What is our primary use case?
As a company, our clients are sometimes up to 6,000 kilometers away from us. We have customers across the African continent and within South Africa as well. We monitor and provide support services and implementation services to all of our clients and monitor what is happening in their environment. If a client has got an issue, within seconds, we can be onsite virtually to support them.
How has it helped my organization?
Due to the fact that we can help our clients virtually, the solution has allowed us to reduce our travel costs by about 90%.
What is most valuable?
The solution's ease of use is one of its most valuable aspects. It's very quick to establish a remote session with the client, unlike a similar solution called Bomgar, which was a little bit more problematic in terms of that. With ConnectWise, it is an almost instantaneous connection. I can be on the phone with a client and they will say, "I'm having a problem." I can immediately say, "Okay, you're not registered on our system." A minute later, with ConnectWise, the client will be registered and I can remotely provide assistance to that client.
What we like about ConnectWise Control is that you can brand it as if it is a service provided by your company, and not by some other organization. You can replace all the branding components so that the product that faces the client only represents your organization.
What needs improvement?
Something that I would like to see in the future is mobile video streaming. They do provide audio conferencing, but seeing the problem makes it easier to solve the problem. If they had video streaming, if a client had a physical problem with something and I couldn't get remote access, the client could use his mobile phone to show me the problem. In these cases, even if a client's systems were down, I could help, so long as I had a mobile phone environment.
Even without mobile, it would be helpful to have video conferencing chat functionality with a customer we're trying to support. It's not always needed, as most of the time, we do our work after hours. However, sometimes, when problems arise during business hours, you want the interaction to be a little more personal.
The component that I would like to see at the moment is currently an add-on you need to install. It is free of charge. However, if they could improve their reporting that would be ideal. We've managed to figure out how to generate all the reports out of the system, but I would like the reporting to be a little bit more flexible.
For how long have I used the solution?
We've been using the solution for three years now.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
The solution is unbelievably stable. There was only one instance where we had an outage. It was a planned outage from ConnectWise themselves, where they notified us upfront that between certain hours the service would not be available. That only ever happened once. Other than that, it's always been available. They always notify us upfront when there's going to be a system update. What we like about it, is it updates itself and all agents running with our various clients automatically.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
What we like about this system is that we can scale up and down. Let's say you create under huge usage environments. You can increase your license requirement automatically online and it's effective immediately. That way, you can support more agents quickly. It also works the other way. Once any spike in workload is going away, you can reduce your license account again. It's really very scalable.
At the moment, we're supporting about 25 different clients and that encompasses about 300,000 users.
We're constantly using the solution. Sometimes, we even fighting to get a slot.
How are customer service and technical support?
Their support is pretty proactive. We have never had an issue except once. The one time we had an issue, it was actually an installation on a Linux machine. Technical support was pretty reactive from their side. We've been quite satisfied with their responsiveness.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We previously used Bomgar, which has since been acquired by a different company. We switched because it was so expensive. We were very unhappy when our appliance broke down and they said you have to pay five years' worth of backdated software maintenance. They wanted to charge us about 100,000 Rand, and we backed away, as it was way too much for our small 14 person company.
We switched to ConnectWise's remote control, which we found is extremely powerful. It can provide us with basically similar features that we used to have with Bomgar. As a remote control, it actually works extremely well.
The key difference between the two was the licensing cost. Bomgar was also a very good product. What we did find is that ConnectWise has got slightly more support in terms of integration into other systems than what Bomgar used to authorize at that point in time, three years ago. It may have changed since then. However, the costs, including the peer cost and the costing model, are quite high. There was reluctance on the part of Bomgar to accommodate us in the beginning when we told them that their costing model was crazy. Even after they came back with discounts, we told them, "This is not a significant discount." Instead, we told them that we will rather migrate to a different platform.
How was the initial setup?
The solution is actually extremely easy to set it up. It takes less than an hour to set up the framework. Then, if you want to brand it for your own organization, that takes a little bit longer because it depends on how many customized graphics, et cetera, you want to implement on the system.
What about the implementation team?
We handled the implementation ourselves. We didn't need the help of a consultant or integrator.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We actually looked at a couple of different solutions. We evaluated TeamViewer and we were not happy with TeamViewer at all due to the fact that it doesn't have any granular kind of detailing, from a compliance auditing perspective. It didn't meet our security requirements. The majority of our clients would not have allowed us to implement TeamViewer because a lot of our clients require extreme security. Most of them are governmental institutions and we are under extreme scrutiny in terms of auditing. We need to be able to play back events to demonstrate exactly when we had access to each system at the client site, et cetera. ConnectWise manages to provide all the necessities that we need from a security and compliance perspective.
What other advice do I have?
We're ConnectWise as a customer. We don't have any other business relationship with them.
We are always up-to-date with the latest version. It's automatically updated on the system due to the fact that the service is hosted in the cloud even though it's not really a cloud service. We have our own instance, and we are completely in control from a security perspective. One of our biggest requirements was security. Our users need authentication via their user credentials, which we control with our on-premise AI depth services. It's extremely difficult for someone to bypass that security. Even though the service is hosted in the cloud, we have full control over access to that service, unlike TeamViewer, which is purely a cloud-based solution.
Any person or company that really wants to have a very efficient and easy to use remote control solution really should evaluate ConnectWise. The solution has a trial period which is valid for 14 days, if I'm not mistaken, and you can test it out for free.
Overall. I'd rate the solution nine out of ten.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?