SOTI announces Assist, combined mobile device remote control and helpdesk

Remote control is a standard tool for desktop support, so as mobile devices spread to more enterprise use cases, remote control makes sense for them, too.

Last year we looks at SOTI a couple of times, learning about their approach to ruggedized devices and mobile device remote control, as well as Android for Work and rapid mobile app development (RMAD) platforms.

Since then, they’ve clearly been hard at work. Today they’re announcing a combined mobile remote control and helpdesk solution, SOTI Assist; the public beta of their RMAD, SOTI Snap; and a new suite of product integrations, SOTI ONE. (Here are launch event and demo videos.)

SOTI Assist provides full mobile device remote control, combined with a ticketing and helpdesk platform. (SOTI has previous mobile remote control experience with their Pocket Controller product.) The remote control functionality works with Android and Windows devices, and iOS apps that have SOTI’s SDK (there’s no full iOS device control, of course).

Remote control is a standard tool for remote support on laptops and PCs; now that mobile devices are being used in more line of business situations as kiosks and embedded devices outside of the office, remote control makes a lot of sense here, too. It’s also a natural fit for SOTI considering their embedded device emphasis. I could even see this being useful for BYOD, but then of course it might not work with some devices. Either way, a lot of front line helpdesk staff would be glad to have this.

One side note: MAM vender Apperian worked on remote control for iOS apps back in 2012-2013, but it’s no longer available. I’m guessing that one contributing factor might have been that 2013 was just too early for this to take off; 2017 should be a much better time for SOTI to bring this to market.

SOTI Snap, out in beta, is a drag and drop RMAD for iOS and Android. Judging by the datasheet, it’s mostly oriented at form-based apps, but it does also support signature capture, barcode and NFC scanning, photos and audio, and location capture. Like I said back when I first heard about it, I’ve always liked the idea of bundling a simple RMAD with EMM as a convenient way for customers to get their feet wet mobilizing workflows.

SOTI ONE is an umbrella suite that covers MobiControl (SOTI’s main EMM product), Snap, and Assist, with more integrations in the future (SOTI also has IoT, content, and analytics products). For today, they gave a few examples of integration, and it’s more than just a bundle: SOTI Snap iOS apps will include Assist functionality; you can make Assist tickets in MobiControl; and in Assist you can see device settings and make changes via MobiControl.

Just yesterday I wrote about how much work you can get done on a mobile device. As enterprise mobile use cases expand, having tools like support via remote control will contribute to their utility and maturity.

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