Mobile management specialist Zenprise is adding remote control capability to its MobileManager platform, enabling helpdesk staff to see what is happening on a remote user's smartphone screen, and take control if necessary.
The company is also adding support for Apple's upcoming iPad to MobileManager, so that enterprise IT chiefs will have visibility of any users bringing these devices into the office and connecting them to the company network.
Available from today, Zenprise Remote Control initially supports only BlackBerry devices, but the firm plans to extend this later to Windows Mobile, Android, Palm's Web OS and Apple's iPhone.
The tool is a feature update for the Device Manager module of MobileManager, and is designed to let IT staff remotely assist users calling in with a smartphone problem, or show users how to perform tasks on their handset.
"When users experience problems with their smartphone, it could be that it's not working, or it could be they just don't know how to do something like change time zone," said Zenprise vice president of marketing Ahmed Datoo.
The problem with fielding queries over the phone like this is that the IT person has to ask the user what they can see on their screen and try to blindly walk them through a solution, he explained.
With BlackBerry Remote Control, the technician can see an exact replica of the smartphone's display, and can even step in and remotely access the menus and other controls if necessary.
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