Enterprise Software

Bomgar believes appliance-based remote control beats software or SaaS solutions hands down

During this podcast, Bill Detwiler speaks with Joel Bomgar about his company's appliance-based remote support solution--the Bomgar Box. Bomgar explains the advantages (easier deployment, better security, lower TCO, increased uptime, client OS flexibility, and more efficient product development) his product has over the competition.

Podcast

During this podcast, Bill Detwiler speaks with Joel Bomgar about his company's appliance-based remote support solution--the Bomgar Box. Bomgar explains the advantages (easier deployment, better security, lower TCO, increased uptime, client OS flexibility, and more efficient product development) his product has over the competition.

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Few technologies have improved IT's ability to support a distributed workforce like remote support utilities. I've worked in enterprise environments with and without remote support tools, and I can attest to the dramatic improvement these tools can bring to the support process. Not having to constantly ask a caller "what's on the screen now" really saves time.Joel Bomgar

These days, IT organizations have lots of remote support options. Microsoft has built tools like remote Desktop and Remote Assistance into Windows. There are software solutions like the open-source TightVNC. And, there are software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions like Crossloop or LogMeIn. Even providers of desktop management solutions, like Altiris (Symantec), provide remote control capabilities.

While each of these solutions has particular strengths and weaknesses, they are all either fully software-based or rely on the software-as-a-service model--where the tool's provider serves as a go-between for the traffic between connected machines.

One company that's taking a different approach is the Bomgar Corporation. Bomgar offers an appliance-based solution for remote support. I spoke with Joel Bomgar, CEO and founder of Bomgar Corporation, in July 2008.

Why is Bomgar's appliance better than software or SaaS?

I began our conversation by asking Bomgar why his company is going with an appliance-based solution, called the Bomgar Box, when just about everyone else uses a software-only or software-as-a-service solution. "We choose the appliance because it is the best hybrid deployment model," said Bomgar. According to Bomgar, the complexities of deploying traditional software-based solutions gave rise to the SaaS solutions. But, with SasS came added costs and security concerns--as network traffic is routed through the vendor's system when a connection is made. (Several TechRepublic members raised this concern in the discussion thread attached to my IT Dojo video review of CrossLoop.)

Bomgar believes their appliance-based solution offers several advantages over software-only or SaaS solutions, such as:

  • Easier deployment
  • Hardened security
  • Lower TCO
  • More uptime
  • Client OS flexibility (Windows, Windows Mobile, Mac, and Linux)
  • More efficient product development

"It's [an appliance-based solution] what's best for our customers, best for the market, and seems to be the only deployment model that addresses all of the components that come into play in a customer's buying decision," said Bomgar. He talked about each benefit during the interview.

Solutions for every size organization

B200The Bomgar Box comes in three sizes configurations. The B100 is designed for individuals or small IT shops. It supports a single concurrent support representative and pricing starts at $1,988. The B200 is a 1U appliance designed for the mid-size IT departments, and it supports up 20 concurrent support representatives. Each representative can have multiple simultaneous sessions and the number of sessions is only limited by the representative's bandwidth. Pricing for the B200 starts at $1,995 for the hardware and $1,995 for each representative license (up to 20). For enterprise IT organizations, Bomgar offers the B300. This 1U appliance can support up to 300 concurrent support representatives. Pricing for the B300 starts at $9,995 for the appliance and $2,995 for each concurrent license.

Stay tuned for TechRepublic's test of the B100 and B200

After my interview with Bomgar, I decided that I must give the B100 and B200 test drives. Look for our review of each unit in the coming weeks. If Bomgar gives us the green light, we may even feature the Bomgar Boxes in our Cracking Open series.

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About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

7 comments
JAverett100
JAverett100

So the debate in this day and age of remote support is: self-hosted vs. host. Bomgar, as is RHub are self-hosted solutions- which often provide more security and often faster connections. Hosting, outside of Teamviewer, the user typically has to pay for on a yearly basis. What I don't like about the appliance solution is that the parent company charges service fees anytime something goes wrong with 'the box'. If you try to fix anything yourself your warranty is of course voided. Another lesser known self-hosted product that we came across in our evaluations is ScreenConnect (http://www.screenconnect.com/). It allowed us to own and self-host the software. The benefit is you don't have a piece of hardware that can potentially have issues. It isn't quite as feature rich as say Bomgar (as we tested it as well)- but it had what we needed to conduct remote support. Also they seem to be rather good at putting out updates- as there have been 3 version updates since we bought. If I was going with a hosted solution I would go with Teamviewer (http://www.teamviewer.com/en/index.aspx). For a large company price is pretty negligible and it is a great piece of software. It pretty much has all the features anyone would need.

mvasantha
mvasantha

Did anyone have the opportunity to test drive the appliance? I do agree with the appliance (in-house) solution from a security angle. Bening a SaaS provider myself - providing security for SaaS vendors. I do understand the security angle. However Id like to know how the test drives worked. What are the other alternatives out there?

maoj
maoj

RHUB (http://www.rhubcom.com) also offers remote support appliance as Bomgar does. The key differences between RHUB appliance and Bomgar appliance include: 1. RHUB appliance focuses on comprehensive collaboration functions. In addition to remote supportm, it covers web conferencing, remote access and webinar. Four collaborative applications are bundled in one delivery. In other words, with RHUB appliance, you receive the functions provided by GotoAssist.com (remote support, which is focused by Bomgar), GotoMeeting.com (web conferencing), GotoMyPC (remote access) and GotoWebinar.com (webinar). 2. RHUB pricing per seat is about 10% of Bomgar. 3. Bomgar provides more sophisticated support session management functions. If you are a Fortune 2000 firm, those functions might be necessary. 4. RHUB remote control speed is faster than Bomgar while the difference is not substential.

lelkins001
lelkins001

The security is definitely hands down with an appliance withing your network. Bomgar is proud to delivery a top of the line remote support product to businesses. I am sure Healthcare, Education and other industries where a support rep has access to sensitive info will really love the security. But to answer your question: Yes I have used in many time to support PC and Mac's. I have never run into a problem and it makes life so much easier compared to using RDP or VNC technologies. I have also seen someone use Bomgar to remote control both Blackberry and Windows Mobile devices. That was pretty slick.

mudu
mudu

I am using Bombar in my company. Before to buy it we tried different type of software, saas and appliance and finally choose BOMGAR. We tried RHUB as well, but in compare with Bomgar it's looks little bit unfinished. On another hand, we all knows, that dedicated thing is much better than universal. If you need conferencing stuff go and buy Polycom products.

apietersen
apietersen

Yes, I also worked with Bomgar and still do. I thinks it is still the best remote remote support solution availble today - although it is not a cheap solution. But on the otherhand it realy makes my life easier and cheaper and also for my costumers. Note: there is a small but free and limited service called "Suppio" (www.suppio.com) It uses the Bomgar Boxes for private users and professional users.(Service is located in Amsterdam/Holland). It is free for private users up to approx 9 session in 90 days. Which can be upgraded to a unlimited number of sessions for only 49 euros per year. For ict proffesionals / smb companys / freelancers there is an second Bomgar Box available. An prof-account cost only 119 euros per year - unlimited sessions. See http://www.suppio.com for the details (the websit is in dutch, but the Bomgar Box itself can be selected for english language))

Pajo3
Pajo3

I am curious to see what the readers think will be the impact of the adoption of cloud computing on remote support services market, particularly for home computing and the SOHO (Small Office and Home Office) Market? Will the revenue potential of the remote support services market be hit? Will the actual software provider provide remote support or assistance in the future? Any thoughts on this matter would be very welcome.....

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