Remote Support Tool Frequently Asked Questions

About Remote Support

What is the Remote Support Tool?

The Remote Support Tool is a tool that Information Technology (IT) staff can use to help students, faculty, and staff with technology requests. This remote assistance and screen-sharing service gives the community the convenience to receive technical support from IT support staff across campus networks or across the Internet. This provides technical support that is more timely and efficient for the University.

Why has IT implemented Remote Support at Pepperdine?

The remote assistance and screen-sharing service provides the community the convenience to receive technical support from IT support staff across campus networks or across the Internet. This provides technical support that is more timely and efficient for the University.

How does the Remote Support Tool work?

To access the Remote Support tool, IT support staff will provide the user with a unique nine-digit session key to start a secure, one-time session. That session key must be entered at helpme.pepperdine.edu before its expiration time (default expiration is 10 minutes). 

When the user enters the session key, the remote support software downloads to the user's computer. Upon running the program, it will prompt to start a session with the support staff member. Once the user gives permission, the support staff can either view the user's computer screen and show the user what to do, or remotely use the computer to troubleshoot and resolve the issue.

Each remote session is logged and recorded to allow IT managers to audit and to ensure quality customer service. At the end of the session or when the user deems their issue is resolved, the user terminates the session and the remote support software is deleted from their computer.

Who can use the Remote Support Tool?

IT staff will use this tool to assist students, faculty, and staff who need assistance with technology requests.

Does Remote Support replace the Pepperdine Help Desk (x4357) phone line or the Technology Request Form?

No. This tool does not replace the Pepperdine Help Desk. The community will still log technology requests with the Help Desk or the Technology Request Form as usual. If the technology issue requires the use of the Remote Support Tool, IT staff will provide a session key to initiate the remote support session.

Computer Compatibility

Do I have to install anything to get Remote Support to work?

Yes. After you enter a Session Key on the helpme.pepperdine.edu page and press the Submit button, you will be prompted to download, install, and run a temporary software file, which will allow you to share your screen with the support person. After the support session is over and you have terminated the session, the temporary software is uninstalled from your computer.

Does Remote Support work with Macs?

Yes, Remote Support works with Macintosh computers.

Remote Support Tool Security

How do I know that the Remote Support Tool is running on my computer?

Once you download, install, and run the temporary software for the Remote Support Tool, you will see a chat window, where you can type to communicate with your IT support representative. Normally, you will also be able to see the support representative use your mouse, keyboard, and applications to troubleshoot your technical issues.

After the remote support session is complete, the temporary software is uninstalled from your device. The support session is recorded for quality assurance.

Are the sessions recorded and why?

Yes. All sessions with the Remote Support Tool are recorded for security and quality assurance. In addition, if the session was useful and informative, Information Technology can re-purpose the session as a "How-To" video to share with the Pepperdine community to help with common support issues.

After my remote support session, can anyone access my computer?

No. You will always have control over who you invite to help you in a remote session. Furthermore, only designated IT support staff have access to install the Representative Console on their systems in order to provide remote support. Once the support session has completed, you can close the chat window, which will automatically end the session and uninstall the remote support software from your device.

Can I save the session key for later use or keep Remote Support on my computer?

Normally, the Session Key only lasts for the duration of the remote support session. This is a security feature. Remote Support does have other features that allow client installation - most notably, a "HelpMe Button" and "Jump Client." As Remote Support gains momentum, Information Technology may install "HelpMe" buttons and "Jump Clients" to handle special computer environments, such as class labs and computer locations that can be centrally managed.

Related Questions

What is Bomgar?

From time to time in utilizing the Remote Support service, you may see references to "Bomgar." The Remote Support service at helpme.pepperdine.edu is powered by a Bomgar server appliance.

The appliance provides the hardware and software integrated into our networks to give reliable and secure communications with your computers and smart devices. More information about Bomgar is located on their main web site, www.bomgar.com.

How is the Remote Support Tool different from, LogMeIn or GoToMyPC?

Remote Support works similarly to other screen sharing applications, such as LogMeIn or GoToMyPC. However, IT's Remote Support appliance is installed locally, on our network, whereas third-party hosted solutions are located outside the local network. Installing locally allows us to apply network security policies, as well as encrypt the network traffic between helpme.pepperdine.edu and remotely-supported clients.

Also, remote support sessions are recorded on the appliance, and can be saved for later referral or audit. The system also allows multiple remote sessions at a time, allowing IT staff in various locations to assist colleagues wherever they may be.

Do Windows and Macs already have screen-sharing capabilities?

You may be familiar with Windows Remote Desktop Connection or the Remote Assistance feature, which allows you to invite others to help you remotely with a computer problem. Macs also have their own screen sharing capabilities. For one-to-one Windows-to-Windows or Mac-to-Mac communications, these applications are adequate. An enterprise-level solution is best for our environment, with hundreds or thousands of Windows, Macs, Linux, and smart devices such as iPhones, iPads, Android phones, and tablets. The Bomgar appliance offers the University the right capabilities of interoperability, features, and security that meet our requirements.

Is Remote Support the same as remote access?

The underlying technology is similar. With Remote Support, an IT staff member can assist a colleague remotely, over the web. With Remote Access, a feature used primarily with Windows Servers, many client computers can log in to the remote server to run applications such as Microsoft Word and Excel. Remote Support is usually just that--remotely supporting a client with their computer or smart device--whereas Remote Access usually involves connecting to a server to run an application located on that server.

Can I use Remote Support to get to my computer at home, like LogMeIn?

No, unfortunately. Remote Support is dedicated for IT support staff in assisting the University community. There are third-party solutions similar to Remote Support that target home use and home networks.