Enlarging your telecommuter workforce may have a significant impact on network architecture, cybersecurity, and company culture. Progent has 20 years of background assisting small and mid-size businesses to design, configure, administer, tune, and debug IT environments that support at-home workers. Progent can assist your Bakersfield company to pick the appropriate tools and follow leading practices in creating and operating a safe virtual ecosystem for teleworkers that facilitates collaboration and returns top value. Progent offers services ranging from as-needed expertise for helping you over occasional IT bottlenecks to comprehensive project management to help you carry out mission-critical initiatives.
Progent's consultants can assist Bakersfield, California organizations to succeed with any facet of creating a high-performing work-at-home environment by providing infrastructure configuration services, VoIP PBX expertise, voice/video conferencing support, collaboration platform customization and training, cloud integration, helpdesk augmentation, security monitoring, data protection solutions, and unified management.
Infrastructure for an At-Home Workforce
Configuring the physical and software infrastructure needed to support a remote workforce can be especially complex if you must accommodate a mix of personal equipment such as desktop computers and notebooks, routers, and Wi-Fi APs from various vendors and with a variety of OS software and firmware levels. Progent's background delivering remote support for both outdated and modern IT products in remote office solutions allows you to make efficient use of your available network infrastructure and provides you with fast access to top-tire consultants for implement essential updates. Services offered by Progent to assist your company to implement a productive work-at-home infrastructure include:
- Virtual Private Network connectivity makes it possible to establish a secure connection for authenticated remote employees to access IT resources located at your company data center or in a public cloud. Progent can help your company to deploy and manage VPN access between your at-home workforce and your various IT resources by providing remote VPN configuration consulting. For businesses with Cisco's ASA security appliances, Progent's Cisco ASA Firewall consultants can assist your telecommuters to utilize Cisco's AnyConnect client software to provide secure VPN tunneling for a broad range of devices including Windows, macOS, Apple iOS, Linux, and Android.
- Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) platforms allow an at-home worker to view and use a remote computer's desktop. This provides network managers significant control over the digital environment of telecommuters and ensures remote users a consistent and more productive work experience. Progent's virtual desktop services include Windows Remote Desktop support and Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops VDI solutions.
- Routers connect at-home computer networks to the Internet and support VPN tunnels, home Wi-Fi networks, and firewall services. Progent offers top-tier online support for deploying routers from all major vendors. See router configuration support from Cisco-certified experts.
- Home Wireless networks, often supporting an entire household and visitors, are commonly utilized by at-home employees to connect to their Internet router for work. This can create performance and cybersecurity issues. Progent can assist businesses to resolve these issues by delivering services that include Aironet configuration expertise, Cisco-certified Meraki wireless installation consulting, and Ubiquiti WiFi access point integration help.
- Internet access solutions impact the performance and availability of connections between telecommuters and the corporate network. Mission-critical applications may demand backup Internet connections in case the normal connection fails. Progent can provide expertise for picking Internet service providers, choosing appropriate service bundles, and configuring high-availability Internet access. Refer to Internet access solutions.
IP Voice Solutions for Teleworkers
Expanding the company phone environment to accommodate remote users is critical to supporting an effective at-home workforce. A broad range of cloud-based VoIP products are used by SMBs to support telecommuters. Many larger organizations depend on Cisco's modern or older products for VoIP solutions. Progent can assist organizations of all sizes to plan or maintain a telecommuter IP voice environment that provides the flexibility, transparency and security required for telecommuters. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE IP Voice consultants offer advanced support to assist organizations tune their current Cisco IP voice systems to support an expanding at-home workforce.
- Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM) extends enterprise telephony features to devices such as VoIP phones, media processing products, VoIP gateways, and mixed media software used across the network. Unified Communications Manager supports additional combined media services such as messaging, voice/video conferencing, and team interaction networks. For more information about Progent's Unified Communications Manager expertise, refer to Cisco Unified Communications Manager consulting services.
- Cisco CallManager is Cisco's legacy call-processing agent and has been superseded by CUCM. Progent's consultants can help your company to support your existing CallManager environment or migrate smoothly to Cisco's current IP telephony solutions. For details about Progent's expertise for CallManager and Cisco's other older IP voice platforms, see CallManager consulting.
- Cisco IP Gateways provide integration with public telephony networks and with clients operating outside the corporate perimeter
such as telecommuters. Progent can provide expert support for Cisco's legacy IP gateways including the UC520, UC540 and UC560 product lines as well as for modern Cisco Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) gateways. See Cisco SIP gateway integration expertise.
- Additional VoIP Products supported by Progent's consultants include Vonage, Intermedia Unite and 8x8. Progent can help you to enhance your WAN infrastructure to work with these solutions and deliver online integration and troubleshooting expertise.
Voice/Video Conferencing for Telecommuters
A wide range of voice/video conferencing products from major technology companies enable virtual meetings, video and voice conferencing, chat, and screen sharing for both local workers and telecommuters. Many organizations use a mix of conferencing products to meet the needs of their various partners and clients. Progent can assist you to manage your existing voice/video conferencing environment and optimize the experience of your at-home employees.
- Skype for Business is Microsoft's popular unified communications platform that enables real-time presence, IM, audio and video 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 skills of Microsoft-certified specialists who can assist you to set up and manage Skype for Business client software to support your remote employees. For details about Progent's support expertise for Skype for Business, see Skype for Business integration services.
- FaceTime is Apple's group video calling platform for iOS, iPadOS, iPod and Mac computers and smartphones. FaceTime runs on Wi-Fi or cellular Internet connections. Newer versions of FaceTime support as many as 32 concurrent users for voice/video calls. For details about Progent's support services for FaceTime, refer to Progent's FaceTime configuration expertise.
- Webex Meeting Center provides remote conferencing for virtually all computing devices. Offered through Cisco's Webex Cloud, Webex services include sharing specific content or screens, presentations that embed rich media such as Microsoft PowerPoint, network-based capture, plus editing and playback for training. For details about Progent's support services for Cisco Webex and 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 portal for conversations, contacts, and content with features that include video conferencing, persistent chat, plus file sharing. To learn more about Progent's consulting expertise for Teams and 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 provide integration and debugging expertise for these conferencing platforms and
assist you to optimize your WAN architecture to run them.
Microsoft Integrated Collaboration Software for Telecommuters
Microsoft's collaboration platforms are tightly integrated with Microsoft's popular Office and Microsoft 365 suites, providing a rich environment of applications that deliver a cohesive user experience for sharing data and ideas throughout multiple sites and on a wide selection of endpoint computers. Progent has provided online consulting services for Microsoft SharePoint and Exchange since their original releases and can help your company to configure these critical collaboration products to maximize the effectiveness of your remote workers.
SharePoint uses web sites to enable collaboration and knowledge delivery by providing policy-driven delivery of data, workflow, and utilities for searching through company-wide business data. SharePoint permits you to build protected web portals that permits remote workers to see and edit consolidated business intelligence by means of Intranets (Wikis), Blogs, social sites, and Web Parts (Widgets). To find out about Progent's SharePoint consulting services, see 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 information about Progent's Exchange support services, visit deployment consulting for Exchange.
OneDrive is Microsoft's collaborative cloud storage service, comparable to GoogleDrive. Remote users can store files to the OneDrive service, and co-workers can retrieve them safely via a browser. Included with Microsoft Office and Microsoft 365, OneDrive allows at-home workers to co-edit files. Edits made offline are automatically uploaded when you go back online. For details about Progent's expertise for OneDrive, visit Onedrive configuration consulting.
Public Cloud Integration for Telecommuters
Progent can provide advanced remote support for enabling businesses to build, maintain and repair integrated network models that incorporate internal data centers, at-home workers, branch offices, plus cloud services. Progent offers expertise for all modes of cloud service delivery such as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS). Progent can help at-home workers fix problems with public cloud access, authentication, and security.
Microsoft Azure is a leading family of public cloud services that enables you to utilize IT infrastructure, virtual servers, and key apps hosted on Microsoft's extensive cloud. Microsoft Azure includes over one hundred cloud-based services such as hosting for Windows and Linux-based VMs, scalable cloud storage, email and messaging, app development with Visual Studio, and backup/restore. Progent can assist you to deploy virtual machines on Azure Virtual Machines, configure cloud-based storage on Azure Storage services, streamline identity management with Azure AD, and design data backup and recovery systems with Azure Backup. Progent's cloud experts can also help you create protected access to Azure services for teleworkers by configuring and debugging firewalls and VPN IPsec tunnels. For information about Progent's consulting services for Azure, go to Microsoft Azure consulting services.
Microsoft 365, formerly branded Office 365, is Microsoft's popular suite of business productivity applications and cloud-based services offered on a subscription basis. Microsoft apps and services are provided in a selection of bundles intended for customers ranging from students and households to large corporations. Progent can provide fast and affordable remote contact with consultants familiar with Microsoft 365-compatible client devices based on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Google Android operating systems. Progent can assist your business to evaluate the various subscription plans offered with Microsoft 365 and deploy 365 applications for your telecommuters to achieve maximum business value. To learn about Progent's support services for Microsoft 365, go to Microsoft 365 consulting expertise.
Microsoft 365 Exchange Online is one of the most widely used applications in Azure-hosted Microsoft 365 product suite. Exchange Online provides the advantages of lower costs for physical infrastructure, simplified management, on-demand scaling, high availability, and other benefits inherent with public clouds. Microsoft has designed Microsoft 365 Exchange Online to run seamlessly with local Exchange environments, enabling you to create hybrid networks. Progent's Exchange experts can provide as-needed help to get you past challenging technical roadblocks and can also provide end-to-end project management outsourcing to make sure your telecommuters have convenient and secure access to your Microsoft 365 Exchange Online environment. For information Progent's consulting services for Microsoft 365 Exchange Online, see Microsoft 365 Exchange Online configuration and troubleshooting consulting.
Amazon AWS is a trailblazer in the public cloud arena and is the industry's leading source of cloud services. Progent offers rapid and affordable online contact with cloud connectivity consultants who can assist your organization to design, deploy, maintain, and troubleshoot hybrid information networks that integrate Amazon AWS cloud services with on-premises data centers and with other public clouds such as Azure. Progent also can provide the skills of Cisco-certified CCIE networking consultants to assist your company to create a high-uptime network model to make sure your users have a consistent computing environment whether they are working from your headquarters, a branch office, at home, or on the move. To learn about Progent's expertise for Amazon AWS, see Amazon AWS integration expertise.
Google Cloud (GCP) is a popular collection of cloud computing services that offers Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service products. Progent's certified Microsoft, Linux, and Cisco consulting experts can assist you to expand your existing IT assets with the Google Cloud, and Progent's DBA experts can show you how to make your key apps cloud ready so your teleworkers can benefit fully from Google Cloud services. Progent's consultants can assist your organization to set up virtual machines on Google Cloud Compute Engine, design an efficient storage solution with Google Cloud Storage services, and simplify identity control for remote workers with Google Cloud Identity services. Progent's consultants can also help you to utilize GCP's management technology to administer and track your Google Cloud ecosystem. To learn, see Google Cloud Platform (GCP) consulting expertise.
Help Desk Support for At-Home Workers
An emergency, organization-wide switchover to a from-home business model, which could be the result of an epidemic or as part of a disaster recovery/business continuity preparedness plan, can overwhelm even a well-staffed in-house Support Desk. Progent's Help Desk Call Center services allow organizations of any size to outsource or augment their Help Desk Call Center with Progent's remote Technical Response Center team.
- Progent's Standard Help Desk services utilize Progent's nationwide network of remote IT support experts along with world-class ticketing and follow-up software to offer an economical, modern Call Desk. Progent's Standard Help Desk Services offer a comprehensive solution that addresses all facets of online Level 1 desktop support from help requests to trouble ticket creation, desktop sharing, problem resolution, and reporting. A web-based User's Service Portal enables from-home workers to track or update the status of their active trouble tickets, add details, and append screenshots and attachments. Desktop support services are provided at a substantial discount off Progent's normal Level 1 desktop service rates, and Progent makes available the option of fast escalation to Level 2 and Level 3 support experts to deal with complex problems. To find out more, go to Progent's Standard Helpdesk Services outsourcing for small businesses.
- Progent's Call Center Supplemental Service enables you to augment your existing Help Desk Call Center organization by sharing delivery of Help Desk Call Center services seamlessly between your in-house support staff and Progent's nationwide team of PC support engineers and subject matter experts. Progent's shared Call Desk service uses a co-sourcing support model based on the number one professional services automation (PSA) tool for handling help requests and trouble tickets, assigning ownership, tracking progress, and producing reports. To find out how Progent's Call Desk Supplementation Services can enable your company to deliver world-class technical support to your telecommuters, visit Progent's Call Center augmentation Services.
Security for Telecommuters
Work-from-Home (WFH) staff members commonly use their personal devices and usually operate in a poorly secured physical environment. This situation increases their vulnerability to malware threats and requires careful deployment of firewalls, AV tools, multi-factor authentication, remote endpoint monitoring, thorough end-user education, and the development of policies based on leading practices. Progent's seasoned team of cybersecurity solutions experts can assist your business to design, implement and manage an effective cybersecurity solution that guards critical information assets in environments that include remote workers.
Firewalls enable companies to create a network environment that can be securely utilized by local users as well as by teleworkers, mobile employees, vendors, clients, and other stakeholders. Modern firewall appliances allow you to configure and manage appropriate permissions to various classes of users and to scale your IT network and adjust your cybersecurity posture as your company evolves and as network attacks grow increasingly complex. Progent works with both current and legacy firewall appliances from all leading manufacturers like Cisco, Palo Alto Networks, Check Point, Juniper, and Fortinet. To find out more about Progent's firewall integration services, go to firewall support expertise.
Online Endpoint Monitoring makes it easy to watch over the disparate computers utilized by an at-home workforce and either block or identify and respond to the latest cyber attacks like ransomware. With Progent's ProSight Active Security Monitoring (ASM) services, a small-footprint software agent is put on each secured endpoint device, watching all activity and using state-of-the-art machine learning and full execution context from SentinelOne to detect new threats on arrival. When a cyberattack is spotted, ProSight Active Security Monitoring instantly disconnects the targeted endpoint device from the network to contain the threat. Because the ProSight ASM agent is self-contained, endpoint devices stay protected even if they are offline. Progent is a SentinelOne Partner, dealer, and integrator. For details about ProSight Active Security Monitoring, go to remote endpoint monitoring for teleworkers.
Progent's Duo authentication services incorporate Cisco's Duo cloud technology to defend against stolen passwords through the use of two-factor authentication. Duo supports one-tap identity verification on Apple iOS, Android, and other personal devices. With 2FA, when you sign into a secured application and give your password you are asked to verify who you are on a device that only you have and that is accessed using a different ("out-of-band") network channel. A wide selection of devices can be used for this added means of ID validation such as a smartphone or wearable, a hardware/software token, a landline telephone, etc. You can designate multiple validation devices. For details about Duo two-factor identity validation services, go to Cisco Duo MFA two-factor authentication (2FA) services for an at-home workforce.
Security Audits can evaluate the exposure of your network to all classes of external and internal security attacks for a network that includes at-home workers. Progent can deploy remote, automated security analysis scanning for quickly and economically detecting a broad range of security weaknesses that can be surfaced over the Internet. Progent's endpoint security audit consulting services, which can be managed by data security experts with advanced credentials such as CISA, CISSP, and GIAC, can help your business to audit your processes and governance policies and assess your WAN infrastructure to allow you to implement the highest level of protection for your an at-home workforce.
Download White Paper: Protecting a Work-From-Home (WFH) Network
To read or download a white paper about key areas to concentrate on for protecting an IT environment that supports work-from-home staff, click:
Securing a Work-From-Home Environment White Paper. (PDF - 2.4 MB)
Data Protection for Telecommuters
Data Protection involves saving and recovering critical data in order to prevent data loss and minimize restoration time in the event of storage failures resulting from equipment issues, software glitches, human mistakes, cyber attack, or other causes. Dependable data protection strategies can be particularly difficult to design and manage in hybrid networks that incorporate local data centers, public clouds, and at-home workers.
- Backup/Restore strategies for telecommuters must cover diverse kinds of personally owned endpoint devices. Progent can provide quick online access to experts knowledgeable about a broad range of products for protection Microsoft Windows, Apple and Linux/UNIX servers and desktops as well as notebooks, iOS and Android tablets and handhelds. Popular backup/recovery products maintained by Progent's data protection consultants include Barracuda Backup, Microsoft Azure Backup, Symantec Backup Exec, CrashPlan, Retrospect, and Time Machine. To back up data spread across a hybrid network, Progent can provide ProSight Data Protection Services (DPS), a managed backup/recovery subscription service that uses cloud-based storage and includes granular recovery and centralized management.
- Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity plans often anticipate scenarios that call for a rapid switch to a work-at-home environment. Progent's senior disaster recovery preparedness experts and business continuity planning specialists can help you to create, document and validate a DR/BC strategy that addresses the logistics of moving to an at-home workforce.
Unified Management for an At-Home Workforce
Microsoft has renamed and rebundled its endpoint management products under the name Endpoint Manager, which encompasses Intune for cloud-based management of mobile and remote devices and Configuration Manager for managing onsite endpoints. Endpoint Manager provides a unified environment for safeguarding critical data by controlling onsite, mobile, and at-home endpoint devices.
Intune is a component of Microsoft's Endpoint Management family that also includes Configuration Manager. Intune is a cloud service for managing and protecting remote devices and applications. Managed endpoint computers can be user owned or company owned. Network admins managing the enrolled endpoint computers of telecommuters can use Intune to provision and validate apps on devices, push patches and certificates, set up rules for accessing information and networks, set passwords, establish VPN tunnels, determine how teleworkers share information, establish threat protection, verify compliance, and wipe corporate information from missing, stolen or decommissioned endpoint devices. Intune can be used with Apple iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS/OS X computers. For information about Intune and to find out how Progent can help your company to use Microsoft's Endpoint Management to administer the endpoint devices of your at-home workforce, go to Intune remote device management experts.
VMware Workspace ONE
VMware Workspace ONE is a feature-rich unified Mobile Device Management product that allows network administrators to keep remote endpoints up to date and secure. Workspace ONE uses VMware AirWatch for unified endpoint management plus VMware's Horizon virtual application delivery platform for authorization control, app management, and setup management of endpoint computers. Workspace ONE runs with endpoints 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 remote provisioning of new notebooks, immediate onboarding of new employees, policy setting and enforcement for all classes of endpoints, aggregated reporting and performance analytics, email encryption, and tight integration with Microsoft applications and cloud-based products. For information about Progent's support services for VMware Workspace ONE, visit VMware Workspace ONE mobile device management expertise.
Contact Progent for At-Home Worker Expertise
To get in touch with Progent about creating and maintaining a productive work-from-home solution for your Bakersfield, California organization, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.