Consulting in Vermont means a lot of driving! To cut down on driving time and increase the services that we can offer to our customers we’ve been offering remote consults which has proven to be a great way to help troubleshoot issues and offer training without physically being with the client. We use a system that allows us to control our customer’s machine while we speak with them over the phone about their issues. As long as the client has a working internet connection we can provide remote consulting services. We could not have done this without Mac HelpMate !

While there are many different applications out there to remotely control a Mac, few are as seamless as Mac Helpmate. What sets Mac HelpMate apart from most programs is that it offers zero configuration making it easy for us to quickly set up a consult without the client needing to do more than making one click. Most Virtual Network Computing (VNC) applications require a bit of finagling the first time they’re set up. While I’m a big fan of free apps like Chicken of the VNC and even robust applications like Remote Desktop, it can be difficult to get them working past firewalls and certain router configurations. Considering many of our consulting clients are looking for easy solutions without a huge hassle, these applications just weren’t a good fit for us.

Mac HelpMate allows us to email our client a link to an auto-setup file that downloads the Mac Helpmate application, installs it and immediately opens it up for a sharing session. The application quickly navigates it’s way around router configurations and Firewalls and in just a few minutes the client’s computer sends a code to the Mac Helpmate server that I can then see in my version of Mac Helpmate which allows me to connect to their computer. From there, the interface is a straight-up VNC program that lets me graphically access the client’s machine. Once the session is over I can no longer control or view their computer, so there are no long-term security issues.

Mac HelpMate even allows clients to email out consulting team when they’re having a problem and they can attach a full or partial system profile to the email which helps us better pin-point the issue. We can then schedule a remote session with the client and go from there! Oh, and the makers of Mac Helpmate also make Win Helpmate for our PC friends; this also allows for cross-platform support.

Mac HelpMate has really opened up our consulting possibilities. I’ve had the pleasure of helping clients as far away as The Netherlands and on a variety of internet connections including Satellite and 3G (though I wouldn’t personally try it over dial-up). Give it a try! We offer remote consults for $54.99 per half-hour. Call in the next two weeks, mention you saw this article in Tech Tails and get the first remote session for only $39. Give us a ring at 802-496-7171 ×512 or email consulting@smalldog.com to set up an appointment.

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