Microsoft Releases New ‘Remote Help’ Tool for IT Teams

New feature means that technical help can be easily given to employees, even if they're working remotely.
Isobel O'Sullivan

As the hybrid working model continues to pick up steam, Microsoft has released a new tool that makes it easier for IT teams to assist employees from afar. 

As of yesterday, the cloud-based remote assistance solution, remote help, has been added to Microsoft’s Endpoint Manager (MEM) system – the company’s platform that helps IT workers to manage devices remotely. The cloud-based remote assistance solution helps helpdesk associates to view and control Windows devices so they can resolve technical issues with ease. 

During its recent ‘Future of Hybrid Work’ event, Microsoft also announced the release of other MEM tools, including an automated vulnerability management feature and improved virtual private network (VPN) capability.  

Microsoft's ‘Remote Help’ Feature Is Finally Available 

Before the pandemic changed the way we work, most IT workers dealt with technical setbacks in person. But now workforces are increasingly dispersed and cybersecurity vulnerabilities are climbing day by day, the need for effective endpoint tools has never been stronger. 

Fortunately for support workers, after teasing its release in November of last year, Microsoft has finally made the remote help tool available for public use. 

We’ve seen massive structural changes with the pandemic and now with hybrid work. I’m excited about what we can do here to bring some adjacent management strategies and solutions to market.” – Steve Dispensa, Microsoft’s VP of Enterprise Mobility

Essentially, the MEM feature was designed to make it easier and safer for IT workers to fix computer issues remotely. Specifically, by utilizing Microsoft's powerful endpoint security system and the Azure Active Directory integration, the tool makes sure that devices are configured correctly on both ends and that the users are who they say they are.

The feature includes four new capabilities to make this possible:

  • Role-based access control (RBAC) and permissions – By issuing permissions more freely, it's easier for administrators to set up parameters and define which actions need to be taken. 
  • Elevation – When using the function, IT specialists have more elevated privileges, making it simpler for them to take full control of the Windows user's device.
  • Compliance warnings – Warnings will now pop up if a device is suspected to be non-compliant with an organization's policies. 
  • Reporting – The tool's improved reporting feature makes it easier to identify suspicious cyber activity and recurring issues. 

What Other New Tools Has Microsoft Introduced? 

Luckily for MEM users, the remote help service is part of a wider suite of new solutions that aim to make remote help simpler and more secure. 

Among this toolkit, Microsoft is looking to release a cloud-based “certificate lifecycle management solution” which will make it easier for IT workers to deploy certificates within Endpoint Manager, as well as an automated vulnerability management feature that continuously detects threats and patches up apps behind the scenes.

Microsoft’s Endpoint Manager loyalists will also be able to set up secure VPNs, through the help of Microsoft Tunnel – the company’s own VPN gateway that allows Microsoft devices to access on-premises apps and resources. Unfortunately, these tools will not be included in free updated versions of Microsoft’s endpoint management system, and will instead be available as premium add-ons.

These tools will not be included in free updated versions of Microsoft’s endpoint management system

Microsoft is committed to making the switch to hybrid work as pain-free as possible. Aside from using these useful tools, here are 5 ways you can embrace working from home with ease.

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Isobel is a writer at Tech.co with a wealth of experience covering business and technology news. Since specializing in Digital Anthropology at University College London (UCL), she’s been a regular contributor to Market Finance’s blog and has also spent time working as a freelance tech researcher. As a writer, Isobel takes a particular interest in issues regarding data security, social media, and emerging business technology.

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