Controlio, which starts at $7.99 per user per month on an annual subscription, is an employee monitoring solution from EfficientLab LLC, which also makes Work Examiner, a monitoring product we previously reviewed. The biggest difference between the two, aside from pricing, is that Controlio is a scalable cloud-based solution licensed by concurrent user sessions. While a gamut of employee monitoring solutions offer invasive tracking methodologies and can capture screens, keystrokes, and even video, only a handful of the solutions we’ve tested have graduated into productivity tracking and scoring. Editors’ Choice selection ActiveTrak and InterGuard both feature productivity scoring as well.
Work Examiner is a Windows client-server application. The client module is installed on employees’ computers, while the server module is installed on the manager’s or network administrator’s computer (on premises). Work Examiner is licensed for each client computer (seat). Like many employee monitoring solutions leaning more towards productivity tracking, By contrast, Controlio’s focus is automatic tracking of productive and distracting activities, and the generation of a corresponding productivity score. Controlio offers real-time surveillance enabling managers to check which employees are active or away, and the corresponding apps running on their desktops. Controlio offers continuous screen recording which offers gapless video of employee activity that is far more useful for forensic analysis than screenshots.
Controlio is similar to Editors Choice selection Teramind, which also records video continuously. However, Teramind also applies Optical Image Recognition (OCR) to decode text captured on video and even make this text searchable. Still, Controlio provides web filtering, keylogging, app and web tracking functionality and can be installed transparently or in stealth mode, so employees are unaware they are being tracked. Having had the benefit of learning from Work Examiner, EfficientLab was able to build a web-based Software-as-a-Services (SaaS) cloud solution that offers real time insights and monitoring. Similar to other vendors in the space, Controlio’s key focus is employee monitoring, insider threat detection, and productivity optimization.
Now that most of the workforce is remote, Controlio’s web and cloud-based installation makes more sense than WorkExaminer’s on-premises monitoring solution. With a focus shifting towards employee productivity, Controlio is better suited for gauging remote worker’s productivity, detecting internal data leaks, as well as managing remote employees and contractors remotely.
Amazon Web Services (AWS), which similarly lists all the Cloud features and also has no limit on data storage. Pricing for this tier is also on request as it is an enterprise focused offering that requires consultation for customization.
Accessing Controlio for a demo is quick and easy. Their website provides a form where you can enter your name, email, company name and number of employees for the company. Submitting this creates an account at Controlio.net. Once you log in, you can download and install the client agent one employee’s PCs.
If installed in stealth mode, Controlio will be invisible to employees and will not have icons or event task manager entries on the PC. Installing on PCs is similarly straightforward. Download the client from the website, run the wizard on each PC, and it automatically begins sending data to your console accessible through the web. Once you set up an account, expect an email from one of Controlio’s customer experience managers asking if you need assistance or have any questions.
Managers can access the Controlio web console on a PC, tablet, or even a smartphone to monitor their employees. We ran our demo on a PC using Microsoft’s Chrome-based Edge browser on Windows 10, since that would be the optimum way to compare Controlio to competing solutions we’ve tested.
HubStaff, which costs slightly less at $7.00 per user per month, Controlio doesn’t feature job site or geolocation features or any time-shifting solution. Granted, HubStaff is more of a time tracking solution, adding value by providing basic task tracking functionality and some rudimentary project management capabilities. Controlio compares more to ActiveTrak’s feature set. However, ActiveTrak does a few things better. For one, it can track productivity on a per-project level. Controlio does offer keystroke logging, which ActiveTrak does not. Moreover, Controlio can sync the keystrokes it records with recorded video fragments to offer dual verification of certain activities.
Teramind, which also provides comprehensive tracking and even live video recordings. Teramind still excels with its OCR capability which can find text within recorded video, this potentially cuts down on investigation and monitoring time and makes Teramind an unsurpassed DVR for monitoring employees.
Businesses that value video recordings over screenshots will have to choose between Teramind and Controlio, even though it seems the whole industry will eventually need to offer video tracking and snapshots as a feature in the next few years. Controlio’s user interface is less ornate than Teramind’s, which offers substantially more information up front, and has a comprehensive automation component that seems oriented to larger enterprises.
artificial intelligence (AI) or universal search functionality that presides over this data. Automating alerts and scheduled reports, which can generate automatic reports and send them through email, is the next best thing to keeping an eye on productivity and threat detection remotely.
Creating Alerts in Controlio for specific events (i.e. visiting a specific website, keystrokes, or launching an application) is straightforward from the Rules section under the Behavior subsection. You’re limited to those pre-existing events, however, so that seems rather stifling.
Businesses can streamline reporting by using Controlio’s automated system. Scheduled Reports appears under the System section. A green icon to the left of the report name indicates that report is enabled, and it will be provided at the time specified in the “Schedule” column. A wizard makes it possible to create various reports based on certain triggers (i.e. attendance, emails, file names, keystrokes, printing, productivity, and many others).
October 29, 2020