June 3, 2009 7:00 PM
I’ll have to admit, the Easy Assist feature is not very discoverable if you have a Live Meeting account but it’s really really really useful! So imagine you have a coworker or a mother who needs help but they’re not where you’re at. There are a lot of different ways for people to do remote assistance support but if you have a Live Meeting account there’s another way that I’ve been using: Easy Assist. It’s the same app that lots of support professionals at Microsoft Product Support & Services use to help customers remotely.
BTW: If you’re an MVP, you have received a complimentary Live Meeting account as part of your benefits!
Downloads for End-users who need support Download the Microsoft Easy Assist support console for joining an Easy Assist session Download the Microsoft Easy Assist Safe Mode Client for troubleshooting within Windows Safe Mode Downloads for Support Agent Download the Easy Assist Launchpad for setting up Easy Assist sessions Download the Microsoft Easy Assist support console for joining an Easy Assist session
So the first thing you should do to help create support sessions quickly as a “support agent” is get the Easy Assist Launchpad installed so it sits in your tray and waits for you. When you launch it for the first time, it’ll ask you to put in your Live Meeting credentials. These are the same that you would use when you setup & configure the Live Meeting client.
After you have finished that, the Launchpad will sit in your system tray and has a few options available for you:
I’ve went ahead and chosen “Create Session” and I’m just going to put in something to let my Mom (and I) know this is for her session.
After, creating the session you’ll have the option to join the session yourself and also send the invite by e-mail (using your default e-mail application) to the person you’re trying to support. Look at the URL… you’ll notice it’s very similar to a Live Meeting invite but instead it has the “joinEA?” inside of it. This is important because this is what makes the end user experience better for the support agent and the person being supported because it will fire off the Easy Assist client instead of the full Live Meeting client.
Once you’ve fired off the Easy Assist support agent client, you’ll be able to see the other support agents that are attending as well as the person(s) you are trying to support. You can request that they reboot, share their screen, share your screen, request to control their session, send files, and more. Support agent screens:
All the end user sees is a small window that’s out of view. After the session, it even asks the end user if they would like to uninstall the Easy Assist client since it’s not needed anymore! How nice?! It even works if the customer has booted in safe mode. Very handy at times.
You can see how it’s super easy to escalate a support call from a family member, an IM/e-mail from a co-worker, or even setting up a session for you to get help from a support agent who doesn’t have remote assistance provided by their employer. Hope this is helpful to you!
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Ed Blankenship is a Product Manager at Microsoft for Visual Studio Online. I am an author of a few books, former Microsoft MVP of the Year, and former ALM consultant. I hold Office Hours each week if you are interested in chatting.
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