2018: a year in remote support software updates

| By:
Dee Cater

Last December, we published our 2017 release recap; a list of the top features and enhancements achieved that year. Nearly 365 days later, we’re back again with the latest from the ConnectWise Control® product team.

2018 highlights

ConnectWise View™ - ConnectWise View was introduced in November and enables ConnectWise Control premium partners to launch live stream sessions directly from the host page. This means you can now help your end users with onsite issues, like hardware malfunctions, without having to send a technician on site!

New shell theme - The new shell design introduces the “Start +” button to create sessions and offers hosts a consistent experience across the web interfaces of the products in the ConnectWise family of solutions. Plus, enjoy time savings by creating Support, Meeting, and Access sessions from the top navigation bar without needing to navigate to a particular session tab.

Backstage - Backstage is a new feature that creates an independent Windows session when connecting to a machine. Hosts can run scripts and commands using fully-featured Powershell and Windows command terminal windows without disturbing a user that may be working on the machine.

iOS screen sharing - Hosts can view the screen of iOS devices, allowing them to provide attended support to iPhones and iPads.

Security enhancements

Earlier in the year, we introduced SAML authentication; single-sign-on access. With this, hosts can securely authenticate into their environment without having to authenticate with ConnectWise Control separately. In a later release, we added custom parameters in OAuth2.0 requests which lets admins use additional user sources for authentication.

LDAP or AD user source updates made it easier to link to multiple AD directories for simpler administration. We also upped the previously 4-digit code to 5 digits, to better ensure you’re providing your guests with a unique code that will connect them to the correct support session.

We introduced the ability to revoke access to authenticated sessions by clicking “Revoke” in the “Revoke Access” section of the security page. This forces all logged-in hosts to reauthenticate in case of a security breach. Revocation options also apply to host passes for added peace of mind.

Extension development received new rules and regulations in 2018 for quality assurance and to better protect developers’ intellectual property. Want to build an extension in ConnectWise Control? Follow these guidelines.

Host pass configurations – New config options let admins choose the duration of vendor access from a single day up to thirty days, with additional time frames in between. Additionally, there are three host pass new permissions: “my permissions except transfer files,” “my permissions except print,” “my permissions and requires consent.”

Simplification and efficiency

We also introduced the first Premium Extensions (extensions exclusive to the premium instance of ConnectWise Control): the Reporting Dashboard and the Remote Diagnostic Toolkit.

Partner feedback survey – The client survey is no longer automatically sent to the partner at the close of each session, minimizing interruption while in the product.

Subtle changes to the Setup Wizard and Host page animations were added to make the user experience smoother. Additionally, new Host page keyboard options were added to make navigation easier and faster using Tab and directional keys.

Marketplace additions - Other new additions to the extension marketplace include SOS Deployer, which puts an icon on the customer’s desktop that will automatically create a support session. And Advanced Configuration Editor, which makes it easier to edit host and guest options, security settings, and much more.

Audit log filtering – Administrators can quickly and easily find and download the specific session recordings they need with this new filtering functionality.

Notable integrations - Microsoft® Outlook scheduling is easier and more efficient with this integration which adds a ConnectWise Control button to your Outlook task bar. Plus, fixes to the virtual mouse and a new Trackpad mode (allowing for touch gestures on the device) on the Android App.

Updated join session instructional graphics reduce confusion for your guests, making the join process quicker and easier for end users to follow, helping you get to problem-solving faster.

Live monitor preview feature helps you see a live preview of all the machine’s monitors in the Host client while connected to a session, making it easy to switch between monitors and manage changes all at once. And, new session event trigger actions, hosts can automatically kick off session events, such as running commands, on a remote machine based on predetermined triggers.

Look and feel

Host page animation enhancements will improve the performance and user experience on the Host page by loading faster and being more subtle. Now, admins also have the option to disable the animations altogether, depending on preference.

We eliminated the need to click on each individual theme to preview it, making white labeling more intuitive.

Stay in-the-know in 2019

Build up your product knowledge in our comprehensive documentation library. There’s a documentation article for every new update, supported extension, integration, and feature. We love documentation articles. We love them so much, we have 350 of them–and counting! All the step-by-step guidance for doing virtually anything within the solution is right there in a nice orderly list, complete with screenshots (and sometimes videos, too). No tip is too granular. The answers to your burning questions are all here.

For our visual learners, we have a fully stocked video library that currently contains over 50 recordings that cover everything from building your first access installer to new release overviews and everything in between. Organized into topic-based playlists, you can find a video for a specific function or leave it on auto-play. We’re constantly adding new video content, so be sure to check back on a regular basis.

If you want to influence product development, ask for new features, or make suggestions for functionality updates, join the Partner Innovation Network (PIN). As a PIN member, you’ll get early previews of new features, the ability to weigh-in on what the team is working on, and an exclusive Slack channel to exchange ideas with other PIN members and ConnectWise Control colleagues. You can also sign up to receive early access to Android and iOS mobile app Betas. Sign up here.

Want to talk with our team? Join us on social media. We post tailored content on our social media platforms throughout the week. On Facebook you’ll find helpful tool tips for users and updates about ConnectWise Control. Find us on LinkedIn for remote support thought leadership and product usage information that’ll help you deliver better customer experiences. Jump into the conversation on Reddit or join us on Spiceworks for fun, pop-culture inspired content and product news.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for in these channels, we’re just an email away: ControlHelp@ConnectWise.com.