Expertcity Launches Revamped Virtual Service Tool

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Expertcity changed the name of its DesktopStreaming virtual support product to GoToAssist, added features and increased channel support, the company said Monday.

Expertcity said new features in GoToAssist 5.0 include compatibility with various APIs to increase integration with CRM systems and other software packages, which is designed to improve desktop management, system diagnostics and asset tracking; a reboot/reconnect mode that automatically reconnects the system back to the administrator; and a multichat feature that allows managers to view up to eight users at a time.

"Our solution provider partners use DesktopStreaming, now GoToAssist, internally so they don't have to send engineers to their clients' sites," Shannon Jessup, Expertcity's director of channels, said at XChange Tech Innovators, held in Scottsdale, Ariz., and sponsored by CRN parent CMP Media, where the new product was released. "Some solution providers have seen an 80 percent increase in engineer staff resources."

GoToAssist can be used as a help desk for small, midsize and large companies and supports most major software applications, Jessup said.

Chips Computer Consulting, a solution provider in Lake Success, N.Y., has used the previous version of the product since its release and welcomes the new functions, particularly reboot/reconnect, said Evan Leonard, president of Chips.

"In the past, you'd have to have to wait for the client to physically reboot their system," Leonard said. "Now we have full remote access so there's no need for user intervention. That saves us time and money."

Over the past six months, Expertcity, Santa Barbara, Calif., has hired 40 field-sales reps, increasing the company's ability to work more closely with its 600 solution provider partners in creating marketing campaigns and attending on-site customer calls, Jessup said.

The extra channel support has helped the company increase the amount of business it does through the channel to 49 percent from 21 percent in the last month, Jessup said. Expertcity sales reps are compensated equally for direct and indirect sales, she added.

The retail price for GoToAssist is $375 per month per concurrent license, and margins range from 20 percent to 30 percent, Jessup said. Solution providers can also increase the retail price by offering premium services, such as 24x7 support and immediate response time.

"If you cut down average instance time from one and a half hours to 30 minutes, solution providers can still charge for the one and a half hours and service three times as many people," Jessup said.

Leonard agrees that the product has helped his company increase productivity.

"In the world of SMBs, many clients are completely unable to manage their technology, so this saves us the time and money of having to deploy an engineer to a client's location," Leonard said from the conference. "We get more utilization out of our engineers by having them troubleshoot certain types of desktop issues through GoToAssist."

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