Enlarging your telecommuter workforce can have a major effect on network infrastructure, cybersecurity, and corporate culture. Progent has two decades of experience assisting businesses of all sizes to design, deploy, administer, tune, and troubleshoot IT environments that support work-from-home employees. Progent can assist your Midland organization to select the right technologies and follow best practices in building and operating a secure virtual ecosystem for telecommuters that promotes teamwork and returns maximum value. Progent offers services ranging from on demand expertise for getting you past occasional technical roadblocks to comprehensive project management or co-management to help you carry out mission-critical tasks.
Progent can help Midland, Texas organizations to succeed with any facet of building a high-functioning telecommuting environment by delivering network infrastructure design and configuration services, VoIP PBX expertise, voice/video conferencing support, collaboration platform selection and deployment, public cloud integration, Help Desk outsourcing, cybersecurity, backup/restore solutions, and centralized management.
Infrastructure for a Remote Workforce
Setting up the network infrastructure needed to support an at-home workforce can be particularly complicated if you have to accommodate a mix of personal hardware like PCs and notebooks, Internet routers, and wireless appliances from various vendors and with a variety of OS software and firmware releases. Progent's experience delivering online support for both legacy as well as modern IT products in virtual office venues enables you to make cost-effective use of your available infrastructure and provides you with ready access to expertise for making necessary upgrades. Support services available from Progent to assist you to create a high-functioning telecommuting infrastructure include:
- Virtual Private Network (VPN) connectivity allows you to create a safe connection for authenticated at-home employees to access IT assets situated at your corporate data center or in a public cloud. Progent can help you to deploy and manage VPN connections between your at-home workforce and your key network resources by providing online VPN integration support. For organizations with Cisco's ASA security appliances, Progent's Cisco-certified ASA Firewall consultants can assist your telecommuters to utilize Cisco's popular AnyConnect software to provide secure VPN tunneling for a broad range of endpoint devices including Microsoft Windows, Mac, Apple iOS, Linux, and Google Android.
- Virtual Desktop Infrastructure platforms enable a telecommuter to see and interact with a remote computer's desktop. This provides IT managers more control over the digital ecosystem of telecommuters and offers them a consistent and more productive experience. Progent's VDI services include Windows Remote Desktop integration and Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops VDI consulting.
- Routers connect home networks to the Internet and support VPN tunnels, local Wi-Fi connectivity, and firewalls. Progent offers expert remote support for integrating routers from all major vendors. See router integration services from Cisco-certified consultants.
- Home Wireless networks, typically shared by an entire household and visitors, are frequently used by at-home employees to access their router for work. This can cause throughput and cybersecurity problems. Progent can assist businesses to resolve these issues by delivering expertise that include Cisco Aironet integration consulting, Cisco-certified Meraki wireless deployment expertise, and Ubiquiti Unifi wireless AP setup assistance.
- Internet connectivity methods affect the performance and availability of connections between at-home workers and the corporate data center. Mission-critical applications might demand backup Internet access in case the primary connection breaks. Progent offers expertise for identifying ISPs, choosing appropriate service offerings, and setting up redundant Internet access. Refer to Internet connectivity solutions.
IP Voice Integration for Teleworkers
Expanding the business phone environment to accommodate teleworkers is vital to maintaining a productive at-home workforce. A variety of cloud-centric IP voice products are used by SMBs to server teleworkers. Many larger organizations depend on Cisco's current or older products for VoIP solutions. Progent can assist businesses of any size to plan or tune a remote IP voice environment that delivers the flexibility, convenience and protection required for at-home workers. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE Voice experts can provide high-level support to help organizations optimize their current Cisco IP voice systems to handle a growing remote workforce.
- Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM) delivers enterprise telephony capabilities to devices like VoIP phones, media processing platforms, Voice over IP gateways, and mixed media applications deployed throughout the network. CUCM manages additional mixed media services such as messaging, voice/video conferencing, and customer interaction networks. For more information about Progent's Unified Communications Manager expertise, visit Cisco Unified Communications Manager consultants.
- Cisco CallManager is Cisco's earlier call-processing agent and has been superseded by CUCM. Progent's consultants can assist your company to maintain your existing CallManager environment or upgrade efficiently to Cisco's modern IP telephony solutions. To learn about Progent's expertise for Cisco CallManager and Cisco's other older VoIP products, refer to Cisco CallManager consulting services.
- Cisco IP Gateways enable connectivity with PSTN networks and with users working outside the corporate firewall
such as telecommuters. Progent offers consulting expertise for Cisco's earlier generation IP gateways like the UC520, UC540 and UC560 product lines as well as for modern Cisco SIP gateways. See Cisco SIP gateway configuration expertise.
- Other VoIP Products supported by Progent's consultants include Vonage, RingCentral and 8x8. Progent can assist you to expand your WAN infrastructure to support these solutions and provide on-demand configuration and debugging expertise.
Voice/Video Conferencing for Remote Workers
A broad selection of voice/video conferencing products from leading vendors support virtual discussions, video and voice conferencing, chat sessions, and screen sharing for both onsite workers and teleworkers. Many organizations use a mix of products to accommodate their various partners and customers. Progent can assist you to maintain your current conferencing environment and optimize the experience of your remote workforce.
- Skype for Business is Microsoft's leading communications product that enables presence, IM, voice and video calling and conferencing plus the seamless integration of these capabilities within Office desktop and Microsoft 365 applications including PowerPoint, Word, Excel and Outlook. Progent can provide the expertise of Microsoft-certified consultants who can assist your company to configure and maintain Skype for Business client software to support your at-home employees. To learn more about Progent's consulting expertise for Skype for Business, visit Skype for Business consulting services.
- FaceTime is Apple's group video calling platform for iOS, iPadOS, iPod and macOS computers and smartphones. FaceTime runs on Wi-Fi or cellular Internet connections. Newer editions of FaceTime support up to 32 concurrent users for voice/video sessions. For details about Progent's consulting expertise for Apple FaceTime, visit Progent's FaceTime configuration expertise.
- Webex Meeting Center supports online conferencing for virtually all desktop or mobile devices. Offered via Cisco's Webex Cloud, Webex capabilities include sharing granular content or computer screens, presentations that incorporate rich media such as Microsoft PowerPoint, session recording, plus revision and playback for future reference. To learn more about Progent's consulting services for Cisco Webex as well as for other IP video solutions from Cisco, see Progent's Webex Meeting Center support services.
- Teams is Microsoft's follow-up for Skype for Business. Teams acts as a hub for conversations, contacts, and content with features that include IP voice and video calling, threaded chat, plus data sharing. To learn more about Progent's support services for Microsoft Teams as well as for additional Microsoft 365 products, see Progent's Microsoft Teams consulting services.
- Additional Conferencing Apps supported by Progent's conferencing experts include Google Meet, Amazon Chime, Zoom, and Slack. Progent can provide configuration and troubleshooting expertise for these conferencing platforms and
help you to tune your network infrastructure to host them.
Microsoft Collaboration Software for an At-Home Workforce
Microsoft's collaboration products are tightly integrated with Microsoft's familiar Microsoft Office and Microsoft 365 families, providing a powerful environment of applications that create a cohesive user experience for exchanging data and ideas throughout a corporate network and on a wide selection of endpoints. Progent has provided remote consulting services for SharePoint and Exchange since their initial publication and can help businesses to deploy these flagship collaboration products to optimize the productivity of your remote workers.
SharePoint uses web entities to facilitate collaboration and information delivery by providing policy-based delivery of content, workflow, and utilities for looking through company-wide business data. SharePoint enables you to create secure web portals that permits at-home workforce to view and update aggregated corporate intelligence via Wikis, Blogs, social networking sites, and Web Parts (Widgets). For details about Progent's SharePoint consulting services, visit SharePoint configuration and application 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 consulting services, visit integration consulting services for Microsoft Exchange.
OneDrive is MicrosoftÔŅĹs collaborative cloud-based storage service, comparable to GoogleDrive. Remote workers can store files to the OneDrive service, and colleagues anywhere can share them safely via a web browser. Included with Microsoft Office and Microsoft 365, OneDrive enables remote workers to jointly author files. Edits made offline are automatically uploaded when you reconnect to the Internet. To find out about Progent's expertise for OneDrive, see Onedrive integration consulting.
Public Cloud Integration for Remote Workers
Progent can provide affordable online assistance for enabling organizations to build, manage and repair cohesive network models that combine internal data centers, telecommuters, branches, plus cloud services. Progent can provide expertise for all types of cloud service such as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service, and Software as a Service. Progent can help remote workers fix problems with public cloud access, identity, and cybersecurity.
Microsoft Azure is a popular family of public cloud software and services that enables you to utilize IT infrastructure, servers, and key apps hosted on Microsoft's extensive cloud. Azure includes over 100 services services such as hosting for Windows and Linux-powered VMs, scalable cloud storage, email and messaging, application development with Visual Studio, and backup/restore. Progent can assist you to set up VMs on Azure Virtual Machines, integrate storage on Azure Storage services, unify identity control with Azure Active Directory, and design backup and restore systems with Azure Backup. Progent's cloud experts can also help you establish protected connections to Azure for at-home workers by setting up and debugging firewall appliances and VPN tunnels. To find out about Progent's support services for Microsoft Azure, see Azure consulting services.
Microsoft 365, formerly branded Office 365, is Microsoft's popular suite of client productivity applications and cloud services offered by subscription. Microsoft apps and services are provided in a variety of bundles intended for users ranging from individuals and households to large corporations. Progent can provide fast and easy remote access to consultants familiar with Microsoft 365-compatible clients running Windows, Mac, iOS, and Google Android operating systems. Progent can assist your business to assess the numerous subscription bundles offered with Microsoft 365 and configure 365 applications for your teleworkers to achieve top business value. To learn about Progent's expertise for Microsoft 365, see Microsoft 365 consulting support.
Microsoft 365 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 additional benefits associated with public clouds. Microsoft has designed Exchange Online to operate seamlessly with local deployments of Exchange, allowing you to build hybrid cloud/onsite networks. Progent's Exchange experts are available for as-needed assistance to guide you past tough IT roadblocks and also offer comprehensive project management outsourcing to ensure your at-home workers have easy and secure access to your Microsoft 365 Exchange Online deployment. For details Progent's support services for Microsoft 365 Exchange Online, visit Microsoft 365 Exchange Online configuration and troubleshooting expertise.
Amazon AWS is a pioneer in the public cloud computing arena and is the world's biggest source of cloud services. Progent offers quick and affordable online access to cloud integration experts who can assist your organization to design, deploy, manage, and debug hybrid IT networks that incorporate Amazon AWS cloud-based services with local data centers and with other popular cloud platforms like Azure. Progent also offers access to Cisco-certified CCIE networking consultants to help your company to create a high-availability network model so your users have a consistent computing experience whether they are working from your main office, a branch office, at home, or on the road. To find out about Progent's consulting services for Amazon AWS, see Amazon AWS consulting services.
Google Cloud is a popular set of public cloud services that provides Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) products. Progent's certified Microsoft, Linux, and Cisco experts can assist your organization to extend your current IT resources with the Google Cloud, and Progent's database consultants can help you make your key applications cloud friendly so your remote workers can take full advantage of Google Cloud services. Progent's consultants can help your business to deploy virtual machines on GCP Compute Engine, design an efficient storage solution with GCP Storage, and simplify identity control for remote workers with Google Cloud Identity services. Progent's consultants can also help your organization to utilize GCP's management technology to administer and monitor your GCP ecosystem. For details, refer to Google Cloud Platform (GCP) integration services.
Help Desk Services for Remote Workers
A fast, company-wide transition to a telecommuter business model, which could be motivated by a pandemic or as part of a disaster recovery/business continuity process, can overwhelm even a well-staffed in-house Help Desk. Progent's Help Desk services allow businesses of any size to outsource or expand their Call Center by using Progent's remote Technical Response Center (TRC) services.
- Progent's Standard Call Center services utilize Progent's nationwide team of remote IT support experts combined with world-class ticketing and follow-up software to offer an economical, state-of-the-art Support Desk. Progent's Standard Help Desk Services provide an end-to-end solution that handles all facets of online Level 1 desktop technical support from service requests to trouble ticket creation, desktop sharing, issue resolution, and reporting. A web-based User's Service Portal allows from-home workers to track or edit their current tickets, add details, and upload screen captures and relevant files. Support services are provided at a substantial price reduction off Progent's normal Level 1 technical support rates, and Progent offers optional rapid escalation to Level 2 and Level 3 support experts to deal with advanced issues. To find out more, see Progent's Standard Helpdesk Services outsourcing for small and mid-size companies.
- Progent's Call Center Supplemental Service allows you to supplement your existing Help Desk Call Center team by sharing responsibilities for Call Desk services seamlessly between your in-house IT support staff and Progent's nationwide team of desktop support engineers and subject matter experts. Progent's shared Call Desk service uses a collective support solution based on the leading PSA platform for handling service requests and trouble tickets, establishing ownership, tracking progress, and generating management reports. To find out how Progent's Call Center Supplementation Services can help your company to deliver best-in-class IT support to your at-home employees, see Progent's Help Desk supplementation Services.
Cybersecurity for Teleworkers
At-home staff members commonly utilize their personal computing devices and usually operate in a poorly secured physical environment. This situation multiplies their susceptibility to malware threats and requires judicious configuration of corporate firewalls, anti-malware tools, MFA-based identity verification, remote monitoring, extensive user education, and the development of policies based on best practices. Progent's veteran team of cybersecurity support consultants can help you to design, configure and manage an effective cybersecurity solution that guards vital IT assets in networks that incorporate remote workers.
Firewalls enable you to create a network that can be securely utilized by local users and by teleworkers, mobile workers, vendors, customers, and other stakeholders. Next-generation firewall devices allow you to assign and control appropriate permissions to different classes of users and to scale your network and adjust your security as your business evolves and as network attacks grow more sophisticated. Progent supports both new and older firewall devices from all leading vendors like Cisco, Palo Alto Networks, Check Point, Juniper, SonicWall and Fortinet. For more information about Progent's firewall configuration expertise, go to firewall configuration and support expertise.
Remote Endpoint Monitoring makes it easy to watch over the disparate devices used by at-home workers and either reject or identify and mitigate the latest cyber attacks such as ransomware. With ProSight Active Security Monitoring (ASM) services, a lightweight software agent is put on every protected endpoint, monitoring all activity and utilizing advanced machine learning and full execution context to detect zero-day attacks before they can spread. When an attack is discovered, ProSight Active Security Monitoring immediately disconnects the impacted endpoint device from the network to contain the malware. Because the ProSight Active Security Monitoring agent is autonomous, endpoint devices remain protected even if they are disconnected from the Internet. For more information about ProSight ASM, refer to remote endpoint monitoring for at-home workers.
Progent's Duo MFA managed services incorporate Cisco's Duo technology to defend against password theft through the use of two-factor authentication. Duo supports one-tap identity verification on Apple iOS, Android, and other personal devices. Using Duo 2FA, when you log into a protected application and enter your password you are requested to confirm who you are on a device that only you possess and that uses a separate network channel. A broad selection of devices can be utilized for this added means of ID validation such as an iPhone or Android or wearable, a hardware/software token, a landline telephone, etc. You can designate several validation devices. To learn more about Duo two-factor identity authentication services, go to Duo MFA two-factor authentication services for at-home workers.
Security Audits can assess the exposure of your network to all classes of outside and internal security threats for a network that incorporates telecommuters. Progent can deploy remote, automated cybersecurity inventory scanning for rapidly and economically uncovering a wide variety of security gaps that can be found via the Internet. Progent's security assessment experts, which can be provided by network security professionals with top certifications such as CISA, CISSP, and GIAC, can assist your company to evaluate your workflows and policies and review your IT architecture to enable you to implement top-level 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 critical areas to focus on for securing an IT environment that incorporates telecommuters, click:
Protecting a Work-From-Home Environment White Paper. (PDF - 2.4 MB)
Data Protection for Teleworkers
Data Protection covers saving and restoring critical information so as to avoid data loss and reduce restoration time and effort in the event of storage problems due to equipment issues, programming hiccups, operator mistakes, malware, or any other reason. Reliable data protection solutions can be particularly challenging to design and manage in hybrid environments that combine private data centers, public clouds, and at-home workers.
- Backup/Restore strategies for teleworkers must address diverse types of user-owned endpoint devices. Progent can provide quick online access to experts knowledgeable about a wide array of products for backing up Windows, Apple Mac and Linux/UNIX servers and desktop computers as well as laptops, tablets and smartphones. Popular backup/restore solutions supported by Progent's data protection experts include Barracuda Backup, Azure Backup, DoubleTake Software, Acronis Backup and Recovery, Retrospect, and Time Machine. To back up data distributed throughout a hybrid network, Progent offers ProSight Data Protection Services, a managed backup/recovery subscription service that utilizes cloud storage and includes fine-grained restore and centralized management capabilities.
- Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity (DR/BC) plans typically anticipate scenarios that require a quick switch to telecommuting. Progent's senior disaster recovery preparedness consultants and business continuity specialists can help your company to create, document and validate a DR/BC plan that includes the process of switching to telecommuting.
Unified Management for Remote Workers
Microsoft has renamed and rebundled its endpoint management platforms under the name Microsoft Endpoint Manager, which includes Intune for cloud-based management of mobile and remote endpoints and Configuration Manager for managing onsite computers. Microsoft Endpoint Manager offers a unified platform for protecting corporate data by managing on-premises, mobile, and home-based endpoints.
Intune is part of Microsoft's Endpoint Management suite that also includes Microsoft Configuration Manager. Intune is a cloud service for managing and protecting remote devices and applications. Managed endpoint devices can be personally owned or company owned. IT administrators managing the enrolled endpoint devices of at-home workers can use Intune to deploy and validate applications on devices, push updates and certificates, configure rules for accessing information and resources, manage passwords, create VPN tunnels, control how telecommuters share information, set up threat protection, ensure security compliance, and erase sensitive data from lost, stolen or decommissioned endpoint devices. Intune runs with iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS/OS X devices. To learn about Intune and how Progent can assist you to use Microsoft's Endpoint Management to administer the endpoint computers of your teleworkers, see Intune teleworker endpoint management expertise.
VMware Workspace ONE
VMware Workspace ONE is an advanced unified Mobile Device Management (MDM) platform that allows network administrators to keep offsite endpoints current and secure. Workspace ONE incorporates VMware AirWatch for centralized endpoint management combined with VMware's Horizon virtual software delivery technology for identity control, app management, and configuration management of endpoints. Workspace ONE operates with endpoints based on Windows 10, macOS, Apple iOS, Android, Chrome OS, or popular distributions of Linux. VMware Workspace ONE is offered by subscription as a cloud-based service or as an on-premises deployment through a one-time purchase. Top capabilities of VMware Workspace ONE include rapid remote deployment of out-of-the-box notebooks, immediate onboarding of new users, policy setting and enforcement for all categories of endpoints, aggregated reporting and analytics, email encryption, and integration with Microsoft applications and cloud products. For information about Progent's support services for VMware Workspace ONE, refer to VMware Workspace ONE mobile endpoint management expertise.
Contact Progent for At-Home Worker Expertise
To get in touch with Progent about building and managing an efficient telecommuter environment for your Midland, Texas business, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.