Microsoft Remote Help: Your Windows 365 Companion

Windows 365 is starting to step up its game in 2023. Over the last few weeks, we got the Windows 365 app into production, MMR into production, hardware acceleration for the web client, and much more. Another major aspect to Windows 365 at scale is being able to support users. Today, we will be talking about Microsoft Remote Help (their new remote support platform) that lets you do a bunch of cool things. We will talk about what it is, its requirements, cover the application deployment, and how its used.

What is Microsoft Remote Help?

With people moving away from SCCM, Microsoft needed a solution for remote support in Intune. Today, they have TeamViewer, but that can be a pricey solution especially at scale. Ideally, they needed a solution that delivered synergy with the Intune suite. Now, Microsoft has introduced Remote Help inside of Intune.

Remote Help is a new cloud-based solution that helps support users in a privacy-forward. Access only works with a 6-digit code and users can decide if they want to grant full access or only share the screen.

The setup itself is fairly easy by just doing this:

  1. Navigating to Home > Tenant admin
  2. Going to Settings > Configure
  3. Choosing what settings you want (Enable, Allow for Non-Intune devices, and allowing/disabling chat)

Additionally, they have a few nice things like showing your the history of Remote Help sessions:

Also, they have a nice visual monitoring tab with average session times and total sessions:

The product is super simple, which is great for users and new administrators alike.

First, you click “Get a security code”

Next, you give that code to the user

After this, it’s just as simple as putting in the code and clicking “Submit”

As Microsoft shows in their article, they are very privacy-forward with the access grant workflow once you authenticate:

Requirements for Remote Help

Before going into using Remote Help, let’s briefly discuss the requirements.

For licensing, you need either:

  • The Remote Help add-on license ($3 per user)
  • Microsoft Intune Suite License ($10 per user)

The architecture of Remote Help looks like this below:

Both the “helper” and the “end user” need connectivity to these sites below over 443 as referenced in the Microsoft docs:

HostnameDescription
*.aria.microsoft.comAccessibility features within Remote Help
*.events.data.microsoft.comMicrosoft Telemetry Service
*.monitor.azure.comTelemetry and remote service initialization
*.support.services.microsoft.comPrimary endpoint for Remote Help app
*.trouter.skype.com, *.edge.skype.com, *.remoteassistanceprodacs.communication.azure.comAzure Communication Service for chat and connection between helper and end user
*.aadcdn.msauth.net, *.aadcdn.msftauth.netAAD authentication
*.graph.microsoft.comGraph Endpoint
*.login.microsoftonline.comMicrosoft login service
Microsoft Edge Security EndpointsThe app uses Edge WebView2 browser control. The link gives you the domain URLs that you need to add to the allow list to ensure communications through firewalls and other security mechanisms

Packaging and Deploying Remote Help with Intune

Now that we get how Remote Help works, let’s cover packaging the application.

As I covered previously here, we use the Microsoft Win32 Content Prep Tool to package the Remote Help application and deploy it via Intune. Check my old article out for the deep details on that, but you will find my video covers the basics of what you need to deploy it:

Custom Roles for Remote Help

The other thing you might want to do before using Remote Help is setting up a special role for leveraging the Remote Help application for your admins.

In Tenant Admin > Roles you create a new role like this “Remote Help” role that I created:

You just set your desired Remote Help app rights and off you go:

User Experience with Remote Help for Windows 365

Now that we showed how the sausage is made, you can check out this video that lays out the entire user experience of leveraging Remote Help. A fun note is that Intune is basically just linking you to the URL scheme for remote help (ms-remote-help://) and I always enjoy a good url scheme. I hope you enjoy the video and I will be back for the recap!

The Remote Help Recap

Remote Help (a newer offering in Intune), is very interesting to me. I have a good amount of experience with similar apps like Workspace ONE Assist. The nuanced differences are certainly interesting. Personally, I might prefer to see Remote Help get an unattended version like WS1 Assist has because not every use case is the same. Sometimes unattended use cases are nice for things like Microsoft Teams Room appliances and other fringe options. Overall, for a small price point ($3 per user) we can continue to build on the story of Windows 365.

I think considering the investment in Windows 365, I would love to see this get bundled into Windows 365 Enteprise to offer a more complete solution, but overall its not a huge deal. Remote Help is an intriguing product that continues to layer the Cloud PC solution to become comparable to a physical machine along with other solutions like Microsoft Defender. That is a story worth telling.

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