How Companies Can Overcome the Technology Pain Points of Working from Home
Updated: Mar 17, 2020
By Sonya Ziegler Meline, Vice President, Technology Source
As organizations around the world face new technical challenges from either being forced to allow staff to work from home, or opting for that by choice, we at Technology Source took some time to focus on the most innovative and winning tech-solutions to solve some of the most pesky challenges.
While we have been helping clients find the best work-from-home solutions for over 20 years, the current work environment challenges, faced by our customers, have become a new battleground in the fight against the coronavirus.
Official memos are being fired off from Facebook to Amazon, from local governments to smaller firms looking to get ahead of this predicament. They outline policies on deep cleaning of office spaces and self-quarantining. Face-to-face job interviews have been all but banned in favor of interviews conducted by teleconference or video. Cancellations of conferences and events are taking place around the world. The team at Technology Source is still reeling from the cancellation of HIMSS, where we were exhibiting and expecting to interact with a good portion of the expected 43,000 attendees and watch the live address from President Donald Trump.
While the measures organizations take in response to the virus vary, one thing is certain, in the coming weeks and months telecommuting will become more ingrained into the American workforce.
To face these demands, Technology Source has engaged some of our top technology solution providers and developed a “top ten list” of solutions our customers can engage our support on as they head out to the frontlines of this new battleground.
TOP TEN WORK FROM HOME PAINPOINTS WITH SOLUTIONS
1) Pain Point One: Need for Better Collaboration.
Solution: Outstanding Video Meetings and Sharing Platforms – All Free, yup… Free
With the coronavirus’ pushing workers to their homes, it’s not only Google and Microsoft who will grant access to their more robust teleconferencing and collaboration tools. Other, more boutique, firms are offering completely free video conferencing access for a limited time and at Technology Source, our senior technology advisors and partners are here to help you select the best provider to quickly meet your goals. The solutions we offer feature HD video and audio, unlimited meetings, and dial-in with toll-free numbers. One of the providers we would love to share with you even provides time-limit free meeting options. As they say “Meet all day. Meet all night. We don’t judge.”
While most of our video meeting platforms offer application-based solutions, several also offer users the option to simply use their browser to attend meetings. This is an option we would want to discuss with you during your discovery so that we can ensure your collaboration solution meets your organization’s needs.
2) Pain Point Two: Too Many Cloud Solutions to Choose From
Solution: Put a Technology Expert in Your Corner.
You have a business to run, and let’s face it, you don’t have time to scour reviews, white papers, and study every provider out there. At Technology Source, our team and trusted partners work on your behalf to scout the best service providers at the best prices to fit your needs. This starts with our cloud strategy consulting, where you benefit from the experts we have in every industry from healthcare to manufacturing. We also assign a senior technology advisor to each customer for one-on-one support.
3) Pain Point Three: Compliance Woes Increase As Data Leaves the Office
Solution: Enhanced Work From Home Physical, Technical, Contractual, and Administrative Safeguards
From a technical standpoint, there are dozens of ways to meet the compliance demands placed on organizations in industries such as healthcare and government. We have several vendors who specialize in these types of compliance requirements and shoulder much of the compliance burden for their customers. Additionally, these providers offer other safeguards such as contractual limitations of liability, and the ability to protect their customers under their cybersecurity insurance policies. This, so that should any breach occur, the fines and risk to their customers is reduced or eliminated. Technology Source specializes in helping you make sure the regulatory boxes are all checked off.
4) Pain Point Four: BYOD Leaves Company Data in Employee Hands
Solution: Endpoint Management Solutions and Cloud Alternatives
Technology Source works with a variety of firms who specialize in endpoint management and protection. We understand that users in the office, on the go, or working from home, all need to be up, working, and connected to their workspaces. And users who are using personal devices require special care – especially when it comes to user termination, lost devices, and sensitive data physically leaving the company premises. Another option is to completely virtualize the workspace essentially allowing the user to log in from any device including low cost zero clients or their personal device.
5) Pain Point Five: Homeworkers Need Phones
Solution: Switch to Unified Communications
Terms like “work-from-home” and “telecommuting” are becoming dated. That is in part to the fact that they have become ubiquitous with the term “work” in general. You already know that universal adoption of the internet provides connectivity to most parts of the world and allows workers to be anywhere they can get to internet, so why not utilize this infrastructure to your advantage?
Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) transforms the workplace to anyplace and integrates various modes of communication into one platform. Most enterprise organizations have already adopted this technology that stemmed from the early use of VoIP. The older VoIP systems are new and improved with overlays of higher quality technology leading to better sounding phone calls, on demand rich HD video meetings, unified collaboration tools that plug into things like Salesforce, Microsoft, ERP systems, and more. They also allow users to download a simple mobile app with their own smartphones or other devices rather than requiring expensive hardware. We work with dozens of providers all with products that fit diverse needs for our customers.
The dark side of UCaaS is many of these providers have aggressive sales teams, cumbersome onboarding processes, require extensive networking knowledge and put the onus of discovery-work on the customer. Technology Source’s partners and advisors represent you and your needs essentially removing the salespeople from the equation. We then oversee the migration process and ensure you and your homeworkers receive all the benefits of an enterprise-class solution.
6) Pain Point Six: Poor Cell Service for Homeworkers Is Now Everyone’s Problem
Solution: In-Building Cellular Coverage Enhancement
If your cell service sucks at home, that’s your problem, right? Well, not anymore. Now, apartment and condo owners will have to meet the demands of their residents who have turned their spaces into makeshift offices. But doing so has its benefits for property owners, such as helping them gain higher occupancy, higher rental values, and higher lease renewal rates. Not to mention improved emergency response and 911 access. At Technology Source, we have providers that streamline your access to enhanced cellular coverage, allowing property owners to cash in on a 22% increase in rental values when combined with building provided Wi-Fi.
7) Pain Point Seven: Lack of Reliable Internet is a Show Stopper for the Newly Appointed Telecommuter
Solution: Managed Internet and Internet Aggregation
With the landscape of work environments yielding to homes, bandwidth is a currency. There are several directions we can take to help our customers acquire a wealth of megabits per second in upload and download speed for their employees. The most popular option is essentially BYO-Internet with 24/7 remote tech-support. To accomplish this, several of our cloud providers support the end user’s access to the internet and all the troubleshooting that may be required to provide this digital gold.
Another option, and one that is increasing in popularity, is providing connectivity for your employee’s home office. Our customers engage us to accomplish procurement via a single provider with a national service delivery model. It’s a nice perk for your most valued home-based talent.
8) Pain Point Eight: Homeworkers are Vulnerable to Cyberattacks
Solution: Layered Security Combined with Training
From new coronavirus themed cyberattacks to the zero-day threats shuttering organizations around the world, these attacks will follow your staff home. At Technology Source, we not only provide dozens of options to aid in the protection of your valuable data, but also act as your resource to plan your cybersecurity roadmap to select from the following protections for your organization so your staff stay virus-free (no pun intended).
Mobile Device Management
Cybersecurity as a Service
Desktop as a Service
9) Pain Point Nine: Imaging and Shipping Computers for Home Workers
Solution: Desktop as a Service
The bane of any IT Department’s existence is imaging computers. That agony increases tenfold when the workforce extends outside the four walls of the office. Desktop as a Service (DaaS) eliminates the need to image and ship computers because the computer becomes virtualized. Staff simply log into their virtual workspace from any device with internet access. Technology Source works with a variety of DaaS and IaaS firms, and helps you pick the right provider for your organization’s goals.
10) Pain Point Ten: Staff Outside the Office Lack Work Status and Accountability Controls
Solution: Layered Remote Accountability Controls
When you can just pop into the office to check on your staff, there’s little left to the imagination on how they spend their time. But given the freedom and distractions that come with home office environments, your organization’s priorities can take a back seat during the workday of even the most trusted employees.
In response to the coronavirus, Microsoft has announced a new Crisis Communication App to help keep track of employees and their work status during emergencies. With the app, employees can report their work status, such as whether they are working from home or not. Administrators can use the app to send news and updates. It also has space for RSS-based news feeds, including "information from reputable sources such as WHO, CDC, or a local authority," Microsoft's announcement indicated.
In addition to helping you implement these kinds of applications, at Technology Source, we offer access to a great mix of monitoring and productivity tools. From SaaS applications that track and record every digital move your staff make, to managed service firms who can run periodic log reports and provide proactive monitoring for your at-home staff, satisfying even the most scrupulous HR executive.
Organizations around the world are essentially being thrown into pandemic-response planning without a guidebook, and without prior experience, with a growing list of pain points to overcome. We want to make sure you know you don’t have to face this battle alone. With backgrounds ranging from former chief executives of business cloud services providers, HIPAA compliance officers, telecom executives, IT Directors, CIOs and former CIA cybersecurity experts, our senior advisors and partners are here to help you with our three step Sourcing-as-a-Service process.
Reach out to us today at (800) 340-8115 to source the many elements of a successful companywide work from home strategy.
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