Expanding your remote workforce may have a significant impact on IT architecture, security/compliance, and corporate processes. Progent has 20 years of background assisting SMBs to design, configure, administer, optimize, and debug IT networks that incorporate at-home workers. Progent can assist your Des Moines company to select the appropriate technologies and follow best practices in creating and maintaining a secure virtual ecosystem for teleworkers that promotes collaboration and delivers top business value. Progent offers support services that go from on demand expertise for helping you over occasional IT bottlenecks to comprehensive project management to help you successfully complete business-critical initiatives.
Progent's consultants can assist Des Moines, Iowa businesses to succeed with any aspect of building a high-performing remote work environment by providing network infrastructure configuration services, IP voice expertise, video conferencing integration, collaboration platform customization and training, public cloud integration, Help Desk outsourcing, security monitoring, data protection solutions, and unified management.
Network Infrastructure for a Remote Workforce
Integrating the physical and software infrastructure required to support an at-home work environment can be particularly complex if you must manage a combination of worker-owned hardware such as PCs and laptops, Internet routers, and Wi-Fi APs from various manufacturers and with a variety of OS software and firmware levels. Progent's background delivering remote help for both outdated and current technologies in virtual office venues enables you to make cost-effective use of your available network infrastructure and provides you with fast access to top-tire consultants for making necessary upgrades. Support services available from Progent to assist you to implement a productive telecommuting infrastructure include:
- Virtual Private Network connectivity makes it possible to establish a safe connection for authorized at-home workers to access IT resources located at your company datacenter or in a public cloud. Progent can assist your company to configure and manage VPN access between your teleworkers and your key network resources by providing remote VPN configuration consulting. For organizations with Cisco's ASA security appliances, Progent's Cisco-certified ASA Firewall consultants can assist your remote workers to utilize Cisco's popular AnyConnect software for safe VPN tunneling for a broad range of endpoint devices such as Windows, macOS, iOS, Linux, and Google Android.
- Virtual Desktop Infrastructure platforms allow an at-home worker to view and interact with a data center PC's desktop. This technology gives IT managers substantial control over the digital environment of telecommuters and ensures remote users a familiar experience. Progent's VDI consulting services include Windows Remote Desktop support and Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops expertise.
- Routers attach at-home computer networks to the Internet and support VPN connections, local wireless connectivity, and firewalls. Progent can provide top-tier online consulting for deploying routers from a variety of vendors. See router configuration services from Cisco-certified experts.
- Home Wireless networks, often shared by families and visitors, are commonly utilized by at-home employees to connect to their router for work. This can cause throughput and cybersecurity issues. Progent can assist you to mitigate these problems by providing services like Aironet integration expertise, Cisco-certified Meraki WiFi installation consulting, and Ubiquiti wireless access point setup assistance.
- Internet connectivity solutions impact the speed and availability of connections between telecommuters and the company network. Line-of-business processes may require redundant Internet access in case the primary connection breaks. Progent offers guidance for identifying ISPs, choosing appropriate service packages, and configuring redundant Internet access. Refer to Internet access solutions.
IP Voice Integration for an At-Home Workforce
Extending the business phone system to accommodate remote users is vital to maintaining an effective at-home workforce. A variety of cloud-based digital PBX platforms are popular with SMBs to support teleworkers. Many larger organizations depend on Cisco's modern or legacy products for IP voice management. Progent can help organizations of all sizes to design or maintain a telecommuter IP voice service that provides the versatility, convenience and protection needed for remote users. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE IP Voice experts can provide high-level support to assist businesses tune their existing Cisco VoIP environments to support an expanding remote workforce.
- Cisco Unified Communications Manager (Cisco Unified CM or CUCM) delivers advanced IP telephony capabilities to devices such as IP phones, media processing platforms, Voice over IP gateways, and multimedia apps used throughout the network. CUCM supports additional mixed media services such as unified messaging, voice/video conferencing, and team interaction networks. For details about Progent's Cisco Unified CM or CUCM expertise, visit Cisco Unified Communications Manager consulting services.
- Cisco 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 upgrade smoothly to Cisco's modern IP telephony solutions. To learn about Progent's expertise for CallManager and Cisco's other older VoIP platforms, visit Cisco CallManager consulting.
- Cisco IP Gateways provide connectivity with public telephony networks and with clients operating outside the corporate firewall
such as at-home workers. Progent offers consulting expertise for Cisco's legacy IP gateways such as the UC520, UC540 and UC560 products as well as for modern Cisco SIP gateways. See Cisco Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) gateway integration expertise.
- Other VoIP Platforms supported by Progent's consultants include Vonage, Intermedia Unite and 8x8. Progent can assist you to enhance your WAN infrastructure to work with these solutions and provide as-needed deployment and debugging expertise.
Video Conferencing for an At-Home Workforce
A broad selection of video conferencing products from leading vendors support online meetings, video conferencing, chat, and screen sharing for both local users and at-home workers. Many organizations utilize a mix of products to accommodate their various partners and clients. Progent can help you to maintain your existing voice/video conferencing environment and optimize the engagement of your remote workforce.
- Skype for Business is Microsoft's popular unified communications product that enables real-time presence, instant messaging, voice and video conferencing as well as the transparent integration of these functions within Office desktop and Microsoft 365 productivity software such as PowerPoint, Word, Excel and Outlook. Progent offers the expertise of Microsoft-certified specialists who can assist you to set up and maintain Skype for Business client software to support your remote workforce. To learn more about Progent's consulting services for Skype for Business, visit Skype for Business integration services.
- FaceTime is Apple's multiuser video phone app for compatible iOS, iPadOS, iPod and Mac computers and smartphones. FaceTime runs over Wi-Fi or cellular Internet connections. Newer versions of FaceTime allow up to 32 concurrent users for video sessions. For details about Progent's support expertise for Apple FaceTime, see Progent's FaceTime configuration expertise.
- Webex Meeting Center supports remote conferencing for most computing devices. Delivered via Cisco's Webex Cloud platform, Webex services include sharing discrete content or screens, presentations that incorporate rich media such as Microsoft PowerPoint, network-based capture, plus editing and playback for future reference and training. For details about Progent's support services for Webex as well as for additional IP video products from Cisco, see Progent's Webex Meeting Center support services.
- Teams is Microsoft's next-generation replacement for Skype for Business. Teams acts as a hub for conferencing, contacts, and content with capabilities that include IP voice and video calling, threaded chat, plus data sharing. For details about Progent's consulting expertise for Teams as well as for additional Microsoft 365 products, visit Progent's Microsoft Teams consulting services.
- Additional Conferencing Platforms supported by Progent include Google Meet, Amazon Chime, Zoom, and Slack. Progent can deliver configuration and troubleshooting services for these products and
assist you to optimize your network architecture to run them.
Microsoft Integrated Collaboration Software for Teleworkers
Microsoft's collaboration platforms are closely integrated with Microsoft's popular Microsoft Office and Microsoft 365 families, offering a rich environment of applications that create a consistent user experience for sharing information across multiple sites and on a broad selection of endpoints. Progent has delivered online consulting support for Microsoft SharePoint and Exchange since their first publication and can assist businesses to configure these critical collaboration products to maximize the productivity of your remote workforce.
SharePoint uses web entities to facilitate collaboration and information sharing by providing policy-driven access to content, business processes, and utilities for looking through company-wide business data. SharePoint enables you to build secure web portals that allows at-home workforce to see and edit aggregated business intelligence via Wikis, Blogs, social networking sites, and Web Parts (Widgets). To find out about Progent's SharePoint consulting services, refer to 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. To learn about Progent's Exchange expertise, see deployment expertise for Microsoft Exchange.
OneDrive is Microsoft's collaborative cloud-based file hosting and synchronization service, similar to GoogleDrive. At-home workers can save files to the OneDrive service, and colleagues anywhere can retrieve them safely via a browser. Included with Office and Microsoft 365, OneDrive enables home workers to jointly author documents. Edits created offline are uploaded when you reconnect to the Internet. For information about Progent's consulting expertise for Microsoft OneDrive, see Onedrive configuration experts.
Public Cloud Integration for At-Home Workers
Progent offers fast and affordable online support for helping businesses to build, maintain and troubleshoot integrated hybrid network models that include physical data centers, remote workers, branch offices, plus cloud resources. Progent offers top-tier consultant for all modes of cloud service delivery such as Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service. Progent can help remote workers fix problems with cloud connectivity, authentication, and cybersecurity.
Azure is a popular family of cloud software and services that allows you to utilize IT infrastructure, virtual servers, and critical applications hosted on Microsoft's extensive cloud. Azure offers over one hundred cloud-based services such as hosting for Windows and Linux-powered virtual machines, on-demand cloud storage, email and messaging, application development with Visual Studio, and data protection. Progent can help your organization to set up VMs on Azure Virtual Machines, integrate storage on Azure Storage services, streamline identity control with Azure Active Directory, and plan data backup and restore solutions with Azure Backup. Progent can also show you how to create protected access to Azure services for teleworkers by configuring and debugging firewall appliances and VPN tunnels. To find out about Progent's support services for Microsoft Azure, go to Azure expertise.
Microsoft 365, formerly branded Office 365, is Microsoft's growing family of business productivity software and cloud-based services offered by subscription. Office applications and cloud services are marketed in a variety of bundles intended for users ranging from students and households to large corporations. Progent can provide fast and affordable online contact with experts familiar with Microsoft 365-compatible clients running Windows, Mac, iOS, and Google Android technology. Progent's experts can help your business to assess the various subscription plans available for Microsoft 365 and deploy 365 apps for your at-home workers to achieve top business value. For details about Progent's support services for Microsoft 365, refer to Microsoft 365 integration services.
Exchange Online is one of the most widely used cloud-based applications in Azure-hosted Microsoft 365 product line. Exchange Online provides the benefits of lower costs for physical infrastructure, easier management, on-demand scaling, high availability, and other benefits inherent with cloud computing. Microsoft has engineered Exchange Online to run smoothly with local deployments of Exchange, enabling customers to create hybrid cloud/onsite information systems. Progent's certified Exchange consultants can provide as-needed help to guide you through challenging technical roadblocks and also offer end-to-end project management outsourcing to make sure your remote workers have convenient and secure access to your Exchange Online deployment. To learn Progent's consulting expertise for Microsoft 365 Exchange Online, go to Exchange Online integration and troubleshooting consulting.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a pioneer in the public cloud computing market and is the industry's leading source of cloud services. Progent can provide fast and affordable online access to cloud integration consultants who can help your organization to plan, deploy, maintain, and debug hybrid IT networks that integrate Amazon AWS cloud services with local data centers and with other popular cloud platforms such as Azure. Progent also can provide the skills of Cisco-certified CCIE networking experts to assist you to create a high-availability network model so your employees have a productive computing environment regardless of whether they are working from your headquarters, a remote branch, from home, or on the road. For information about Progent's support services for Amazon AWS, visit Amazon AWS consulting support.
Google Cloud is a leading suite of cloud services that offers Infrastructure-as-a-Service and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) products. Progent's Microsoft, Linux, and Cisco consulting experts can help you to scale your current IT assets with the Google Cloud Platform, and Progent's database experts can show you how to make your key apps cloud friendly so your at-home workers can take full advantage of Google Cloud Platform services. Progent can assist your organization to set up VMs on Google Cloud Compute Engine, plan an efficient storage solution with Google Cloud Storage, and streamline identity management for telecommuters with Google Cloud Identity services. Progent can also assist your organization to utilize GCP's management tools to administer and monitor your Google Cloud environment. To learn, see Google Cloud Platform (GCP) consulting support.
Help Desk Call Center Services for Remote Workers
A sudden, organization-wide changeover to a from-home business model, which could be motivated by an epidemic or as part of a disaster recovery/business continuity preparedness plan, can overstretch even the most efficient internal Call Desk. Progent's Help Desk services make it possible for businesses to outsource or supplement their Support Desk with Progent's remote Technical Response Center team.
- Progent's Standard Support Desk services leverage Progent's extensive network of remote IT support specialists combined with world-class ticketing and follow-up software to provide an economical, modern Call Desk. Progent's Standard Help Desk Services provide a comprehensive solution that handles all facets of online Level 1 desktop support from service requests through ticket creation, screen sharing, issue resolution, and incident reporting. A web-based User's Service Portal enables telecommuters to check or update the status of their active tickets, add details, and upload screen captures or attachments. Support services are delivered at a significant price reduction off Progent's normal Level 1 desktop support rates, and Progent offers the option of fast escalation to Level 2 and Level 3 IT experts to deal with complex problems. For more information, go to Progent's Standard Helpdesk Services outsourcing for small and mid-size businesses.
- Progent's Support Desk Augmentation Service allows your business to augment your current Call Center staff by splitting delivery of Call Desk support services transparently between your in-house IT support personnel and Progent's nationwide team of PC support engineers and subject matter specialists. Progent's co-managed Call Desk service is based on a collaborative support model utilizing the leading PSA tool for handling service requests and trouble tickets, establishing responsibility, monitoring progress, and generating reports. For details about how Progent's Support Desk Supplementation Services can help your company to deliver world-class IT support to your teleworkers, go to Progent's Help Desk supplementation Services.
Security and Compliance for Remote Workers
Work-from-Home staff members commonly utilize their personal computers and usually operate in a poorly secured physical environment. This multiplies their vulnerability to cyber attacks and requires careful deployment of firewalls, AV tools, multi-factor authentication, remote monitoring, thorough end-user education, and the creation of security policies based on best practices. Progent's veteran roster of cybersecurity solutions consultants can assist you to design, configure and maintain an effective security solution that guards critical IT assets in environments that include an at-home workforce.
Firewalls allow you to create a network that can be safely utilized by local users as well as by teleworkers, mobile employees, vendors, clients, and other stakeholders. Next-generation firewall devices allow you to configure and control appropriate permissions to different classes of users and to scale your network and adjust your security profile as your company evolves and as network attacks grow more sophisticated. Progent supports both current and older firewall appliances from all leading vendors like Cisco, Palo Alto Networks, Check Point, Juniper, SonicWall and Fortinet. For details about Progent's firewall support services, see firewall support expertise.
Online Endpoint Security Monitoring makes it easy to watch over the disparate devices used by at-home workers and either block or spot and respond to the latest threats like ransomware. With Progent's ProSight Active Security Monitoring services, a small-footprint agent is put on every protected endpoint, monitoring all activity and using state-of-the-art AI technology from SentinelOne to identify zero-day attacks on arrival. When a cyberattack is spotted, ProSight Active Security Monitoring immediately isolates the infected endpoint device from the network to contain the threat. Because the ProSight Active Security Monitoring agent is self-contained, endpoint devices stay protected even if they are offline. Progent is a SentinelOne Partner, dealer, and integrator. To learn more about ProSight Active Security Monitoring, visit remote endpoint security monitoring for at-home workers.
Progent's Duo MFA Service Plans utilize Cisco's Duo technology to protect against compromised passwords by using two-factor authentication. Duo enables one-tap identity confirmation on iOS, Android, and other out-of-band devices. Using 2FA, when you log into a protected online account and give your password you are asked to verify who you are on a unit that only you have and that uses a separate network channel. A broad selection of out-of-band devices can be utilized for this added form of ID validation including an iPhone or Android or wearable, a hardware/software token, a landline phone, etc. You may designate several verification devices. To find out more about Duo two-factor identity authentication services, visit Duo MFA two-factor authentication services for remote workers.
Security Audits can assess the vulnerability of your network to all types of outside and local security threats for an environment that incorporates at-home workers. Progent can deploy online, automated cybersecurity inventory software for quickly and affordably uncovering a broad range of security gaps that can be found via the Internet. Progent's endpoint security assessment consulting services, which can be managed by network security experts with advanced certifications including CISA, ISSAP, and GIAC, can help your company to audit your procedures and policies and assess your WAN infrastructure to allow you to implement top-level security for your at-home workers.
Horizon3.ai's NodeZero Pentest Platform is a breakthrough penetration test (pentest) product family that supports automated testing of your at-home environment and your internal and perimeter networks to help you uncover, prioritize, remediate, and verify cybersecurity vulnerabilities before malicious hackers can take advantage of them. Progent can help you to deploy NodeZero to carry out comprehensive pentests of your perimeter and your internal network so you can evaluate your present security profile. Progent's NodeZero experts can also help you to harden your network security and can assist you to plan and deploy a cohesive cybersecurity ecosystem that streamlines management and delivers optimum cyber defense for on-premises, cloud-based, remote, and perimeter IT assets. To find out more information about Progent's threat analysis solutions powered by on NodeZero's pentest products, refer to Consulting Support for NodeZero's Pentest Platform.
Download White Paper: Protecting a Work-From-Home Environment
To read or download a white paper describing key areas to focus on for securing an IT environment that includes work-from-home staff, click:
Protecting a Work-From-Home Environment White Paper. (PDF - 2.4 MB)
Data Protection for Teleworkers
The field of Data Protection covers saving and recovering vital information in order to prevent data loss and minimize recovery time and effort in case of storage system problems due to hardware issues, programming glitches, human error, cyber attack, or other causes. Reliable data protection strategies can be particularly difficult to design and manage in hybrid networks that combine private data centers, cloud resources, and at-home workers.
- Backup/Recovery solutions for an at-home workforce must cover diverse kinds of user-owned endpoints. Progent offers fast online help from consultants knowledgeable about a wide range of products for backing up Microsoft Windows, Apple and Linux/UNIX powered servers and desktop computers as well as notebooks, tablets and handhelds. Popular backup/recovery solutions maintained by Progent's backup/recovery consultants include Barracuda Backup, Microsoft Azure Backup, DoubleTake Software, CrashPlan, Retrospect, and Time Machine. To back up data spread throughout a wide area network, Progent offers ProSight Data Protection Services, a backup/recovery service that utilizes cloud-based storage and includes granular recovery and centralized management.
- Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity plans commonly envision circumstances that call for a rapid switch to telecommuting. Progent's senior disaster recovery preparedness consultants and business continuity planning specialists can assist your company to develop, document and test a DR/BC plan that addresses the logistics of moving to an at-home workforce.
Unified Management for Telecommuters
Microsoft has renamed and rebundled its endpoint management platforms under the name Endpoint Manager, which includes Intune for cloud-based management of remote endpoints and Configuration Manager for managing local computers. Microsoft Endpoint Manager provides a unified platform for protecting corporate data by managing onsite, mobile, and home-based endpoints.
Intune is part of Microsoft's Endpoint Management family that also includes Configuration Manager. Intune is a cloud service for managing and protecting mobile computers and software. Remote endpoint computers can be user owned or company owned. Network admins managing the endpoint computers of teleworkers can use Intune to deploy and authenticate applications on devices, push patches and certificates, configure rules for permission to access information and networks, manage passwords, establish VPN tunnels, control how telecommuters share information, set up threat protection, ensure compliance, and erase corporate data from missing, stolen or deactivated devices. Microsoft Intune works with iOS/iPadOS, Android, Windows, and macOS/OS X devices. To learn about Microsoft Intune and to find out how Progent can assist your company to use Microsoft's Endpoint Management to administer the endpoint computers of your at-home workforce, see Intune remote endpoint management expertise.
VMware Workspace ONE
VMware Workspace ONE is a feature-rich unified MDM product that allows network managers to keep offsite endpoints up to date and protected. Workspace ONE uses VMware AirWatch for unified endpoint administration combined with VMware's Horizon virtual application delivery technology for access control, application management, and setup management of endpoints. Workspace ONE operates with endpoints based on Windows 10, macOS, Apple iOS, Android, Chrome OS, or leading distros of Linux. VMware Workspace ONE is available by subscription as a cloud service or as an on-premises product via a one-time purchase. Key capabilities of VMware Workspace ONE include rapid over-the-air provisioning of out-of-the-box laptops, quick onboarding of new employees, policy setting and enforcement for all categories of endpoints, aggregated reporting and analytics, email encryption, and seamless integration with Microsoft applications and cloud services. For information about Progent's support services for VMware Workspace ONE, go to VMware Workspace ONE mobile device management expertise.
Contact Progent for At-Home Worker Expertise
To contact Progent about creating and maintaining a productive telecommuter environment for your Des Moines, Iowa company, phone 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.