Funk unveils Proxy 5.0 remote control software

Funk Software has announced Proxy 5.0, a new version of its remote control software designed to make it easier for help desk workers to support remote desktops.

The new version comes with a Proxy Gateway, software that provides centralized administration of PCs that a company wishes to control remotely, said Kevin Walsh, Funk's director of product technology.

The new gateway replaces the approach used in earlier versions of Proxy, where a master talked to a host for permission to begin a remote control session. That method was time-consuming, since it usually meant client computers needed software loaded on them so the person taking remote control could be authenticated, Walsh said.

Kirk Selph, user support analyst for the city of Gainesville, Fla., said he is likely to upgrade to Proxy 5.0, although upgrades are "sometimes tough." The city has used Proxy software for about five years and currently has Version 4.11, he said.

Using the new Proxy Gateway would enhance security, as only the city's four full-time IT workers have any knowledge about performing remote control sessions. The new gateway approach would "make it even easier to manage all the permissions," he said.

Funk and several competitors, including Symantec, were evaluated by the city -- but the Funk software functioned faster and seemed more secure, Selph said. Since then, it has posed problems only twice, and both times they were quickly resolved. "I'm sure other vendors are providing this service, but Funk's software is working for us and I don't want to change that formula," he said.

Gainesville will get the new 5.0 version at no charge, since the city pays a US$2,000 annual maintenance charge with upgrade insurance, he said. The software pays for itself in less than a year, he said, and makes it possible for IT staffers to know when a remote user's PC is having problems or if an entire network in a remote building is in trouble.

"We can take care of so much without getting out of our desks," Selph said.

Proxy 5.0 costs US$2,750 for 100 hosts, and the Gateway component starts at US$937 for a 25-host server. It is scheduled to be available in late March, though no specific date has been given.

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