The company just decided that a sizeable chunk of its workforce is going to work remotely for the foreseeable future, maybe permanently, or perhaps create some type of hybrid solution.
IT's mandate: get everybody up and running from home ASAP while providing a secure network experience closely resembles the corporate WAN.
The team is going to have to shop for cable modems, phones, headsets, and cameras to build packages for every employee. With hundreds of businesses seeking to do the same, it will be a real challenge sourcing the quantities of needed hardware with any consistency.
Video Conferencing & Cloud-Based Phone System
You'll also need a video conferencing platform and a cloud-based phone system. The team will have to load the apps for unified communications, merge contacts, manage licenses and credentials, and resolve any interoperability issues to make it all work together seamlessly.
Oh, and don't forget about your day job of maintaining top network performance for workers still in the office.
Meanwhile, employees who swapped cubicles for kitchen tables suddenly find themselves competing for bandwidth resources with family members, getting frustrated by dropped calls and frozen videos.
They are using unsecured home networks to send sensitive company information, creating security headaches. IT support burdens explode as remote workers who never had to plug in a modem before call to troubleshoot network problems through their residential connections, which were never meant to handle business traffic volumes.
This is compounded by the problem is that most IT administrators do not have visibility into home environments, wireless access points, and peripheral devices with so many people spread across disparate networks using different pieces of hardware.
When everyone was in the office, IT could see exactly how much bandwidth each employee consumed, the applications in use, and adjust capacity accordingly.
The network was smart enough to move incoming calls to voicemail while employees were on a video conference. Not now. Cell phones chirp with calls and text message alerts while meetings are in progress. IT has no insight into network metrics, and cannot allocate more bandwidth to a video conference over a video game.
Introducing RCN’s Virtual Office Solution
Virtual Office is a cloud-based integrated communications platform expressly designed for organizations migrating to or increasing a distributed workforce. It offers a secure, consistent network experience that provides a safe, virtual private connection to and from the home that connects to a corporate wide area network (WAN).
The self-installed solution offers IT teams the network access, control, and visibility required to ensure a better work-at-home environment. More importantly, it gives IT administrators the peace of mind of delivering transport layer, network-edge, and core layer protections.
IT sees all connected endpoints on a single dashboard and can easily identify locations that are experiencing problems or underperforming, and reach out to correct the situation.
Virtual Office does this through a standalone modem and bandwidth package that sits on top of remote employees’ existing internet service, separating business from personal data traffic.
It combines three technology components to offer businesses a turnkey, remote communication solution while ensuring compliance to standards set for the corporate wide area network.
Virtual Office includes a self-configuring SD-WAN appliance for rapid deployment at remote locations without any assistance from end-users, a complete messaging toolkit for facilitating different kinds of text and voice communications, including unlimited calling, a soft phone, a web client, chat/presence, a web-based call manager, plus integrated video conferencing with collaboration.
(Some packages include a high quality video camera, headset, and telephone.)
For greater flexibility, internet connectivity can be provided through RCN, or remote employees can choose to have their current ISP provide broadband access.
Virtual Office Whitepaper
Without much notice, many businesses found themselves scrambling to build solutions that would enable work-at-home capabilities.
Now that we've all had some time to adjust, we can take a step back and look at what is really needed to support remote worker productivity in the new work environment. We've done that, and developed Virtual Office.
If you would like to learn more about this solution, and how you can get the consistency of hardware, software, and management all from one vendor, we invite you to download our latest white paper, Virtual Office: A Secure and Consistent Network Experience for Remote Employees.