Enlarging your at-home workforce may have a major impact on IT architecture, cybersecurity, and corporate processes. Progent has two decades of experience helping small and mid-size businesses to design, deploy, manage, optimize, and debug IT networks that incorporate at-home workers. Progent can assist your Albany company to pick the appropriate tools and follow best practices in creating and maintaining a safe virtual office ecosystem for teleworkers that facilitates collaboration and returns top value. Progent offers services ranging from as-needed guidance for getting you past occasional technical bottlenecks to full project management or co-management to help you carry out business-critical tasks.
Progent's consultants can assist Albany, New York companies to with any facet of creating a high-performing work-at-home ecosystem by delivering infrastructure configuration services, IP voice troubleshooting, voice/video conferencing integration, collaboration platform selection and deployment, cloud integration, Call Desk outsourcing, security monitoring, backup/restore solutions, and unified management.
Infrastructure for Telecommuters
Configuring the physical and software infrastructure required for an at-home work environment can be especially complex if you have to manage a combination of worker-owned equipment such as PCs and laptops, Internet routers, and wireless appliances from various manufacturers and with a variety of OS software and firmware releases. Progent's background delivering online support for both outdated as well as modern IT products in remote office solutions allows you to make cost-effective use of your existing infrastructure and offers fast access to top-tire consultants for implement essential updates. Support services available from Progent to help you to implement a productive work-at-home ecosystem include:
- Virtual Private Network (VPN) technology allows you to create a secure tunnel for authenticated at-home workers to use IT resources located at your corporate datacenter or in a public cloud. Progent can assist your company to configure and manage VPN connections between your teleworkers and your key IT resources by providing online VPN configuration support. For organizations using Cisco's ASA firewalls, Progent's Cisco-certified ASA consultants can assist your telecommuters to set up Cisco's AnyConnect client software for safe VPN connections for a wide range of endpoint devices such as Windows, macOS, Apple iOS, Linux, and Android.
- Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) products enable a telecommuter to view and interact with a data center PC's desktop. This provides IT managers more control over the computing environment of at-home employees and offers remote users a consistent and more productive work experience. Progent's VDI consulting services include Windows Remote Desktop integration and Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops VDI expertise.
- Routers attach at-home computer networks to the Internet and typically support VPN tunnels, local Wi-Fi connectivity, and firewall services. Progent can provide expert online support for integrating home routers from all major manufacturers. See router integration services from Cisco-certified consultants.
- Home Wireless networks, typically shared by families and visitors, are frequently utilized by telecommuters to connect to their router for work. This can create throughput as well as cybersecurity problems. Progent can assist businesses to mitigate these issues by delivering services like Aironet integration expertise, Cisco Meraki WiFi installation consulting, and Ubiquiti Unifi WiFi AP setup help.
- Internet access methods impact the performance and availability of connections between telecommuters and the company data center. Line-of-business processes may require redundant Internet access in the event the primary connection fails. Progent offers guidance for picking Internet service providers, picking sensible bandwidth and data volume bundles, and configuring fault-tolerant Internet access. Refer to Internet connectivity solutions.
IP Voice Integration for Telecommuters
Extending the company phone environment to include telecommuters is critical to maintaining an effective at-home workforce. A broad range of cloud-centric digital PBX platforms are used by small and mid-size businesses to server remote users. Many larger organizations depend on Cisco's current or legacy products for VoIP solutions. Progent can help organizations of any size to plan or tune a telecommuter IP voice service that provides the versatility, transparency and protection required for at-home workers. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE Voice consultants offer advanced support to assist organizations optimize their existing Cisco VoIP environments to support an expanding remote workforce.
- Cisco Unified Communications Manager (Cisco Unified CM or CUCM) extends high-end telephony capabilities to devices like IP phones, media processing products, VoIP gateways, and multimedia applications used across the network. Unified Communications Manager supports other mixed media services such as unified messaging, video conferencing, and team interaction networks. For details about Progent's Cisco Unified CM or CUCM expertise, visit CUCM expertise.
- CallManager is Cisco's earlier call-processing software and has been replaced by CUCM. Progent can assist your company to maintain your current CallManager deployment or migrate efficiently to Cisco's current IP telephony solutions. To find out about Progent's expertise for Cisco CallManager and Cisco's other early VoIP products, visit Cisco CallManager consulting services.
- Cisco IP Gateways enable integration with public telephony networks and with users working outside the corporate firewall
like at-home workers. Progent can provide expert support for Cisco's earlier generation IP gateways such as the UC520, UC540 and UC560 products and for current Cisco SIP gateways. See Cisco SIP gateway configuration expertise.
- Additional VoIP Platforms supported by Progent's consultants include Vonage, Intermedia Unite and 8x8. Progent can assist you to enhance your wide area network architecture to work with these VoIP solutions and deliver as-needed deployment and debugging services.
Video Conferencing for Telecommuters
A wide range of video conferencing platforms from leading technology companies support online discussions, video and voice conferencing, chat, and screen sharing for both onsite workers and teleworkers. Many organizations use a mix of products to accommodate their various partners and customers. Progent's communications experts can help you to maintain your current conferencing ecosystem and enhance the experience of your at-home employees.
- Skype for Business is Microsoft's popular unified communications product that supports presence, instant messaging, voice and video calling and conferencing as well as the transparent integration of these capabilities within Office desktop and Microsoft 365 applications such as PowerPoint, Word, and Excel. Progent offers the expertise of Microsoft-certified consultants who can assist you to set up and manage Skype for Business client software to support your remote workforce. For details about Progent's consulting expertise for Skype for Business, refer to Skype for Business consulting experts.
- FaceTime is Apple's multiuser video calling platform for compatible iOS, iPadOS, iPod and Mac devices. FaceTime works over Wi-Fi or cellular Internet connections. Current versions of FaceTime allow as many as 32 concurrent users for voice/video calls. For details about Progent's consulting expertise for FaceTime, see Progent's FaceTime configuration expertise.
- Webex Meeting Center supports online conferencing for most computing devices. Delivered via Cisco's Webex Cloud platform, Webex services include sharing specific content or screens, presentations that incorporate rich media including Microsoft PowerPoint, network-based capture, plus editing and playback for future reference and training. For details about Progent's consulting services for Cisco Webex and for other video conferencing products from Cisco, visit Progent's Webex Meeting Center support services.
- Teams is Microsoft's next-generation replacement for Skype for Business. Teams acts as a portal for conferencing, contacts, and information with capabilities that include voice/video conferencing, threaded chat, plus file sharing. To learn more about Progent's consulting services for Microsoft Teams as well as for other Microsoft 365 apps, see Progent's Microsoft Teams consulting services.
- Other Conferencing Apps supported by Progent include Google Meet, Amazon Chime, Zoom, and Slack. Progent can provide integration and troubleshooting expertise for these products and
assist you to tune your network architecture to host them.
Microsoft Collaboration Platforms for Teleworkers
Microsoft's collaboration products are closely integrated with Microsoft's familiar Office and Microsoft 365 families, providing a rich ecosystem of applications that create a consistent user experience for sharing data and ideas throughout a corporate network and on a wide range of endpoint devices. Progent has delivered remote consulting services for Microsoft SharePoint and Exchange since their original publication and can help your company to tune these critical collaboration products to optimize the productivity of your at-home workers.
SharePoint uses web sites to allow collaboration and knowledge delivery by offering policy-based delivery of data, workflow, and utilities for searching through enterprise-wide business data. SharePoint permits you to create protected portals that enables at-home workers to see and edit consolidated business intelligence by means of Wikis, Blogs, social sites, and Web Parts. For details about Progent's SharePoint consulting services, go to SharePoint integration and development consulting.
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 consulting expertise, see integration consulting for Microsoft Exchange Server.
OneDrive is Microsoft's collaborative cloud file hosting and synchronization service, comparable to GoogleDrive. At-home workers can store files to the OneDrive service, and colleagues anywhere can retrieve them securely via a web browser. Included with Office and Microsoft 365, OneDrive allows remote employees to co-author documents. Revisions created offline are uploaded when you go back online. For details about Progent's consulting services for OneDrive, go to Onedrive configuration consulting.
Public Cloud Integration Services for Teleworkers
Progent can provide fast and affordable online support for enabling organizations to create, manage and optimize cohesive network architectures that include internal data centers, telecommuters, branch offices, and public cloud resources. Progent can provide top-tier consultant for all types of cloud service delivery including Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service, and Software as a Service. Progent can help telecommuters resolve issues with cloud access, authentication, and cybersecurity.
Azure is a popular platform for public cloud software and services that enables you to use IT infrastructure, virtual servers, and key applications hosted on Microsoft's extensive cloud. Microsoft Azure offers more than one hundred cloud-based services including hosting for Windows and Linux-powered VMs, scalable cloud storage, email and messaging, application development with Visual Studio, and data protection. Progent can assist you to deploy virtual machines on Azure Virtual Machines, configure storage on Azure Storage services, streamline identity control with Azure AD, and plan data backup and recovery solutions with Azure Backup. Progent can also help you create protected connections to Azure services for remote workers by setting up and troubleshooting firewalls and VPN tunnels. For details about Progent's consulting services for Microsoft Azure, see Microsoft Azure expertise.
Microsoft 365, formerly called Office 365, is Microsoft's growing suite of client productivity software and cloud services offered on a subscription basis. Microsoft applications and services are provided in a variety of plans designed for customers ranging from students and small offices to large corporations. Progent can provide quick and easy remote contact with consultants knowledgeable about Microsoft 365-compatible client devices based on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Google Android operating systems. Progent's experts can assist your business to assess the various subscription bundles available for Microsoft 365 and deploy 365 applications for your at-home workers in a way that delivers top business value. For information about Progent's expertise for Microsoft 365, refer to Microsoft 365 integration services.
Microsoft 365 Exchange Online is among the most widely used cloud-based applications in the Microsoft 365 product suite. Microsoft 365 Exchange Online provides the benefits of lower costs for physical infrastructure, simplified management, dynamic scaling, high reliability, and other benefits associated with cloud computing. Microsoft has designed Exchange Online to operate transparently with local deployments of Exchange, allowing customers to create hybrid cloud/onsite networks. Progent's Exchange consultants can provide as-needed help to guide you through tough technical roadblocks and also offer end-to-end project management services to make sure your teleworkers have easy and secure access to your Microsoft 365 Exchange Online deployment. For information Progent's expertise for Microsoft 365 Exchange Online, go to Exchange Online integration and troubleshooting expertise.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a pioneer in the public cloud market and is the world's biggest source of cloud services. Progent offers quick and affordable online contact with cloud connectivity experts who can help your organization to design, implement, manage, and debug hybrid IT networks that incorporate Amazon AWS cloud services with on-premises data centers and with other public clouds like Azure. Progent also offers the skills of Cisco-certified CCIE networking experts to assist you to build a high-availability network model to make sure your employees have a productive computing environment regardless of whether they are working from your headquarters, a branch office, from home, or on the road. For information about Progent's support services for Amazon AWS, go to Amazon AWS consulting support.
Google Cloud (GCP) is a leading set of public cloud services that provides Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) products. Progent's Microsoft, Linux, and Cisco experts can assist your business to extend your current IT resources with the Google Cloud Platform, and Progent's DBA experts can show you how to make your key applications cloud friendly so your teleworkers can take full advantage of Google Cloud services. Progent can help your business to deploy virtual machines on Google Cloud Compute Engine, design an efficient storage system with Google Cloud Storage, and streamline identity control for at-home workers with Google Cloud Identity services. Progent can also assist your business to utilize GCP's unified management tools to control and monitor your GCP environment. For information, see Google Cloud Platform (GCP) consulting expertise.
Help Desk Support for Telecommuters
An emergency, company-wide transition to a teleworker workforce, which might be the result of an epidemic or as an element of a business continuity process, can overstretch even the most efficient internal Call Center. Progent's Help Desk services make it possible for businesses to outsource or supplement their Help Desk by using Progent's remote Technical Response Center (TRC) services.
- Progent's Standard Call Center support services utilize Progent's nationwide team of online technical support experts combined with world-class ticketing and tracking technology to provide an economical, state-of-the-art Call Desk. Progent's Standard Help Desk Services offer a comprehensive solution that addresses all aspects of online Level 1 desktop support from help requests through ticket generation, screen sharing, issue resolution, and incident reporting. A browser-based User's Service Portal allows teleworkers to check or revise the status of their active tickets, add details, and upload screen captures and attachments. Desktop support services are delivered at a significant price reduction off Progent's ordinary Level 1 technical support rates, and Progent offers optional rapid hand-off to Level 2 and Level 3 support experts to resolve advanced issues. To learn more, go to Progent's Standard Helpdesk Services for small and mid-size companies.
- Progent's Help Desk Call Center Augmentation Service enables your company to augment your existing Call Desk staff by sharing delivery of Call Desk support seamlessly between your in-house support organization and Progent's extensive roster of desktop support technicians and subject matter experts. Progent's co-managed Support Desk service uses a co-sourcing support model utilizing the leading professional services automation (PSA) platform for handling service requests and ticketing, establishing responsibility, monitoring progress, and producing reports. For information about how Progent's Support Desk Supplementation Services can enable your business to deliver world-class desktop support to your at-home employees, see Progent's Support Desk augmentation Services.
Security for Remote Workers
At-home employees typically utilize their own computing devices and often work in a poorly secured physical area. This increases their vulnerability to malware threats and calls for judicious configuration of firewalls, AV tools, multi-factor authentication, remote monitoring, extensive user training, and the creation of policies based on leading practices. Progent's seasoned group of IT security support experts can assist you to plan, configure and manage an effective security solution that protects critical information resources in networks that incorporate at-home workers.
Firewalls enable you to create a network that can be safely utilized by on-premises users as well as by an at-home workforce, mobile users, vendors, clients, and the public. Next-generation firewall appliances allow you to configure and manage appropriate access rights to various classes of users and to expand your IT network and modify your security profile as your business evolves and as cyber threats become increasingly complex. Progent supports both new and legacy security devices from all leading vendors like Cisco, Palo Alto Networks, Check Point, Juniper, and Fortinet. To find out more about Progent's firewall integration expertise, see firewall configuration and support services.
Remote Endpoint Monitoring makes it easy to track the disparate devices utilized by remote workers and either reject or identify and respond to the latest cyber attacks like ransomware. With Progent's ProSight Active Security Monitoring (ASM) services, a lightweight software agent is put on each protected endpoint, monitoring all activity and utilizing state-of-the-art AI technology from SentinelOne to identify zero-day attacks before they can spread. When an attack is discovered, ProSight ASM instantly isolates the impacted endpoint device from the network to contain the malware. Since the ProSight Active Security Monitoring software agent is autonomous, endpoints stay protected even if they are not connected to the Internet. Progent is a SentinelOne Partner, reseller, and integrator. To learn more about ProSight Active Security Monitoring, go to remote endpoint security monitoring for teleworkers.
Progent's Duo authentication service plans utilize Cisco's Duo technology to defend against compromised passwords through the use of two-factor authentication (2FA). Duo supports single-tap identity confirmation with Apple iOS, Android, and other out-of-band devices. With Duo 2FA, when you sign into a secured online account and give your password you are asked to confirm who you are via a unit that only you possess and that is accessed using a separate network channel. A broad selection of out-of-band devices can be utilized for this second means of ID validation such as an iPhone or Android or wearable, a hardware/software token, a landline phone, etc. You can designate multiple validation devices. To learn more about ProSight Duo two-factor identity validation services, see Duo MFA two-factor authentication (2FA) services for teleworkers.
Security Audits can assess the exposure of your information system to all classes of outside and internal security attacks for a network that includes remote workers. Progent can deploy remote, automated security analysis software for rapidly and affordably uncovering a wide variety of security weaknesses that can be surfaced via the Internet. Progent's security assessment experts, which can be managed by security professionals with top credentials including CISA, CISSP, and GIAC, can assist your business to evaluate your workflows and policies and assess your IT infrastructure to allow you to implement top-level protection for your remote workers.
Download White Paper: Protecting a Work-From-Home (WFH) Environment
To read or download a white paper describing key things to concentrate on for securing a network that supports telecommuters, click:
Protecting a Work-From-Home (WFH) Network White Paper. (PDF - 2.4 MB)
Data Protection Solutions for Teleworkers
Data Protection involves backing up and restoring vital information in order to prevent data loss and minimize recovery time in the event of storage system failures resulting from equipment breakdowns, software glitches, operator error, malware, or any other reason. Dependable data protection solutions can be particularly challenging to architect and maintain in hybrid environments that incorporate private data centers, cloud resources, and an at-home workforce.
- Backup/Recovery strategies for teleworkers must address multiple types of personally owned endpoint devices. Progent offers fast online help from consultants knowledgeable about a wide range of platforms for backing up Windows, Apple Mac and Linux/UNIX powered servers and desktops as well as notebooks, iOS and Android tablets and handhelds. Popular backup/recovery products supported by Progent's backup/recovery experts include Barracuda Backup, Microsoft Azure Backup, Symantec Backup Exec, Acronis Backup and Recovery, Mozy, and Time Machine. To back up data distributed across a wide area network, Progent offers ProSight Data Protection Services, a managed backup/recovery service that uses cloud-based storage and includes granular recovery and centralized management capabilities.
- Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity (DR/BC) plans often anticipate scenarios that call for a quick changeover to an at-home workforce. Progent's senior disaster recovery planning consultants and business continuity specialists can assist you to create, document and validate a DR/BC strategy that addresses the process of switching to an at-home workforce.
Unified Management for At-Home Workers
Microsoft has rebranded and rebundled its endpoint management platforms under the title Microsoft Endpoint Manager, which includes Intune for cloud-based management of mobile and remote devices and Configuration Manager for managing onsite endpoints. Microsoft Endpoint Manager provides a centralized solution for protecting critical data by managing on-premises, mobile, and home-based endpoint devices.
Intune is a component of Microsoft's Endpoint Management suite that also features Configuration Manager. Intune is a cloud service for managing and securing remote computers and applications. Remote endpoint computers can be personally owned or company owned. IT administrators managing the enrolled endpoint computers of telecommuters can use Intune to provision and authenticate apps on managed devices, push patches and certificates, set up rules for permission to access information and networks, set passwords, establish VPN tunnels, control how teleworkers share data, establish threat protection, ensure security compliance, and erase corporate information from missing, stolen or decommissioned devices. Microsoft Intune runs with iOS/iPadOS, Android, Windows, and macOS devices. For information about Microsoft Intune and how Progent can help you to use this platform to administer the endpoint devices of your teleworkers, refer to Intune teleworker device management expertise.
VMware Workspace ONE
VMware Workspace ONE is an advanced centralized MDM product that allows network administrators to keep offsite endpoint devices up to date and secure. Workspace ONE uses VMware AirWatch technology for centralized endpoint administration combined with VMware's Horizon virtual application delivery technology for authorization control, application management, and setup management of endpoint computers. Workspace ONE runs with endpoints powered by Windows 10, macOS, Apple iOS, Android, Chrome OS, or popular distributions of Linux. VMware Workspace ONE is available by subscription as a cloud service or as an on-site product via a perpetual license. Key capabilities of VMware Workspace ONE include fast remote deployment of new notebooks, quick onboarding of new employees, policy setting and enforcement for all categories of devices, aggregated management reporting and analytics, an email encryption gateway, and integration with Microsoft applications and cloud-based services. To learn about Progent's expertise for VMware Workspace ONE, go to VMware Workspace ONE remote device management consultants.
Contact Progent for At-Home Worker Support Services
To contact Progent about building and managing an efficient telecommuter solution for your Albany, New York company, phone 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.