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Does Lync/Office 365 provide desktop remote control?

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I've moved one of my clients over from SBS 2008 to Office 365 and removed the server box. They have 4 client computers total, ranging from 6 to 8 users total. Individuals need to be able to sit at any one of the computers at any time. Because the client wouldn't have to spend so much time and effort to manage a server, then, Office 365 seemed to make sense.

As part of their SBS implementation, this company had one machine that they left on 24/7 so that users could access a mission critical database from home to do things like check their schedule, schedule new patients, access the patient information in order to make calls or add notes, and write reports on the patients' progress.

I'm wondering if Office 365 will perform a similar service for us? In the pre-sales research I did, I couldn't find a definitive answer, but it seemed like it was available through Lync. So I'm going from the assumption that it's possible.

So the next question then becomes, how do I configure it? I have only installed Lync on one computer so far to test it. I'm actually wondering what Lync will do for a small team like this? But as long as it at least provides the ability for our users to get to their database from home, I'll be pleased as punch.

Thanks in advance for any help you might be able to offer...

Verified Answer
  • HI Jeremy

    The Office 365 portfolio doesnt offer the same remote control features as SBS. You can see another persons screen by using Lync but the other person has to be at there desk and give you access. It really designed more for training or collaboration than support.

    As I guess you also know you can also us the built in remote desktop (RDP) of Windows to login into a remote PC, but again this isn't "Remote Control"

    You can signup for Microsoft hosted "InTune" service which gives you the remote control and management features or just use something like VNC to do this.

    Hope that helps

  • Hi Jeremy,

    Remote desktop connections (RDP) do not require a user click "allow" on the machine you are connecting to, it simply logs you in and you get the full Windows GUI.  To use RDP, click Start > Run > type in "MSTSC" (without quotes) and press enter. Then, enter the host name or IP address you would like to connect to. Lync Online and Office 365 do not include an RDP function, as it is already built in to Windows (Professional versions and above).

    Lync Online includes desktop-sharing, but it’s not a remote-control type of scenario. It’s just a sharing of control function. Certain functions and features will not be allowed (such as high-level admin access) to a PC. The user on the other end must click “allow this function” if that happens (for things like accessing registry editor, elevated command prompt, etc.). It will either prompt the other user for an access function (lock their screen), or lock the mouse entirely so the remote user can’t click anything. This is by design, and cannot be circumvented, for security reasons.

    If you need detailed information on Windows InTune, please contact InTune support at 1-866-344-3402 (open 24/7), or visit: onlinehelp.microsoft.com/.../default.aspx

    I hope this helps. If you have any further questions, please let me know.

    Thanks!

    Justin

All Replies
  • I've been playing with Lync for a bit.  If you click on a contact, a child window will pop up & there is an option to share your desktop with someone else under the last icon drop down.

  • I appreciate this feedback. But do we know if this is the equivalent of the remote control features of Small Business Server 2008? For example, does someone need to actually be at the workstation in order to take control? Or can they remotely do things like login to the workstation (peep-to-peer network now) or run programs, etc.?

    This is the information I'm looking to have answered...

  • Jeremy,

    As long as they have a windows machine at home they can just use remote desktop, you can just set the in office PC to allow remote connections, then each staff member set-up remote desktop on the machine they have at home, and boom they are in. If you want, you could set it up so that each person can access the PC that they would use when in the office, that way you won't have 6 people truing to get on 1 machine at the same time.

  • Unless they are at the machine, you will have to use another remote solution.

  • Hi  jeremyNLSO,

    Does the reply above answer your question?

    Thanks,
    Mindy Pan
     

     

  • No, actually. I'm waiting for someone who knows the product well (for example, someone from Microsoft, or someone who's been doing more that "playing with Lync for a bit") to provide an "official" answer.

    No offense is intended here. This is simply a mission critical aspect of this small business' needs and I can't afford anything but a clear understanding of Office 365's capabilities and what I do after having bought into the marketing that I should move them to the glorious cloud.

    I CAN say that I'm more than a little disappointed in the responses so far on this forum. I expected a bit more clarity and professional-quality information as opposed to hunches and such. But again, I konw that the people who answered were just trying to be helpful. That's where the Microsoft people need to step in, research if they don't already know the answers, and give the product forum the best available information. Microsoft should know its own products inside and out. That's why there's a forum, I thought...

    I'd still like an answer to the question I posted. I'd like to know if there's any remote control capabilities in Lync, or in the Office 365 product offering in general, or--if neither of those--if there's a built-in method in Windows. I would think this is a very real issue for those who've been told that the cloud products can meet their needs as well or better than in-house networks...

    Thanks! :-)

  • P.S. Should I post this question somewhere else? I'm just used to TechNet forums-level thoroughness and detail.

  • HI Jeremy

    The Office 365 portfolio doesnt offer the same remote control features as SBS. You can see another persons screen by using Lync but the other person has to be at there desk and give you access. It really designed more for training or collaboration than support.

    As I guess you also know you can also us the built in remote desktop (RDP) of Windows to login into a remote PC, but again this isn't "Remote Control"

    You can signup for Microsoft hosted "InTune" service which gives you the remote control and management features or just use something like VNC to do this.

    Hope that helps

  • So much for user to user support.  Read read forum & the question was answered a few times. #offensetaken

  • Thanks! That was finally an answer that adressed my particular questions/needs. I sure appreciate it...

    BTW. Do you happen to know if Remote Desktop Connection requires someone to "accept" the incoming connection? I'm not sure myself...

    I looked at InTune, but I didn't see remote control. In any event, it definitely looks like a management solution, meaning it wouldn't necessarily be appropriate for end users to use as a way to gain remote access to the database they need.

    Thanks again for taking the time to help me out! :-)

  • @Mr. Burke:

    Sorry that I didn't trust your information. I've been in the IT business for over 20 years now, starting with WordPerfect Corp customer support. I'm afraid I've had enough interaction with paid technical support AND user support forums to know that, if the informaiton isn't accurate, it doesn't help me. Sorry, but if you've just been playing with the product, your credibility suffers and your answers become suspect. I come to a forum like this because I know that no one can know everything about everything. But I figure if I can talk to experts about a particular product, I can get quality information efficiently and fast.

    I'm sorry, but your answers did not provide quality information. Sour grapes won't help. Try offering your information with an acknowledgement that you're not an expert, and that you could be mistaken (it's called humility), and don't be quick to suggest your post as an answer, and you might be more helpful to others. :-)

  • ...edited.  No point arguing.  Good luck.
  • User to user support is available. Remote unattended access is not. What are you on about?

  • Remote desktop locks the host's screen as you are logged on.

  • +1