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This has even affected the way the service desk supports end users. Due to the significant shift in the way businesses manage endpoints and users, many organizations are transitioning into a cloud management model. This is a much more flexible management model, without the complexities of requiring connections back to the corporate network.
Pulseway's remote monitoring and management (RMM) is a cloud-based solution that helps businesses shift their monitoring and management to the cloud for greater flexibility with hybrid resources and distributed workers. New features in the solution extend the capabilities even further for helpdesk staff and remote support. This review of new features will look at a new client portal option and other improvements.
New Pulseway features
Since we last reviewed the product, Pulseway has added significant new features to the platform. These include:
- A client portal solution as part of the RMM interface that provides conditional self-service troubleshooting workflows.
- New event log triggers for workflow automation can execute based on Event ID, level, message, name, source, and other filter elements.
- New performance counter triggers for workflow automation can trigger based on the name, category, and instance conditions built around performance counter metrics.
- Improvements to the macOS WebApp component that improve speed and performance for macOS remote control capabilities.
- Bitdefender is now built into Pulseway RMM so customers can run a trial, purchase, and install Bitdefender directly from the RMM interface.
- General remote desktop improvements stemming from Adaptive FPS added to the remote capabilities found in Pulseway RMM.
- Systems can now get patched as soon as they are added to Pulseway with the new Run assigned patch policy available in the System Registered workflow trigger.
- Client portal conversations allow end users to chat directly with helpdesk technicians. In addition, they can automatically start as part of the troubleshooter workflow.
Let's now focus on the most notable new feature in the latest release of Pulseway, the client portal.
Pulseway client portal
Pulseway released the client portal in May 2021. It is an interactive troubleshooter that provides conditional answers to end users based on various questions. It allows IT admins to configure troubleshooting workflows that ask questions, provide solutions, and enable end users to run self-remediation scripts and tasks based on their answers.
It helps organizations empower end users with a self-service model of troubleshooting to remediate basic and even intermediate issues. In addition, the new client portal helps alleviate much of the burden on the helpdesk team, who can better use their time to triage other pressing problems in the environment.
The new client portal is available on the left blade of the Pulseway web interface. Click Client Portal > Troubleshooters > New Troubleshooter to begin creating a new, customized troubleshooting workflow.
Once you launch the new Create Troubleshooter wizard, enter a name and description for the new troubleshooting workflow. You can also wait to make it active until you finish the design.
As part of the Create Troubleshooter design, you can add different actions to the workflow. The available actions include:
- Run Script
- Run Task
- Send Summary
- Show Message
- End Troubleshooter
- Start Conversation
- Ask Question
Below, I have quickly added a question, two answers, and the actions resulting from those answers. You will note that the design canvas looks like a flow chart containing an if/then feel. Even using just the available actions listed above, you can create fairly complex and powerful troubleshooting wizards to empower users with self-service actions.
Once you have the new troubleshooter designed as needed, click the Create button. The troubleshooter will need to be made active before it will be displayed for end users. You can set the troubleshooter as active by going back to its Details screen.
Creating profiles and assigning troubleshooters
The Pulseway client portal is designed to support multiple clients or users from different companies. The portal can be set up so that various troubleshooters are accessible to users and customers assigned to see them. However, before you can grant users access to the troubleshooter workflows, you must create a new profile. The profile is the construct that houses the customers construct. You assign specific troubleshooters to a profile.
On the Troubleshooters tab, you assign specific troubleshooters to the profile. Just as a minor note, it would be great to see Pulseway add a wide range of built-in troubleshooters that customers get out of the box to shorten the time it takes to provision new troubleshooting workflows for self-service capabilities. Currently, there are two troubleshooting workflows created for you:
- I need more storage
- My printer isn't working
When you invite an end user, they are assigned to a customer who is a member of a specific profile.
Creating a new end user account
To create a new end user account, click Client Portal > End User Accounts. Enter the information for the end user, including name, email, phone number, role, etc. Then, assign the context, which is the customer the user is assigned to.
Once the user account is provisioned, the user will receive an email invitation to join the Pulseway client portal. Once they accept the invitation, they will be able to log in and immediately view the troubleshooters assigned to them. As shown below, the user has access to the three troubleshooters assigned in the profile.
Note the questions and steps the end user sees with the "My printer isn't working" troubleshooter. The troubleshooter asks a couple of questions that help determine whether the printer is powered on and is or isn't in an error state.
Note the option to start a new conversation. If the end user wants to communicate directly with the helpdesk staff, they can do this with the conversations option. Below, an end user begins a new conversation.
New conversations appear under the Conversations section of the client portal on the administrator dashboard. Administrators or helpdesk staff can begin communicating with end users through the administrative interface. In addition, conversations can be assigned to various helpdesk staff.
As part of the client portal module, the conversation capability gives organizations an effective way to communicate with end users that is more efficient than tying up phone lines unnecessarily for lower-priority issues.
Impressions and final thoughts
Pulseway's RMM solution provides organizations with a great solution to remotely monitor and manage their environment from the cloud, which is now the preferred approach for businesses supporting endpoints and users distributed across the Internet at various remote locations.
I found the new client portal module intuitive to configure, and admins can begin setting up new troubleshooters and see value in minutes. However, as mentioned, it would be great to see Pulseway expand the available troubleshooter workflows that are included by default.
As part of the client portal, the new conversation module enables easy and efficient communication from end users to helpdesk technicians, eliminating unnecessary calls. Along with the other improvements in this release, including remote desktop improvements, additional trigger-based workflows, and built-in access to Bitdefender, the new improvements bring great value to Pulseway's latest offering.
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