Ericom AccessToGo 2.0 - another approach to BYOD

Allowing staff to use their own devices at work can create security and support challenges. There are a number of ways organizations can use to make this work. Ericom believes that its AccessToGo 2.0 is the solution. It can be part of the solution if the use of Microsoft's RDP protocol is standard.

Ericom brought AccessToGo 2.0 to my attention recently. It is an interesting combination of access and application virtualization capabilities designed to offer "secure, fast and simple access to Windows desktops and applications running on any RDP host, including Microsoft Remote Desktop (RDS) Session Hosts (Terminal Services) and virtual desktops (VDI). Powered by Ericom Blaze™ RDP acceleration technology."

Here's what Ericom has to say about AccessToGo 2.0

The new version delivers major productivity, technology and user experience innovations:

  • PPI default and custom setting– This patent pending display technology makes remote Windows applications and desktops easier to use on mobile devices (e.g., smartphones, tablets), enabling end-users to more accurately target Windows objects (e.g., Start menu, icons or any touch-sensitive display item) in a touch environment. This is carried out through automatic adjustment of the remote desktop resolution for optimal viewing and usability on mobile devices, minimizing the need to continuously zoom and pan when using remote desktops and applications.
  • Windows applications and desktops can now be treated as having the same PPI and therefore the same Windows objects’ size across all screen sizes (3.5” - 10.2”) and across all device resolutions (72 PPI of entry-level tablets to 300 PPI of Google’s Nexus 10 and 441 PPI of Samsung’s Galaxy S4). IT Helpdesk departments are thus free from having to spend endless hours supporting end-users working with the widest range of device screen sizes and resolutions.
  • New user interface - Icon-based, modern UI with a refined, tight look and feel for easier, more intuitive navigation and improved performance. The new user interface also requires less memory resources on the mobile devices.

Other notable features in this release include:

  • Redesigned PC keyboard – Easier to use PC keyboard for native desktop-like experience.
  • Performance - Faster connection to corporate resources using Ericom’s connection broker for VDI and RDS – PowerTerm WebConnect.
  • Faster and smoother session reconnection after the AccessToGo app is sent to background. This is especially useful when a call arrives, for example, on an iPhone: the app is paused in the background, and the RDP session can disconnect. When a reconnect is needed (e.g., voice call disconnects), AccessToGo provides a transparent, automatic re-connect experience (to the disconnected sessions).
  • Real mouse icon in floating pointer and touch pointer modes, changes the pointer shape according to the context it rolls over – the same as in standard windows mouse pointer fashion.
  • 3-finger tap gesture opens/closes the virtual keyboard
  • Optionally show/hide OS notification bar: True full screen option

Snapshot analysis

The use of access and application virtualization technology has long been a component of a BYOD policy for companies. This technology makes it possible for a desktop or server application or its interface to be encapsulated and delivered to intelligent handheld devices such as smartphones or tablets. The goal of this release of Ericom product is to improve overall performance and to make accessing a Windows desktop application seem much more like running it on a Windows desktop.

This technology would be of great use to those companies wishing to extend the life of their Windows-based workloads. It would, on the other hand, not be of great use if the company had already selected a different approach, say using Citrix's ICA or VMware/Teradici PCoIP based workloads. It would also not be needed if a company had already developed either a Web-based interface to those applications or had encapsulated the logic into an app for the devices they were choosing to support.