One of the greatest benefits of SaaS applications is how easy they make it to stay up to date with the latest features. In fact, with Edge DX, all you need to do to get the latest features—and there are some good ones—is make sure that the Edge DX agent is running. That’s it! There’s no infrastructure to update and no licenses to change; a simple update to the agent is all it takes.
The downside to this seamless updating, however, is that you may not even be aware what new features are available. To help you out, let’s walk through the new features that I find most appealing, as well as a feature or two (already in the product) that you may have missed.
The biggest change to Edge DX is that the Assist menu has replaced the Send Message action.
Remote Control is, perhaps, the most powerful of all the new features under Assist. It allows you to view and have keyboard and mouse control of a remote user’s Windows console. This is a boon for help desk staff, since they no longer have to ask the user on the other end to explain what they are seeing on the desk and can then talk them through where and what to click to diagnose and solve problems that they are having.
Before allowing access to a machine, users are asked for their permission. While the help desk is assisting the user, they’re shown a pop-up that informs them that their machine is being controlled by another user.
In many cases, you do not need the full keyboard and mouse access to help out a user; simply viewing their screens will give you the context needed to assist them, and in these situations, Remote Shadow can be used. As is the case with Remote Control, the user will be notified before and during the Remote Shadow sessions.
If needed, the above two features can be disabled to meet corporate and legal regulations regarding user privacy.
Remote Shell, on your machine, will open a console to the remote machine and let you execute command-line commands as System or as an individual user just as if you were on the machine locally. They one “gotcha” that might catch you up is that you need to enter your commands at the Enter Command prompt at the bottom of the screen instead of at the top of the screen where the results are displayed. Both Remote Shell and Remote Control use outbound WebSockets initiated by the agent on the device, so there are no listening ports, no firewall changes, and no third-party software required.
You can still send a message to a user using Send Message, but now if the system is a Windows multi-user machine, you can send a message to all the users or to just one. This is a great way to alert all the users on a system about an action that will affect them—such as a reboot—while still preserving the ability to communicate with individual users if needed.
Another great new feature is the User Activity report. This shows information pertaining to which applications are being used.
To access these reports click Reports and then select User Activity under New Reports.
The default report will show user activity in aggregate.
You can specify which users or AD groups to display, as well as the time range.
This information can be exported as a CSV file if desired.
You can customize what information is collected by going to Configuration > Settings and selecting the User Activity tab.
In many locations, collecting this information is forbidden, so you must positively acknowledge the privacy implications before you may capture this information at the user level.
This information is useful when determining which applications are being used the most and—perhaps more importantly—which applications are NOT being used that can be retired to recover costs.
Edge DX now has the ability to check the latency between a device and three different sources. By doing this, you can check known good, external network sources, such as Google and Teams, as well as the remote assets (e.g., gateways, virtual desktops, streaming applications, etc.) that users need to access. By viewing these sources, you can quickly identify or eliminate where a bottleneck is occurring. For example, if the latency to Google is relatively low (say 15ms), but the latency to the gateway is higher than normal, you can ascertain that the problem is localized to the gateway and not general user internet access.
A feature that has been in Edge DX for a while, but you may have missed, involves the status of an internet service provider (ISP). By clicking on the information icon to the right of the ISP in the General information box, you will be presented with information about the ISP provider.
This information is provided by downdector.com, and although it is a broad, big-picture overview of an ISP, it will provide a general idea as to whether or not the ISP a device is connected through is having issues. This can greatly help you determine where to focus when troubleshooting issues.
Under Power Options you can select which user to disconnect or log off. Although it is rare to have multiple users on an endpoint device, it is nice to have this option when you do.
As mentioned earlier, the only thing you need to do to see these new features in the Edge DX dashboard is to have the agent running on the devices you’re monitoring.
The dashboard will display agent information of devices if the Show Agent Information checkbox is selected.
You can verify which systems have what agent by examining the Agent Version column in the dashboard. By using the Filter Builder, I opted to only show the devices that are not already updated.
The Auto Update column will show whether a device has the auto-update feature enabled or disabled. Using the drop-down menu, you can choose which devices to show.
NOTE: This feature is currently only applicable to Windows devices; devices running other OSes will always show a status of Enabled, but this is not accurate.
Other OSes can be updated using a custom script, although the Edge DX agent is only available for Windows at this time. If you do not have the update script in your script library. If the Custom Action script is not already in your tenant, contact firstname.lastname@example.org and they can help you install it.
If I were forced to choose my favorite new features in Edge DX, I would have to choose Remote Control (I have simply spent far too many hours blindly trying to help users discover why their systems are not performing as expected).
One case that comes to mind is when I spent a half hour telling a user to right-click the Windows icon on the lower left corner of the screen, which they assured me was not there, only to find out that they moved the taskbar to the right side of the screen and had taskbar auto-hide enabled! Another time, I had to have a user use regedit and they made a slight error in typing. Remote Control effectively removes this communication barrier by allowing help desk staff to directly see and control a user’s screen, saving both time and the possibility for user error.
If you haven’t tried Edge DX yet and you’re currently running Solve, you can get a trial version by going to the Solve dashboard by hovering over the NEW icon in the left side of the navigation pane and clicking on physical endpoints. This will allow you to click Start Trial for a free 21-day trial for 100 endpoint devices.
If you are not currently a ControlUp customer, you can download a fully functional version here.
We’re excited about the new features we’re bringing to the table in ControlUp Edge DX and the ways they’ll help you deliver a truly great digital employee experience. Get started with Edge DX today, and let us know what you think!