts to notify the user via email or instant messaging (IM) whenever critical thresholds were reached.
Citrix re-released the Paglo service as GoToManage Monitoring in 2010. In 2011, Citrix integrated GoToAssist’s remote support functionality with GoToManage, which was renamed GoToAssist Monitoring. As a consequence, IT pros could proactively identify IT issues with GoToAssist’s monitoring module and then immediately access the server or computer with GoToAssist’s remote support module to resolve the issue.
The following year, Citrix released a free version of its remote support solution as an iPad app – GoToAssist for iPad. The app enables technicians to deliver live remote support from almost any location. This was followed in 2012 by an equivalent app for devices using Android.
In 2012, Citrix bought the small New Zealand startup of Beetil and its IT service desk management software. The service desk solution was rebranded and re-engineered to integrate with GoToAssist Remote Support and GoToAssist Monitoring. GoToAssist Service Desk was now offered as the third tool in an expanding IT toolset.
GoToAssist Remote Support, Service Desk and Monitoring features include:
- Remote control lets user use mouse and keyboard to control a remote machine.
- Two-way screen sharing lets user view client’s screen and also show user’s own screen for training purposes.
- Remote diagnostics to gather system information from a remote computer.
- Simultaneous sessions allows user to work on up to eight remote computers at the same time
- Encryption and authentication security provided by a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) website with end-to-end 128-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption and the secure remote password protocol.
- File transfer for moving files between computers
- Multi-monitor support for a client PC
- Mac, Android and BlackBerry support
- Technical support
- Remote desktop software
- Service desk
- Virtual help desk
- Citrix Online
- Software as a service
References and notes
- Expertcity (2002). "GoToMyPC: Like Being There" (PDF). Expertcity, 5385 Hollister Avenue, Santa Barbara, CA. Retrieved 2006-04-25. "GoToMyPC works by using the Internet, Expertcity-hosted secure servers and Expertcity patent-pending screen-sharing technology to enable users connect to their computers from any Web browser."
- PR Newswire (2000). "Expertcity.com's DesktopStreaming Success Leads to Launch of New ASP Division". Retrieved 2012-01-23.
- What's News (Sep 6, 2001). "New Service Offers Remote Control of Your PC". Wall Street Journal. Subscription required. "A new Web-based service called GoToMyPC enables users to control their desktop PCs...All of the data...is encrypted and Expertcity says the service will operate through many corporate firewalls."
- Stacy Cowley (2003-12-18). "Citrix buys GoToMyPC maker for $225 million". NetworkWorld, IDG News Service.
- Mario Morejon (July 28, 2009). "Editor’s Choice Review: Citrix GoToAssist Express". PC PCMag.com.
- Andrew Hickey (Feb 24, 2010). "Citrix Online Buys Paglo To Fuel Cloud-Based Management Play". CRN.
- Andrew Hickey (Sep 10, 2012). "Citrix Acquires Cloud-Based Customer Support Technology Startup Beetil". TechCrunch.
- Joe Panettieri (Oct 17, 2012). "Citrix Launches GoToAssist Service Desk for MSP Triple Play". MSPmentor.