SonicOS 6.2 Admin Guide - Rev_C

Virtual Assist

Configuring Virtual Assist

Virtual Assist Overview

Virtual Assist allows users to support customer technical issues without having to be on-site with the customer. This capability serves as an immense time-saver for support personnel, while adding flexibility in how they can respond to support needs. Users can allow or invite customers to join a queue to receive support, then virtually assist each customer by remotely taking control of a customer’s computer to diagnose and remedy technical issues.

NOTE: The technician or administrator providing Virtual Assist must be located inside the local network of the appliance.

Using Virtual Assist

Downloading and Installing Virtual Assist Stand Alone Client (VASAC)

To use Virtual Assist, both the technician and customer must download the Virtual Assist Stand Alone Client (VASAC) from the portal page. From the portal page, the technician can fill in all the necessary login parameters, then download the client installer by clicking the Virtual Assist button. You can double-click the downloaded installer to automatically login to the firewall.


Without an Invitation

The customer can download and install the VASAC from the customer login page if you have previously enabled the option, Enable Support without Invitation (see Enable Virtual Assist).

With an Invitation

If the option is disabled, to download and launch the VASAC, customers must click the provided link from the invitation email sent by the technician.

Logging In and Connecting to VASAC


By the Customer

If the Enable Support without Invitation setting is enabled, and customers have installed VASAC, they can proceed to log in to Virtual Assist.

To log in, the customer must:
Select the Customer icon on the left of the panel.

Complete the required information fields.
Click the Login button to enter the queue for Virtual Assist.

By the Technician

To log in after installing VASAC, the technician must:
Log in to Virtual Assist.

Select the Technician button.
Complete the required login parameters.
Click the Login button. The main panel then displays for the technician.
Double-click Start from the pop-up menu to initiate the support tunnel with the customer.

After the tunnel is established, the technician can view and control the customer’s desktop, chat with the customer, and transfer files, if necessary. Control can be terminated at anytime by terminating the support application.

Maximizing Virtual Assist Flexibility

Virtual Assist > Settings

To maximize the flexibility of the Virtual Assist feature, you should take the time to properly adjust all of the available settings. To configure settings, go to the Virtual Assist > Settings page.


General Settings

In the General Settings section, you can:

Enable Virtual Assist

You need to decide how to provide access for customers to gain support through Virtual Assist:

Enable virtual assist support without the need for an invitation.
Provide an Assistance Code for customers to enter when accessing the portal after receiving an invitation. By setting a global assistance code for customers, you can restrict who enters the system to request help. The code can be a maximum of eight (8) characters, and can be entered in the Assistance Code field. Customers receive the code through an email provided by the technician or an administrator.
To require customers to use an Assistance Code:
In the General Settings section, enter the code in the Assistance Code field. The code can be up to 8 characters.
NOTE: The Assistance Code can be used to restrict who can enter the system to request help.

To allow customers to request Virtual Assist support without needing to provide a code:
In the General Settings section, leave the Assistance Code field blank.

Select the Enable Support without Invitation checkbox.

Create a Disclaimer

The Disclaimer field allows you to create a written message that customers must read and agree to before receiving support. If a disclaimer is required, it must be accepted by each customer before they can enter the Virtual Assist queue.

Allow Users Access Outside Your Network

The Customer Access Link field allows users to set a URL for customer access to your SSL VPN appliance from outside your network. If no URL is entered, the support invitation to customers uses the same URL the technician uses to access the appliance.

NOTE: You should configure this URL if the SSL VPN appliance is accessed through a different URL from outside your network.

Display Virtual Assist Link from Portal Login

If customers navigate to the technician login page, you have the option to display a link there to redirect them to the support login page.

To provide a link:
Enable the checkbox to Display Virtual Assist link from Portal Login.

NOTE: Support without invitation should be enabled if you want customers to be able to request help from the login page.
Ensure the link is correct.

Notification Settings

Under the Notification Settings section, you can customize various aspects of the invitation and technician notification settings:

Create an Email List of Technicians

All email address entries in the Technician Email List field receive a notification email when an uninvited customer enters the support queue. Add up to 10 emails to this list, with each separated by a semicolon.

Customize the Support Invitation

You can customize both the subject line of the invitation and the invitation itself.


These variables can be used for customizing both the subject line and the invitation message:

Technician Name: %EXPERTNAME%
Customer Message in the Invitation: %CUSTOMERMSG%
Link for Support: %SUPPORTLINK%
Customize the Subject Line

You can customize the subject line of support invitation emails by entering the desired text in the Subject of Invitation field, using the variables listed in Variables. A sample invitation subject is provided.

Customize the Invitation

You can customize the body of the invitation email, by entering the desired text in the Invitation Message field, using the variables listed in Variables. The message can be a maximum length of 800 characters. A sample invitation subject is provided.

Configure Mail Server and Address

To utilize the email invitation capabilities of Virtual Assist, you must configure the appropriate Mail Server and Mail from Address settings on the Log > Automation page within the SonicOS management interface; for a description, see Log > Automation. A link to the Log > Automation page is provided.

Request Settings

In the Request Settings section, you configure various settings related to support request limits:

Limit Queue Size

The Maximum Requests field allows you to limit the number of customers that can be awaiting assistance in the queue at one time. When this limit is reached, new requests are blocked. The default queue size is 10 requests.

Create Full-Queue Message

The Limit Message field allows you to enter text to be displayed as a message to customers when there are currently no available spots in the queue, as the maximum requests limit has been reached. A sample message is given. You can create a message up to 256 characters.

Limit Requests from a Single IP

You can limit the number of requests coming from a single IP. This prevents the same customer from requesting Virtual Assist support multiple times at once and thus be put in the queue multiple times. Enter the desired limit in the Maximum Requests from One IP field. Enter 0 (default) for no limitation.

Limit Time in Queue

To avoid customers waiting indefinitely for Virtual Assist support during high-volume periods, you can set a time limit (in minutes) for how long a customer can remain in the queue without receiving support. Set this limit by entering the desired number of minutes in the Pending Request Expired field. Enter 0 (default) if you do not wish to set a limit.

Restriction Settings

If you encounter requests from unwanted or illegitimate sources, you can block requests from defined IP addresses.

To block unwanted IPs:
Scroll to the Restriction Settings section.

Click the Add button to add a source IP address to block. The Admin Address dialog displays.

From the Source Address Type drop-down menu, select IP Address (default).
In the IP Address field, enter the IP address to be denied support requests.
Click OK to submit the information. The newly blocked address will now appear in the Deny Request From Defined Address table.

Saving Your Settings

When you have completed all necessary adjustments:
Click the Accept button at the top of the page to save your settings.

Click Cancel to revert to the most recent settings.


Viewing the Virtual Assist Queue

Virtual Assist > Status

When customers log in to Virtual Assist to receive technical support their names are added to a queue. You can view the status of customers awaiting support through Virtual Assist on the Virtual Assist > Status page.

The status of each customer includes:

Whether the customer is currently receiving Virtual Assist support.
Their position in the queue.
A summary of each customer’s issue.
The name of the assigned technician.

A customer can be manually removed from the queue by clicking the Logout icon on the right-side of the customer’s listing.