We want to take this opportunity to provide some information to our clients around the evolving COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, and make some recommendations as to how your staff can continue to operate in remote capacities as well as provide an update as to what RODIN is doing to continue to provide support services to its customers, while also offering its own remote access tools to our clients free of charge during this time.
RODIN has had full secure remote working capabilities for all staff for many years. Our account managers and admin teams will still be available for you. Our Help Desk will be continuing to provide telephone and remote support for your business as usual. Our NOC will continue to monitor your systems and action alerts as required. Our implementations and consulting services are still operational, however there may be delays on stock during this time as shipments are delayed into the country.
In the coming days or weeks, many businesses will require staff to work remotely, either for social distancing or self-isolation reasons. For many clients, we have already assisted you migrating to the cloud and are utilising modern workplace methods to make your teams mobile. For those businesses, some guidance or instruction may be needed, however everything is in place to take your business calls and access software and files from wherever you are. For others, you may have the tools available to you, but are yet to engage them, and the current situation may be an opportunity to review your Business Continuity Plan and begin using these new technologies. For others who have either yet to embark on these new tools or have “on-premise” systems that don’t necessarily allow for mobility, more traditional methods for remote access will be required.
It’s important to note, that we have been enabling our clients to work remotely for over twenty years, with many different options available to help you through this time. It is important that security be factored, and while businesses want to enable remote working as quick as possible, that poor choices not be made that open the business up to unnecessary risk that may make the situation worse than it already is. One thing is certain, and that is that the cyber-criminals will not stop, and social engineering attacks and other scams will ramp up in a time when there is uncertainty and panic.
If you would like guidance in how to operate remotely, we recommend contacting your account manager to discuss the scenarios available. Below are some common situations that need to be addressed, with potential solutions for you to explore.
Answering business phones
All modern phone systems support mobile apps to take your extension / business number with you when out of the office. If your system does not support this, forwarding calls to a mobile number is another option.
Cloud based phone systems remove the geographic restriction and make staff mobile immediately, allowing business calls to be answered on mobile devices or through a web browser on a PC using any type of headset. These phone systems can be created quickly, which may allow you to divert your business lines to the new system and get staff operating remotely as quick as possible.
Meetings, collaboration, remote learning and file sharing
Microsoft Teams is a platform that enables people to chat in real time, have one to one or one to many video conferences, use virtual whiteboards and share files in the cloud. This can be both within your organisation, or with external clients and vendors. The platform is extremely customizable, is available in an application, web browser or mobile app, and most of RODIN’s clients are already licensed to use it. The easiest way to get started is to log in to https://office.com with your email address and password, then click on the ‘Teams’ button.
RODIN can provide guidance around the platform and how to use it, and the following links will also help you get started:
Making files portable
Onedrive provides a cloud location to store your files, enabling you to access your files on your computer, in a Web browser, or on your mobile phone.
Onedrive (and Teams) provides many features that traditional file servers cannot, such as sharing files or folders with others, version history and co-authoring. The easiest way to get started is to log in to https://office.com with your email address and password, and click the OneDrive icon. From there, clicking the ‘sync’ button will ensure your files are available on your desktop computer as well as in the web.
Line of business software
With most cloud-based platforms being available in a Web browser, anyone who has moved to this type of software will be aware that accessing these platforms from outside the office is simple. For other businesses that have not made this leap, then more traditional methods will be required. This may include using remote desktop (terminal server) environments or providing secure remote access to employee’s business workstations from personal devices.
RODIN will be providing access for our clients to the same remote access tools we use during this COVID-19 pandemic at no cost. This will allow our clients to access their desktops securely from outside of the office on any device with a web browser, avoiding the need for VPN’s and allowing clients to be as mobile as they need to be. Please contact your account manager to get this set up for your business.
If you are considering any work from home scenarios, we encourage you to contact us and work out the best options for your specific scenario, to ensure your system has capacity to support this unprecedented load on remote access.