Enlarging your at-home workforce can have a significant impact on IT infrastructure, cybersecurity, and company workflows. Progent has 20 years of background helping SMBs to design, configure, manage, tune, and troubleshoot IT networks that incorporate at-home workers. Progent can help your Bristol company to select the appropriate tools and follow best practices in building and operating a safe virtual ecosystem for telecommuters that facilitates collaboration and returns maximum value. Progent can provide support services ranging from as-needed expertise for getting you over occasional technical bottlenecks to comprehensive project management or co-management to help you successfully complete business-critical tasks.
Progent's consultants can assist Bristol, United Kingdom businesses to with any facet of creating a high-functioning work-from-home ecosystem by delivering infrastructure configuration services, VoIP PBX troubleshooting, video conferencing support, collaboration platform customization and training, public cloud integration, Call Desk outsourcing, cybersecurity, backup/restore solutions, and unified management.
Network Infrastructure for Teleworkers
Configuring the network infrastructure required to support an at-home work environment can be particularly complicated if you must manage a mix of personal equipment like desktop computers and notebooks, Internet routers, and Wi-Fi appliances from various manufacturers and with a mix of operating systems and firmware releases. Progent's background delivering remote help for both legacy as well as current technologies in virtual office solutions allows you to make cost-effective use of your existing network infrastructure and offers ready access to top-tire consultants for implement essential updates. Support services offered by Progent to help you to implement a productive work-at-home ecosystem include:
- Virtual Private Network technology allows you to create a safe tunnel for authenticated remote employees to access IT assets situated at your company data center or in a public cloud. Progent's consultants can help your company to deploy and maintain VPN connections between your at-home workforce and your key network resources by providing remote VPN configuration support. For organizations with Cisco's ASA security appliances, Progent's Cisco ASA consultants can assist your telecommuters to utilize Cisco's popular AnyConnect software for safe VPN tunneling for a broad selection of devices such as Windows, Mac, Apple iOS, Linux, and Google Android.
- Virtual Desktop Infrastructure products allow an at-home worker to see and interact with a remote computer's desktop. This technology gives IT managers substantial control over the computing ecosystem of at-home employees and offers remote users a familiar experience. Progent's virtual desktop consulting services include Windows Remote Desktop support and Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops expertise.
- Routers attach at-home networks to the Internet and typically support VPN connections, local wireless networks, and firewalls. Progent offers expert online support for deploying home routers from a range of manufacturers. See router integration services from Cisco-certified consultants.
- Home Wi-Fi networks, often supporting an entire household and visitors, are commonly utilized by telecommuters to access their router for work. This can cause performance as well as cybersecurity problems. Progent can help you to mitigate these problems by providing services like Cisco Aironet configuration expertise, Cisco Meraki WiFi installation expertise, and Ubiquiti Unifi WiFi AP integration assistance.
- Internet connectivity solutions affect the speed and availability of connections between at-home workers and the company data center. Mission-critical processes may require backup Internet connections in the event the normal connection fails. Progent offers guidance for identifying Internet service providers, picking appropriate service packages, and setting up high-availability Internet connections. See Internet connectivity integration services.
IP Voice Solutions for Telecommuters
Extending the corporate PBX system to accommodate remote users is vital to maintaining a productive work-at-home solution. A variety of cloud-centric digital PBX products are used by small and mid-size businesses to server teleworkers. Many larger organizations depend on Cisco's current or legacy platforms for VoIP solutions. Progent can assist businesses of any size to plan or maintain a remote VoIP environment that provides the flexibility, transparency and security required for at-home workers. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE Voice consultants can provide high-level support to assist organizations tune their existing Cisco IP voice environments to support a growing at-home workforce.
- Cisco Unified Communications Manager (Cisco Unified CM or CUCM) extends high-end IP telephony features to devices like VoIP phones, media processing products, VoIP gateways, and mixed media apps deployed across the network. Unified Communications Manager manages other combined media services such as messaging, video conferencing, and customer collaboration networks. For details about Progent's Unified Communications Manager support, see Cisco Unified Communications Manager consulting services.
- Cisco CallManager is Cisco's legacy call-processing software and has been superseded by CUCM. Progent's consultants can assist your company to support your current CallManager environment or upgrade efficiently to Cisco's current IP telephony products. To learn about Progent's expertise for CallManager and Cisco's other older VoIP products, refer to Cisco CallManager consulting.
- Cisco IP Gateways provide integration with public telephony networks and with users working beyond the corporate firewall
like at-home workers. Progent offers expert support for Cisco's earlier generation IP gateways such as the UC520, UC540 and UC560 products and for modern Cisco SIP gateways. See Cisco SIP gateway configuration consulting.
- Other VoIP Platforms supported by Progent's consultants include Vonage, Intermedia Unite and 8x8. Progent can help you to expand your wide area network architecture to support these VoIP solutions and deliver on-demand integration and troubleshooting expertise.
Video Conferencing for Teleworkers
A wide selection of voice/video conferencing platforms from leading vendors support online discussions, video and voice conferencing, chat sessions, and screen sharing for both onsite workers and telecommuters. Many companies use a mix of conferencing products to accommodate their different partners and customers. Progent can help your organization to manage your existing voice/video conferencing environment and enhance the experience of your remote workforce.
- Skype for Business is Microsoft's popular communications platform that enables real-time presence, IM, voice and video calling and conferencing plus the transparent integration of these functions within Office desktop and Microsoft 365 productivity software including PowerPoint, Word, Excel and Outlook. Progent offers the skills of Microsoft-certified specialists who can help your company to set up and maintain Skype for Business clients to accommodate your remote workforce. For details about Progent's support expertise for Skype for Business, refer to Skype for Business consulting services.
- FaceTime is Apple's group video calling platform for iOS and macOS devices. FaceTime runs on Wi-Fi or cellular Internet connections. Current editions of FaceTime allow as many as 32 simultaneous users for voice/video calls. For details about Progent's support expertise for FaceTime, see Progent's FaceTime configuration expertise.
- Webex Meeting Center provides online conferencing for most desktop or mobile devices. Offered through Cisco's Webex Cloud platform, Webex services include sharing granular content or screens, presentations that incorporate rich media including Microsoft PowerPoint and Flash videos, network-based recording, plus editing and playback for future reference. For details about Progent's support services for Cisco Webex and for other IP video solutions from Cisco, see Progent's Webex Meeting Center support services.
- Teams is Microsoft's next-generation replacement for Skype for Business. Teams provides a portal for conferencing, contacts, and information with capabilities that include video conferencing, persistent chat, plus data sharing. For details about Progent's support expertise for Teams and for additional Microsoft 365 apps, see Progent's Microsoft Teams consulting services.
- Other Voice/Video Conferencing Platforms supported by Progent's conferencing experts include Google Meet, Amazon Chime, Zoom, and Slack. Progent can provide integration and debugging expertise for these products and
assist you to optimize your network infrastructure to run them.
Microsoft Integrated Collaboration Platforms for an At-Home Workforce
Microsoft's collaboration platforms are tightly integrated with Microsoft's popular Office and Microsoft 365 families, providing a rich ecosystem of productivity apps that create a consistent user interface for exchanging data and ideas throughout multiple sites and on a broad range of endpoints. Progent has delivered online consulting services for Microsoft SharePoint and Exchange since their first releases and can help businesses to configure these flagship collaboration platforms to maximize the productivity of your remote workforce.
SharePoint uses web entities to allow collaboration and knowledge sharing by offering policy-based delivery of data, workflow, and utilities for searching through company-wide business data. SharePoint enables you to build protected web portals that enables remote workers to see and update consolidated business intelligence by means of Intranets (Wikis), Blogs, social sites, and Web Parts. For information about Progent's SharePoint expertise, go to SharePoint integration 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. To find out about Progent's Exchange consulting expertise, see integration consulting services for Exchange.
OneDrive is MicrosoftÔŅĹs shared cloud-based file hosting and synchronization service, similar to GoogleDrive. Remote workers can save files to the OneDrive service, and co-workers anywhere can access them securely via a web browser. Provided with Office and Microsoft 365, OneDrive enables home workers to jointly author documents. Edits made offline are automatically uploaded when you reconnect to the Internet. For information about Progent's expertise for OneDrive, see Microsoft Onedrive integration consulting.
Public Cloud Integration for At-Home Workers
Progent can provide fast and affordable online assistance for helping organizations to build, maintain and repair integrated hybrid network models that incorporate internal data centers, at-home workers, branches, plus public cloud services. Progent can provide expertise for all modes of public cloud service such as Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS). Progent can help at-home workers resolve problems with cloud connectivity, identity, and cybersecurity.
Azure is a leading family of public cloud software and services that allows you to utilize infrastructure, servers, and key apps hosted on Microsoft's massive cloud. Microsoft Azure offers over 100 services services including the ability to host Windows and Linux-based virtual machines, scalable cloud storage, email and messaging, application development with Visual Studio, and backup/restore. Progent can assist you to deploy VMs on Azure Virtual Machines, integrate storage on Azure Storage services, unify identity control with Azure AD, and plan data backup and recovery systems with Azure Backup. Progent can also show you how to establish secure access to Azure services for at-home workers by configuring and troubleshooting firewall appliances and VPN tunnels. For details about Progent's support services for Azure, go to Microsoft Azure expertise.
Microsoft 365, previously branded Office 365, is Microsoft's growing family of business productivity software and cloud services offered on a subscription basis. Office apps and cloud services are marketed in a variety of plans intended for customers ranging from individuals and households to large corporations. Progent offers fast and affordable remote contact with experts familiar with Microsoft 365-compatible endpoint devices based on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Google Android technology. Progent's experts can help you to assess the numerous subscription bundles available for Microsoft 365 and deploy 365 apps for your teleworkers to achieve maximum business value. For information about Progent's expertise for Microsoft 365, refer to Microsoft 365 integration expertise.
Exchange Online is one of the most widely used applications in the Microsoft 365 product suite. Exchange Online provides the advantages of lower costs for physical infrastructure, simplified management, on-demand scaling, high reliability, and other benefits associated with cloud computing. Microsoft has designed Exchange Online to run smoothly with on-premises deployments of Exchange, allowing customers to create hybrid cloud/onsite information systems. Progent's Exchange experts can provide occasional assistance to guide you past challenging IT bottlenecks and can also provide comprehensive project management services to make sure your at-home workers have easy and safe access to your Microsoft 365 Exchange Online deployment. To find out Progent's expertise for Microsoft 365 Exchange Online, see Exchange Online configuration and support expertise.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a pioneer in the public cloud market and is the world's biggest source of cloud-based services. Progent offers fast and affordable online contact with cloud connectivity experts who can help your business to design, deploy, maintain, and debug hybrid IT networks that integrate Amazon AWS cloud services with on-premises data centers and with other popular cloud platforms like Azure. Progent also can provide access to Cisco-certified CCIE networking consultants to help your company to build a high-uptime network architecture to make sure your users have a productive computing environment whether they are working from your main office, a branch office, from home, or on the road. To learn about Progent's expertise for Amazon AWS, go to Amazon AWS integration services.
Google Cloud (GCP) is a popular collection of public cloud services that offers Infrastructure-as-a-Service and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) products. Progent's Microsoft, Linux, and Cisco experts can assist your business to extend your current IT assets with the Google Cloud Platform, and Progent's DBA consultants can show you how to make your key applications cloud ready so your at-home workers can benefit fully from Google Cloud Platform services. Progent can help you to deploy virtual machines on Google Cloud Compute Engine, plan a cost-effective storage solution with GCP Storage services, and simplify identity management for teleworkers with Google Cloud Identity. Progent's consultants can also help your organization to utilize GCP's unified management technology to administer and monitor your GCP environment. To find out, refer to Google Cloud Platform integration expertise.
Help Desk Services for Teleworkers
A rapid, enterprise-wide switchover to a from-home business model, which could be motivated by an epidemic or as part of a business continuity process, can overwhelm even a well-staffed internal Help Desk. Progent's Help Desk Call Center services make it possible for organizations of any size to outsource or expand their Help Desk Call Center with Progent's online Technical Response Center team.
- Progent's Standard Call Center services leverage Progent's extensive team of online IT support experts combined with world-class ticketing and follow-up software to provide an affordable, state-of-the-art Support Desk. Progent's Standard Help Desk Services provide a comprehensive solution that addresses all facets of remote Level 1 desktop technical support from initial help requests through trouble ticket generation, screen sharing, issue resolution, and incident reporting. A web-based User's Service Portal enables teleworkers to track or revise their current tickets, enter details, and append screen captures and attachments. Technical support services are delivered at a significant discount off Progent's ordinary Level 1 desktop support charges, and Progent offers the option of fast hand-off to Level 2 and Level 3 support experts to resolve advanced issues. For details, see Progent's Standard Helpdesk Services outsourcing for small companies.
- Progent's Call Center Augmentation Service allows your company to augment your existing Help Desk Call Center team by splitting delivery of Help Desk services seamlessly between your in-house support organization and Progent's nationwide roster of PC support engineers and subject matter experts. Progent's co-managed Help Desk service is based on a co-sourcing support model based on the leading professional services automation platform for handling service requests and trouble tickets, establishing ownership, tracking progress, and producing reports. For information about how Progent's Support Desk Augmentation Services can enable your business to deliver world-class IT support to your from-home workers, see Progent's Call Center augmentation Services.
Security for At-Home Workers
Work-from-Home workers commonly use their own computers and often operate in an unsecured physical space. This increases their vulnerability to malware threats and requires judicious configuration of corporate firewalls, anti-malware tools, MFA-based identity verification, remote monitoring, intensive end-user training, and the development of policies based on best practices. Progent's seasoned team of IT security support experts can help you to plan, configure and maintain a compliant cybersecurity solution that guards critical information resources in environments that include remote workers.
Firewalls allow you to build a network environment that can be safely accessed by on-premises users and by teleworkers, mobile workers, suppliers, clients, and other stakeholders. Next-generation firewall appliances permit you to configure and manage appropriate permissions to different classes of users and to expand your IT network and modify your security profile as your business evolves and as network attacks become more sophisticated. Progent supports both current and older firewall devices from all leading vendors including Cisco, Palo Alto Networks, Check Point, Juniper, and Fortinet. To learn more about Progent's firewall support expertise, visit firewall integration and support expertise.
Remote Endpoint Monitoring makes it possible to track the disparate computers utilized by telecommuters and either reject or spot and mitigate modern cyber attacks like ransomware. With Progent's ProSight Active Security Monitoring (ASM) services, a lightweight agent is put on every protected endpoint device, monitoring all activity and utilizing state-of-the-art AI technology from SentinelOne to detect new threats on arrival. When an attack is spotted, ProSight ASM immediately disconnects the impacted device from the corporate network to contain the malware. Because the ProSight ASM agent is autonomous, endpoints remain secure even when they are offline. For more information about ProSight Active Security Monitoring, see remote endpoint monitoring for an at-home workforce.
Progent's Duo authentication service plans utilize Cisco's Duo technology to defend against compromised passwords by using two-factor authentication. Duo supports single-tap identity verification with Apple iOS, Android, and other personal devices. Using Duo 2FA, whenever you log into a secured application and enter your password you are asked to verify your identity via a device that only you possess and that uses a different network channel. A broad range of out-of-band devices can be used as this added form of ID validation such as an iPhone or Android or watch, a hardware/software token, a landline phone, etc. You can register several verification devices. To find out more about ProSight Duo identity authentication services, visit Duo MFA two-factor authentication services for remote workers.
Security Audits can evaluate the exposure of your network to all types of outside and internal security attacks for a network that includes teleworkers. Progent can deploy online, automated security analysis software for quickly and economically uncovering a wide variety of security holes that can be found via the Internet. Progent's security audit experts, which can be managed by security professionals with advanced certifications including CISA, CISSP, and GIAC, can assist your business to evaluate your workflows and governance policies and review your IT architecture to allow you to design the highest level of security for your an at-home workforce.
Download White Paper: Securing a Work-From-Home Network
To view or download a white paper about critical areas to concentrate on for protecting an IT environment that supports telecommuters, click:
Securing a Work-From-Home (WFH) Environment White Paper. (PDF - 2.4 MB)
Data Protection for At-Home Workers
Data Protection covers 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 hiccups, operator error, cyber attack, or other causes. Reliable data protection strategies can be especially difficult to architect and manage in hybrid networks that incorporate in-house data centers, public clouds, and at-home workers.
- Backup/Restore strategies for an at-home workforce must address diverse kinds of user-owned endpoint devices. Progent can provide fast remote access to experts familiar with a broad range of products for protection Windows, Apple Mac and Linux/UNIX powered servers and desktop computers as well as notebooks, iOS and Android tablets and smartphones. Leading backup/restore products maintained by Progent's backup/recovery consultants include Barracuda Backup, Azure Backup, DoubleTake Software, Acronis Backup and Recovery, Mozy, and Time Machine. To protect data distributed across a hybrid network, Progent can provide ProSight Data Protection Services (DPS), a managed backup/recovery service that utilizes cloud-based storage and includes fine-grained restore and unified management.
- Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity strategies often anticipate circumstances that call for a rapid switch to a work-at-home environment. Progent's senior disaster recovery planning experts and business continuity planning specialists can assist you to develop, document and validate a DR/BC plan that includes the logistics of moving to an at-home workforce.
Unified Management for an At-Home Workforce
Microsoft has rebranded and reshuffled its endpoint management platforms under the title Endpoint Manager, which encompasses Intune for cloud-based management of remote endpoints and Configuration Manager for managing onsite computers. Endpoint Manager features a unified solution for safeguarding corporate information by managing local, 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-based service for managing and securing remote devices and software. Managed endpoint devices can be user owned or business owned. IT administrators managing the endpoint computers of at-home workers can use Intune to deploy and validate apps on devices, push patches and certificates, configure policies for permission to access information and resources, manage passwords, establish VPN tunnels, control how home-based workers share information, establish threat defense, verify compliance, and wipe sensitive data from lost, stolen or deactivated devices. Intune can be used with iOS/iPadOS, Android, Windows, and macOS computers. For information about Intune and to find out how Progent can assist your company to use this platform to manage the devices of your telecommuters, see Intune telecommuter device management expertise.
VMware Workspace ONE
VMware Workspace ONE is an advanced centralized MDM product that allows network managers to keep off-premises endpoint devices up to date and secure. Workspace ONE incorporates VMware AirWatch for centralized endpoint administration combined with VMware's Horizon virtual application delivery technology for identity control, app management, and configuration management of endpoint devices. Workspace ONE runs with devices powered by Windows 10, macOS, iOS, Android, Chrome OS, or leading distros of Linux. VMware Workspace ONE is available by subscription as a cloud-based service or as an on-premises product through a perpetual license. Top capabilities of Workspace ONE include rapid remote deployment of new notebooks, immediate onboarding of new users, policy setting and enforcement for all categories of endpoints, unifies management reporting and analytics, email encryption, and tight integration with Microsoft applications and cloud-based services. To find out about Progent's support for VMware Workspace ONE, see VMware Workspace ONE mobile device management consultants.
Contact Progent for Telecommuter Expertise
To contact Progent about building and managing a productive telecommuter solution for your Bristol, United Kingdom business, phone 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.