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Remote Holiday Roundup: Get Ready – and Stay Home this Holiday Season

Remote Holiday Roundup: Get Ready – and Stay Home this Holiday Season

To stay ahead of problems this holiday season, here are tools to help you get your job done remotely

With the holiday season upon us, the last thing IT staff and executives want to worry about over their vacation is whether they'll have to rush back to the office to fix network problems or solve a user's technical issue. With your BlackBerry® smartphone and the software solutions below, you can have the tools to remotely monitor and manage your network, all without having to get up from the dinner table with your family or cut short your holiday shopping with friends.

Access Office Hardware from your BlackBerry Smartphone

IT staff no longer need to be tethered to a network PC in order to keep servers and other hardware running. And anyone can appreciate situations where you need to remotely access a PC as if it were in front of you. In either case, here are some suggestions on how to manage everything using BlackBerry smartphone apps.

Rove Mobile Admin

It seems as though IT employees are never completely on vacation, needing to be on-call to troubleshoot disasters or just perform basic maintenance. Rove Mobile Admin lets administrators perform house calls from their own living rooms.

“Servers are completely holiday agnostic, and are not reluctant to go down at the most inopportune times. For IT administrators, the stress comes from servers that need to remain running - regardless of the holiday,” said Rob Woodbridge, President and CEO of Rove. “Rove Mobile Admin saves holidays by putting diagnostic and management capabilities on your BlackBerry smartphone.”

The Rove Mobile Admin tool interfaces with dozens of server types to handle more than 500 tasks, accessing and responding to monitoring systems, including those from BMC, Nagios, and Microsoft® System Center. Rove Mobile Admin can connect to numerous platforms, including Citrix, Novell®, Microsoft® Windows®, and UNIX/Linux. Administrators can manage VMware installations, edit Microsoft® Exchange and IBM® Lotus® Domino® mail settings, interface with a BlackBerry® Enterprise Server, and more. All told, Rove Mobile Admin compiles an impressive, nearly-overwhelming list of ways it can remotely handle tasks. The tool’s flexible access could help an IT department boost its general productivity as much as rescue you from a disaster.

Remotely Access a PC

Several tools can control a distant PC from your BlackBerry smartphone, letting you access programs, files, and otherwise behave as if you were sitting at your desk. Typical installations require a utility on the remote PC—often called the server PC—and an app on the BlackBerry smartphone client.

- VNC (virtual network computing) establishes the most universal, platform-independent way to remotely access a PC. The open style of VNC can be useful, but each app's simplicity and security can vary. Try a proprietary remote-access tool for the highest marks on both.

- RDM+ works with a range of BlackBerry smartphones, encrypting transmissions as it controls a remote Windows PC or OS X Mac. You can access a computer on a local network or over the Internet—via BlackBerry enterprise Server, BlackBerry® Internet Service, Wi-Fi®, and more—to do essentially anything. Built-in tools help facilitate file transfers, but you could open software, run utilities, and control any program. Additionally, LogMeIn is close to releasing a similar app, Ignition, for the BlackBerry® Storm™ smartphone.

Manage Remote BlackBerry Smartphones from a PC

Even if IT workers are available in the office or can connect through a VPN, your company's BlackBerry smartphones could be scattered around the office or world. Instead of trying to corral the handsets, several PC tools—in addition to Rove Mobile Admin—can remotely control and administrate the devices.

- Remote360 helps troubleshoot remote devices. It requires you to preinstall an app on your BlackBerry smartphone, and a user will activate it when they need help. Remote360 connects through your BlackBerry Enterprise Server and presents a virtual interface of that BlackBerry smartphone on a PC. Remote360 can help a CEO open a mail attachment, or it can allow more intense troubleshooting and administration. Best of all, it saves the hassle of having to locate individual handsets, even working when physical access is impossible.

- B*Nator offers comprehensive BlackBerry smartphone and server monitoring. You’ll connect to a platform-independent PC tool through a web browser, easily gauging the health of your BlackBerry Enterprise Server, mail server, network infrastructure, and more. If you need to take action, B*Nator can deactivate users, present reports, and otherwise serve as an administrative focal point.

- LogMeIn Rescue+Mobile adds BlackBerry smartphone support to the remote Mac-and-PC troubleshooting tool. Administrators can control BlackBerry smartphones on either a BlackBerry Enterprise Server or BlackBerry Internet Service connection, driving everything from a PC web browser. Like Remote360, the interface presents a virtual BlackBerry smartphone on the PC, letting the help desk control distant devices. End users can watch the process and not even need to have installed a utility in advance, since it can be downloaded in seconds.

- Citrix Receiver skips the need for a PC entirely, giving BlackBerry smartphones access to virtualized Windows applications. The new tool, expected to be released shortly, accesses the Citrix XenApp software and virtual applications on your company's server. The combination pushes nearly any Windows application to your BlackBerry smartphone on demand, including proprietary tools.

Have a Happy, Remote, Holiday

These apps allow a deep connection to your office, no matter where you are.

With a BlackBerry smartphone, you can enjoy your vacation without the worry of getting back to your desk at a moments notice. So enjoy your holiday with friends and family!

New Year, New BlackBerry?

Support Forums

The BlackBerry® Support Community Forums are a great place for your BlackBerry device users to get help—and a place for you to connect with other IT administrators. Do you have questions about BlackBerry Enterprise Solutions? Are you looking for support on devices or accessories? Visit the BlackBerry Support Community Forums.