A school would install the NetSupport Notify network (LAN, WAN) messaging system program to communicate any message to the staff as a group or to small groups of staff members. This short message is then displayed on a designated staff member’s computer screen (either PC or Mac). With the acknowledgement feature, the sender can confirm who has received the message. Pros: The program can issue an audible alert. Messages can be classified as critical, alert, technical, message, or news. The messages can be set up so they only go to specific people or to the entire school, so teachers could send messages requesting urgent help back to the security officer or to the main office. The program can be password-protected to block unauthorized users. NetSupport Notify requires no special equipment and has a distribution module so all the computers in the school can be installed from one location. Cons: None.Overall Impression: This is a good tool to increase the security of our schools and to improve communication between the administration, technical staff, and the instructional staff. As long as this type of communication tool is used responsibly, it would make a great fit for schools. Retail Price: $180 for a 75-user pack
www.netsupportdna.com Price: $1750 for 3 operatorsWhen teachers have a problem with a piece of equipment or software, they can use the NetSupport DNA Helpdesk online program to submit a trouble ticket to tech support. DNA Helpdesk notifies the tech via e-mail that he or she has a ticket. The tech can use the program to check the machine’s latest hardware and software configuration and to see a report of other tickets coming in, all of which can aid in troubleshooting, reduce downtime, and cut costs.PROS: Helpdesk gives an up-to-the minute inventory of the hardware and software installed on a machine reporting a trouble ticket. The program can set customizable rules so that specific kinds of tickets are delivered to specific techs. Helpdesk can be accessed from handheld devices; the pages on handhelds are easy to read, and the tech can add customizable fields. User data can be imported from third-party sources. Ticket escalation can be automated, and reports can be viewed online.CONS: None.OVERALL EVALUATION: While this is similar to other help-desk products on the market, three things make it unique and exceptional: the up-to-date hardware and software inventory, full handheld functionality, and a customizable knowledge base.