On the computer at the store where a friend works, the General Manager can login and control the store computer from head-office in another town. Pondering what IT wizard they had working, my friend told me that it was a free program being used to perform this seamless networking magic; LogMeIn.
Trying it out in the office I could log-on to other stations, navigate the system, active programs, move windows, copy & paste and even activate the sound mixing software to record remotely. These are actually quite petty tasks considering the company has a roster of products with titles like LogMeIn Rescue, LogMeIn Backup and even the mysterious LogMeIn Hamachi, which is their VPN software for connecting multiple stations online.
LogMeIn, which offers a free version to try, relys on the built-in remote features that exist already within the OS, but does install custom software to access those features via your online account. Because it uses the existing capabilities of the OS there is little configuration to set-up on your computers, and runs very reliably over a strong internet connection. While the software is a nice-to-have for someone with 2 computers in seperate locations, it is a great solution for companies looking to have a better control and understanding of the type of computer use in their office. The suite of software offers contingency planning, remote computer networking, and other time and money saving features that any in-house IT team could establish and monitor.