2009 Evaluation Team Report: Remote Desktop Assistance

The remote desktop assistance team found that remote desktop assistance tools could be divided into three categories:

  • Components of Complex Products
    These applications, though capable, were not generally considered as part of this evaluation. The primary reason for this is that purchasing decisions on these application are usually not driven by their remote desktop assistance capabilities.  Examples include Altiris, Apple Remote Desktop, and LANDesk.  
  • For-Fee, Single Purpose
    These applications form the strong center of the applications considered. They are usually primarily designed to solve the single problem of effective remote assistance. If they have other features, these features are complimentary to the remote assistance mission. Examples include Copilot, PCAnywhere, and RealVNC.
  • "Free"
    These application either ship as components of operating systems or are built on open-source code. Though often in use at the University for on-campus to on-campus use, they are not as effective when being used on-campus to off-campus or off-campus to anywhere use.  Examples include basic VNC and Windows Remote Assistance.

The team theorized the functionality of each application category as follows:


On-campus to on-campus On-campus to off-campus Off-campus to anywhere
Mult-function component Capable Capable Capable
For fee, single purpose Capable Capable Capable
"Free" Capable Marginal Marginal

Though acknowledging the uses of the "free" applications (especially on-campus) and the presence of the component applications, the team chose to spend most of its evaluation efforts on the for-fee single use applications that are more effective at solving the long-distance emergency problems than the "free" applications.

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Date Posted: June 27, 2013

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