Expanding your remote workforce may have a significant impact on IT architecture, security, and company workflows. Progent has two decades of background helping SMBs to plan, deploy, manage, tune, and troubleshoot IT networks that support a remote workforce. Progent can assist your Akron company to select the right technologies and adhere to leading practices in building and maintaining a secure virtual solution for telecommuters that promotes collaboration and returns maximum value. Progent can provide services ranging from as-needed guidance for helping you past challenging IT roadblocks to full project management or co-management to help you successfully complete business-critical initiatives.
Progent's consultants can assist Akron, Ohio companies to succeed with any facet of creating a high-performing work-at-home ecosystem by providing infrastructure design and configuration services, VoIP PBX troubleshooting, video conferencing integration, collaboration platform selection and deployment, cloud connectivity, Call Desk augmentation, security and compliance, backup/restore solutions, and unified management.
Network Infrastructure for a Remote Workforce
Setting up the network infrastructure needed to support a remote work environment can be particularly complex if you have to manage a mix of worker-owned hardware like desktop computers and notebooks, routers, and Wi-Fi APs from various vendors and with a mix of operating systems and firmware releases. Progent's experience providing remote help for both outdated and current technologies in virtual office solutions enables you to make efficient use of your existing network infrastructure and offers ready access to top-tire consultants for implement essential updates. Support services available from Progent to assist your company to create a productive telecommuting ecosystem include:
- Virtual Private Network technology allows you to create a secure tunnel for authorized at-home workers to access IT resources located at your corporate datacenter or in a public cloud. Progent's consultants can assist your company to deploy and manage VPN access between your teleworkers and your various IT resources by providing online VPN integration support. For businesses using Cisco's ASA firewalls, Progent's Cisco ASA experts can help your at-home workers to set up Cisco's AnyConnect client software to provide safe VPN connections for a broad selection of devices such as Microsoft Windows, Mac, Apple iOS, Linux, and Android.
- Virtual Desktop Infrastructure products enable a telecommuter to see and use a data center computer's desktop. This provides network managers substantial control over the computing environment of at-home employees and ensures them a familiar experience. Progent's VDI consulting services include Windows Remote Desktop integration and Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops expertise.
- Routers connect home networks to the Internet and typically support VPN connections, home Wi-Fi connectivity, and firewall services. Progent offers expert online support for integrating routers from a range of manufacturers. See router integration services from Cisco-certified consultants.
- Home Wi-Fi networks, typically shared by families and visitors, are commonly utilized by telecommuters to connect to their router for work. This can cause throughput as well as cybersecurity issues. Progent can assist businesses to resolve these issues by delivering expertise that include Cisco Aironet integration consulting, Cisco-certified Meraki wireless deployment consulting, and Ubiquiti Unifi wireless AP setup assistance.
- Internet access methods affect the speed and availability of connections between telecommuters and the corporate data center. Vital processes might require redundant Internet access in the event the normal connection fails. Progent offers guidance for identifying ISPs, picking appropriate bandwidth and data volume offerings, and setting up high-availability Internet access. See Internet access integration services.
IP Voice Solutions for At-Home Workers
Extending the company PBX system to include remote users is critical to maintaining an effective work-at-home solution. A variety of cloud-centric digital PBX platforms are popular with small and mid-size businesses to support remote users. Many larger organizations rely on Cisco's modern or older products for VoIP solutions. Progent can assist organizations of any size to design or maintain a remote VoIP service that delivers the flexibility, transparency and security required for teleworkers. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE Voice experts offer high-level support to help organizations tune their existing Cisco VoIP systems to support an expanding at-home workforce.
- Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM) delivers enterprise IP telephony capabilities to devices such as IP phones, media processing products, Voice over IP gateways, and multimedia apps deployed across the network. CUCM manages other combined media services such as messaging, video conferencing, and customer collaboration networks. For more information about Progent's Unified Communications Manager support, see CUCM consultants.
- Cisco CallManager is Cisco's legacy call-processing agent and has been replaced by CUCM. Progent can help your company to support your existing CallManager environment or migrate efficiently to Cisco's modern IP telephony products. To find out about Progent's expertise for CallManager and Cisco's other older IP voice products, refer to Cisco CallManager consulting.
- Cisco IP Gateways provide connectivity with PSTN networks and with clients operating beyond the corporate perimeter
like telecommuters. Progent can provide expert support for Cisco's earlier generation IP gateways including the UC520, UC540 and UC560 products and for modern Cisco Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) gateways. See Cisco SIP gateway integration consulting.
- Other VoIP Platforms supported by Progent include Vonage, RingCentral and 8x8. Progent can assist you to expand your wide area network architecture to support these solutions and provide as-needed configuration and debugging services.
Video Conferencing for Remote Workers
A broad selection of voice/video conferencing products from major vendors enable online meetings, video and voice conferencing, chat, and screen sharing for both local workers and teleworkers. Many organizations utilize multiple products to meet the needs of their different partners and customers. Progent can help you to manage your current conferencing ecosystem and enhance the productivity of your remote employees.
- Skype for Business is Microsoft's popular communications platform that enables presence, instant messaging, voice and video calling and conferencing plus the seamless integration of these functions within Office desktop and Microsoft 365 applications including PowerPoint, Word, Excel and Outlook. Progent can provide the expertise of Microsoft-certified specialists who can help your company to deploy and manage Skype for Business clients to accommodate your at-home employees. For details about Progent's support services for Skype for Business, visit Skype for Business integration services.
- FaceTime is Apple's group video phone app for compatible iOS, iPadOS, iPod and Mac devices. FaceTime works on Wi-Fi or cellular Internet connections. Newer editions of FaceTime allow up to 32 simultaneous users for voice/video calls. For details about Progent's consulting expertise for Apple FaceTime, visit Progent's FaceTime configuration expertise.
- Webex Meeting Center supports remote conferencing for most computing devices. Offered via Cisco's Webex Cloud, Webex services include sharing discrete content or computer screens, presentations that embed rich media including Microsoft PowerPoint and Flash videos, network-based recording, plus revision and playback for future reference and training. For details about Progent's support services for Webex as well as for additional IP video products from Cisco, visit Progent's Webex Meeting Center support services.
- Teams is Microsoft's next-generation replacement for Skype for Business. Teams provides a hub for conversations, contacts, and information with capabilities such as voice/video calling, threaded chat, plus file sharing. For details about Progent's consulting services for Teams as well as for additional Microsoft 365 apps, visit Progent's Microsoft Teams consulting services.
- Additional Voice/Video Conferencing Apps supported by Progent's conferencing experts include Google Meet, Amazon Chime, Zoom, and Slack. Progent can deliver integration and troubleshooting expertise for these conferencing platforms and
help your business to optimize your network infrastructure to host them.
Microsoft Integrated Collaboration Software for At-Home Workers
Microsoft's collaboration products are closely integrated with Microsoft's popular Microsoft Office and Microsoft 365 families, offering a powerful ecosystem of applications that create a consistent user experience for sharing data and ideas across multiple sites and on a wide selection of endpoints. Progent has delivered online consulting services for SharePoint and Exchange since their initial releases and can assist businesses to configure these flagship collaboration platforms to optimize the effectiveness of your at-home workforce.
SharePoint utilizes web entities to promote collaboration and information delivery by offering policy-based access to content, workflow, and utilities for searching through company-wide business data. SharePoint permits you to create secure portals that enables remote workers to view and edit consolidated business intelligence by means of Intranets (Wikis), Blogs, social sites, and Web Parts. For information about Progent's SharePoint consulting expertise, visit SharePoint configuration and development expertise.
Exchange and Exchange Online offer secure collaboration features including public folders, shared mailboxes, and shared calendars and contacts. Progent's Microsoft certified Exchange experts can show you how to activate and utilize these features for your at-home workers. For details about Progent's Exchange support services, refer to planning and configuration consulting services for Exchange.
OneDrive is Microsoftï¿½s shared cloud storage service, comparable to GoogleDrive. At-home users can store files to the OneDrive service, and co-workers can retrieve them securely through a web browser. Included with Microsoft Office and Microsoft 365, OneDrive enables home workers to co-author documents. Edits made offline are synced when you reconnect to the Internet. To learn about Progent's consulting expertise for OneDrive, go to Microsoft Onedrive integration consulting.
Cloud Integration Services for Telecommuters
Progent offers affordable online support for helping organizations to create, manage and optimize cohesive network architectures that include internal data centers, teleworkers, branch offices, and cloud services. Progent can provide expertise for all types of public cloud service such as Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service, and Software as a Service (SaaS). Progent can help telecommuters fix issues with public cloud connectivity, identity, and cybersecurity.
Azure is a popular platform for public cloud software and services that enables you to use infrastructure, servers, and key apps hosted on Microsoft's massive cloud. Microsoft Azure includes over 100 services services including hosting for Windows and Linux-based virtual machines, on-demand cloud storage, messaging, application development with Visual Studio, and backup/restore. Progent can assist your organization to set up virtual machines on Azure Virtual Machines, configure storage on Azure Storage services, unify identity management with Azure AD, and design data backup and recovery solutions with Azure Backup. Progent's cloud experts can also help you create protected connections to Azure services for telecommuters by setting up and troubleshooting firewall appliances and VPN IPsec tunnels. For information about Progent's expertise for Azure, go to Azure consulting services.
Microsoft 365, formerly branded Office 365, is Microsoft's popular suite of business productivity software and cloud-based services available by subscription. Microsoft applications and cloud services are marketed in a selection of bundles intended for customers ranging from individuals and small offices to large corporations. Progent offers quick and affordable online contact with experts knowledgeable about Microsoft 365-compatible clients running Windows, Mac, iOS, and Google Android operating systems. Progent's experts can help you to assess the numerous subscription plans available for Microsoft 365 and deploy 365 applications for your telecommuters to achieve maximum business value. For information about Progent's expertise for Microsoft 365, visit Microsoft 365 integration services.
Microsoft 365 Exchange Online is among the most widely used cloud-based applications in the Microsoft 365 product line. Exchange Online offers the advantages of reduced costs for data center infrastructure, simplified management, dynamic scaling, high availability, and other advantages associated with cloud computing. Microsoft has designed Microsoft 365 Exchange Online to operate smoothly with on-premises Exchange environments, allowing customers to build hybrid cloud/onsite information systems. Progent's Exchange consultants are available for occasional assistance to get you past tough IT bottlenecks and can also provide comprehensive project management services to make sure your remote workers have convenient and secure access to your Microsoft 365 Exchange Online deployment. To find out Progent's consulting expertise for Microsoft 365 Exchange Online, refer to Microsoft 365 Exchange Online integration and support consulting.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a trailblazer in the public cloud arena and is the industry's biggest source of cloud services. Progent offers fast and affordable online contact with cloud integration consultants who can assist your organization to plan, implement, maintain, and debug hybrid IT networks that incorporate Amazon AWS cloud-based services with local data centers and with other popular cloud platforms like Microsoft Azure. Progent also can provide access to Cisco-certified CCIE networking consultants to help you to build a high-availability network model so your users have a productive computing environment regardless of whether they are working from your headquarters, a remote branch, at home, or on the road. For details about Progent's consulting services for Amazon AWS, refer to Amazon AWS consulting expertise.
Google Cloud Platform is a leading set of public cloud services that offers Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) products. Progent's certified Microsoft, Linux, and Cisco consulting experts can assist your organization to extend your existing IT assets with the Google Cloud, and Progent's database consultants can show you how to make your mission-critical applications cloud friendly so your remote workers can take full advantage of Google Cloud Platform services. Progent's consultants can assist your business to deploy virtual machines on GCP Compute Engine, plan an efficient storage system with GCP Storage, and streamline access control for teleworkers with Google Cloud Identity services. Progent's experts can also help your business to use GCP's management technology to control and monitor your Google Cloud ecosystem. For details, see Google Cloud Platform (GCP) consulting services.
Help Desk Services for At-Home Workers
An emergency, enterprise-wide switchover to a teleworker business model, which might be the result of an epidemic or as part of a business continuity process, can overstretch even the most efficient internal Call Center. Progent's Call Center services allow organizations to outsource or augment their Help Desk Call Center by using Progent's online Technical Response Center (TRC) services.
- Progent's Standard Call Center support services leverage Progent's nationwide team of online technical support specialists along with world-class ticketing and tracking software to offer an economical, modern Help Desk. Progent's Standard Help Desk Services provide an end-to-end solution that handles all aspects of remote Level 1 PC support from help requests to ticket creation, screen sharing, problem resolution, and reporting. A web-based User's Service Portal enables from-home workers to track or revise the status of their current trouble tickets, add information, and append screenshots or relevant files. Desktop support services are provided at a substantial price reduction off Progent's normal Level 1 technical support rates, and Progent makes available optional fast hand-off to Level 2 and Level 3 IT experts to resolve advanced problems. For more information, visit Progent's Standard Helpdesk Services outsourcing for small and mid-size businesses.
- Progent's Call Desk Supplemental Service enables your company to augment your existing Call Center organization by sharing responsibilities for Help Desk support services transparently between your regular IT support staff and Progent's nationwide team of desktop support engineers and subject matter specialists. Progent's co-managed Help Desk Call Center service is based on a collaborative support model utilizing the number one professional services automation platform for handling service requests and trouble tickets, assigning ownership, monitoring progress, and producing management reports. To learn how Progent's Call Desk Supplementation Services can help your company to provide best-in-class IT support to your teleworkers, see Progent's Help Desk supplementation Services.
Security and Compliance for At-Home Workers
Work-from-Home workers commonly use their personal computers and usually operate in a poorly secured physical environment. This increases their susceptibility to cyber threats and requires judicious configuration of firewalls, anti-malware tools, multi-factor authentication, remote endpoint monitoring, extensive user training, and the development of security policies based on leading practices. Progent's veteran team of IT security support experts can assist your business to design, implement and manage an effective cybersecurity solution that protects critical information assets in environments that include telecommuters.
Firewalls allow you to build a network environment that can be securely accessed by local users and by an at-home workforce, mobile employees, suppliers, customers, and the public. Modern firewall appliances permit you to assign and control different permissions to different groups of users and to scale your network and modify your security profile as your business evolves and as cyber threats become more sophisticated. Progent works with both current and legacy security appliances from all major manufacturers including Cisco, Palo Alto Networks, WatchGuard, Juniper, SonicWall and Fortinet. To learn more about Progent's firewall support expertise, refer to firewall support expertise.
Remote Endpoint Monitoring makes it possible to watch over the disparate devices utilized by telecommuters and either block or identify and respond to the latest cyber attacks such as ransomware. With Progent's ProSight Active Security Monitoring (ASM) services, a lightweight agent is installed on every protected endpoint device, monitoring all activity and utilizing advanced AI technology from SentinelOne to detect new threats on arrival. When a cyberattack is spotted, ProSight Active Security Monitoring immediately isolates the infected endpoint from the corporate network to contain the threat. Because the ProSight ASM software agent is self-contained, endpoints remain protected even if they are not connected to the Internet. For details about ProSight ASM, go to remote endpoint monitoring for at-home workers.
Progent's Duo authentication service plans utilize Cisco's Duo technology to protect against compromised passwords by using two-factor authentication. Duo supports single-tap identity verification on iOS, Google Android, and other personal devices. With 2FA, when you log into a protected application and enter your password you are asked to verify who you are on a device that only you possess and that uses a separate network channel. A broad selection of out-of-band devices can be used for this second form of authentication such as a smartphone or watch, a hardware/software token, a landline phone, etc. You may register multiple verification devices. To learn more about ProSight Duo identity validation services, refer to Duo MFA two-factor authentication (2FA) services for at-home workers.
Security Audits can assess the vulnerability of your network to all types of external and local security attacks for a network that includes at-home workers. Progent can run online, automated security analysis software for quickly and affordably detecting a wide variety of security holes that can be found over the Internet. Progent's security assessment experts, which can be managed by security professionals with advanced credentials such as CISM, CISSP, and GIAC, can help your company to audit your procedures and governance policies and review your network infrastructure to allow you to design the highest level of protection for your an at-home workforce.
Download White Paper: Protecting a Work-From-Home (WFH) Environment
To read or download a white paper describing critical areas to focus on for securing an IT environment that incorporates telecommuters, click:
Protecting a Work-From-Home Network White Paper. (PDF - 2.4 MB)
Data Protection for Teleworkers
The field of Data Protection covers saving and recovering vital information in order to avoid data loss and reduce restoration time and effort in the event of storage system problems due to equipment issues, programming hiccups, human error, malware, or other causes. Dependable data protection strategies can be especially challenging to architect and maintain in hybrid networks that incorporate local data centers, public clouds, and an at-home workforce.
- Backup/Recovery solutions for teleworkers must address diverse types of user-owned endpoints. Progent can provide fast online access to consultants knowledgeable about a broad array of products for protection Windows, Apple and Linux/UNIX powered servers and desktop computers as well as notebooks, iOS and Android tablets and handhelds. Leading backup/restore solutions maintained by Progent's data protection consultants include Barracuda Backup, Azure Backup, Symantec Backup Exec, CrashPlan, Mozy, and Time Machine. To back up resources distributed across a wide area network, Progent offers ProSight Data Protection Services, a managed backup/recovery service that utilizes cloud-based storage and features granular recovery and centralized management capabilities.
- Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity (DR/BC) strategies commonly envision scenarios that call for a quick changeover to an at-home workforce. Progent's senior disaster recovery preparedness consultants and business continuity planning consultants can help you to develop, document and test a DR/BC plan that addresses the logistics of moving to an at-home workforce.
Unified Management for Teleworkers
Microsoft has rebranded and reshuffled its endpoint management products under the name Microsoft Endpoint Manager, which includes Intune for cloud management of remote devices and Configuration Manager for managing onsite endpoints. Microsoft Endpoint Manager offers a centralized environment for safeguarding critical data by managing on-premises, mobile, and at-home endpoint devices.
Intune is part of Microsoft's Endpoint Management suite that also includes Configuration Manager. Intune is a cloud service for managing and protecting off-premises devices and applications. Managed endpoint computers can be user owned or business owned. IT administrators managing the enrolled endpoint devices of telecommuters can utilize Intune to provision and authenticate applications on devices, push updates and certificates, set up rules for permission to access information and resources, set passwords, create VPN connections, control how teleworkers share information, set up threat protection, ensure security compliance, and delete corporate data from missing, stolen or deactivated endpoint devices. Microsoft Intune runs with iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS/OS X computers. For details about Microsoft Intune and how Progent can help you to use this platform to manage the endpoint computers of your teleworkers, go to Intune telecommuter device management consultants.
VMware Workspace ONE
VMware Workspace ONE is an advanced unified MDM platform that helps network administrators to keep offsite endpoint devices up to date and protected. Workspace ONE uses VMware AirWatch for unified endpoint management along with VMware's Horizon virtual software delivery technology for access control, application management, and setup management of endpoint computers. Workspace ONE operates with devices powered by Windows 10, macOS, Apple iOS, Google Android, Chrome OS, or leading distributions of Linux. VMware Workspace ONE is offered by subscription as a cloud-based service or as an on-site product via a perpetual license. Key capabilities of Workspace ONE include fast over-the-air deployment of out-of-the-box notebooks, quick onboarding of new users, policy set up and enforcement for all classes of endpoints, unifies management reporting and performance analytics, email encryption, and integration with Microsoft applications and cloud-based products. To learn about Progent's support services for VMware Workspace ONE, refer to VMware Workspace ONE mobile endpoint management consultants.
Contact Progent for At-Home Worker Support Services
To get in touch with Progent about creating and maintaining a productive telecommuter environment for your Akron, Ohio company, phone 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.