What is our primary use case?
The use case is mainly PC and laptop support for our internal staff, where TeamViewer is distributed locally through Group Policy. Occasionally, we will use it to assist clients having trouble with our services, and in those cases, we will send them a customized linked invitation through TeamViewer.
How has it helped my organization?
I have used it as a troubleshooting measure with remote people. With a quick glance at TeamViewer, we can say, "Hey, your machine is not reporting as being online or available. Therefore, check your Internet connection. Make sure you are connected to WiFi or Ethernet." Probably nine times out of ten, that's instantly what it is. We can instantly tell if computers are online or offline, then help in the troubleshooting process. We have set it up in such a way that IT will be on the call prior to the connection and that the person on the other end has to accept the connection. We want people to scrutinize and make sure that, "Okay, do I know this person? Why are they connecting?" and, they have to approve it. This is so they can recognize and be familiar with who we are . Also, the background changes to black, so they know when we are on their PC. Furthermore, we utilize two-factor authentication and other features for stricter security on the management side of TeamViewer.
What is most valuable?
We have some people who are on the road. TeamViewer is very convenient for us if they have problems. We are able to hop on their computer and help resolve those problems remotely. In those situations, it's good to get in there and be able to push files directly to the machine and work remotely that way.
As far as searching, using the console installed on your computer and seeing the list of all your computers, we break them down by department. Therefore, we categorize each computer by department so we can do a search and pull up the name of the computer along with the username and user’s phone extension. It streamlines the connection and remote support to somebody.
Occasionally, we have used the meeting and presentation capabilities from a support perspective. For instance, if we have a client that we work with and one of our end users is having difficulty with their software, then I would set up a presentation on my computer. I could also simultaneously TeamViewer into our staff computer, which I could then show through presentation and the remote connection to our client. They can see what's going on and how things are happening. It also gives them the ability to switch control over to them. We didn't want something large running in the background all the time. The fact that it has a relatively small footprint was attractive to us.
What needs improvement?
We don't really use the chat feature. Some of the additional features, like the meeting stuff, is making it too cluttered. Also, we don't need TeamViewer to be a competitor to our video conferencing service, although that basic service might be nice for people who don't want to go through the extra expense. We are basically satisfied with TeamViewer for doing remote support.
We use InvGate, which is a help desk and asset management tool that we are currently using. They announced about six to seven months ago that they will be integrating TeamViewer into their help desk system. We haven't heard any recent developments yet, but we know that is on their horizon.
For how long have I used the solution?
We have been using them for about eight years. We originally worked with them directly out of Germany. Later on, they got a Florida presence, and we started working through their onshore office.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
It is pretty stable for the most part. On rare occasions where the remote machine that we're trying to connect to is not responding, the simple fix is to terminate the process, kick off a new one, and everything is good to go. It's really low maintenance. Once deployed, it's almost a set and forget type thing.
There are only four IT staff in our organization who need TeamViewer seats. That's why it's pretty cost-effective for us.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
Each of my IT staff has that ability to hop on and do things at any time. We can assist not only from our machine, but from our iPad. If I needed to hop on somebody else's computer, I can do support from my PC, iPad, or even my smartphone. It's very portable as to how I can work. I like the fact that I can do support on different platforms.
With the small IT group that I have, I do want to be able to quickly support our entire organization without having to run my staff to death.
How are customer service and technical support?
Their support has always been good. Over the years, there have been things where I had a question come up or deployments. Their support has been spot on. With TeamViewer, we don't get the lag time with responses from their support. They have support in our time zone. Their sales office is in Florida now. For two years, the support has had pretty good turnaround times. They're very friendly, supportive, and responsive. They do a great job.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
At a previous place that a colleague worked, they used Dameware. This was their remote solution, but it required a local network connection. So, if they were remote users, they had to connect to the VPN before actually remote connecting to their machine. So, switching to TeamViewer from Dameware was a big change for him because it didn't require VPN. Eventually, someone turned us (my current company) onto TeamViewer. We have been pleased with them ever since.
How was the initial setup?
We did the installation through Group Policy. Initially, we looked at doing QuickSupport capability, but now with the new way of doing it, it's so much better. QuickSupport was quick and pretty streamlined. At the same time, it required the end user to first initialize, know about the QuickSupport link, provide a password, and provide the session ID, which is a bit more cumbersome to use than being integrated through the cloud and our management portal. Now, we can just add their computers as they are connected and all the user needs to do is hit "Accept" to share their screen. They don't have to search on their desktop for an icon or open anything. The prep work and testing probably took the longest. Once it was streamlined out and deployed through Group Policies, the deployment was quick.
Recently, TeamViewer started supporting iOS devices. We do have corporate iPads and probably need to install TeamViewer on them. That is something on our to-do list, but have not done it yet.
What was our ROI?
We did some rough ROI estimates years ago. The solution has proven itself. We would not want to do the job without it. When I first started the organization, I had to drive out for an hour to a remote office and do some support. It was very time-consuming. You just wasted time doing that kind of stuff. Now, you can just connect and help them. They are happier because you can give them quick turnaround resolution. They don't have to wait for you to schedule time to come out there. So, it's very beneficial and time effective on how we are able to provide quick support. We've quadrupled our effectiveness as an IT support because we have cut down on unnecessary travel time, even between floors.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
We have an annual subscription that is just under $1,900 with no additional costs. We get these promotions about upgrades and stuff like that, but we haven't had a need to add more seats. Users can also use TeamViewer for home use with a non-commercial free license.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We have looked at several other options in the past (e.g., VNC, Webex, and GoToMeeting) before taking on TeamViewer. A lot of them were just way too expensive. We are a small nonprofit organization, so pricey was not something we could look at. The fact that TeamViewer was cost-effective was a big sell for us. The fact that it supports many platforms was also attractive.
What other advice do I have?
Originally, the initial knee jerk reaction is if there is trouble, you run over there to help. That was almost an expectation of the users too. You have to change the culture a little. Once you have the hang of it, you realize how much more quickly and effective you are in providing support than the way you used to do it. Breaking old habits to become more effective was something that many of us had to learn in the very beginning because we were not used to being remote. Now, it's still personal, but in a different way.
Set up your platforms where you have it all deployed completely, so people know that it's there and accessible. Give them a heads up that you have the capability. Sell it as a benefit: This is the way we can help you quickly, no matter where you are at. Then, they will realize that they are the winners. Sometimes, you may have to assure them that you are not there to spy on them. Sometimes, people think that if you get on their computers, you're poking at their personal stuff, which isn’t the case. Finally, we train our folks that they need to realize that they should be protective of who can get on their computer. They are in control of their device, but when they need our help, we can be there. They just have to click "Accept" to let us in. Their screen going dark is an indicator/flag to them for when we were on and when we're not. People just want to have that extra edge of privacy, which is important as well.