Monday, 30 March 2009

Instant help with Microsoft SharedView

Until recently I was unaware of Microsoft SharedView, I stumbled upon it while downloading from Microsoft a while back and I've used it more and more since.

Microsoft SharedView is part of the new generation of help desk and support tools from Microsoft and it allows users with a LIVE account to request assistance from anyone at any time.

It can be launched as a stand-alone application or inside many Microsoft applications like Office (Word) or LIVE Messenger.
Once it has been launched and the user has logged in, it's possible to request assistance.

Security is maintained on several levels, an incoming session is announced and most be accepted before it starts.
At first the "Service person" can only view the screen and an extra mouse cursor is added that is visible to both but only the person at the computer (Console) can use the his\her cursor to interact with the computer.

When whoever is connected clicks on the screen, a small "Spray" mark is made so that the user can see where to click, the service person can also request that their cursor is made part of the console and if accepted then they can also interact with the computer.

The major advantage with SharedView is that it offers a method for anyone to request assistance from their IT Department by making a few clicks.
The IT Personnel is then able to instantly view the screen via the SharedView session and show where they would like the user to click etc.

The major disadvantage is the lack of sound but this can be overcome by using Skype, MSN or a regular phone.

Another aspect is collaboration, when launched from Word, SharedView allows users to work together on a document either at different time or at the same time - in real time.
Time stamps and naming make it easier to identify changes and more.

All in all, SharedView is a clear indicator of Microsoft's dedication towards making great tools for support and help desk personnel and towards content collaboration.

You can download Microsoft SharedView here