Expanding your at-home workforce can have a major impact on network infrastructure, cybersecurity, and corporate culture. Progent has 20 years of experience helping small and mid-size businesses to design, deploy, tune, manage, and troubleshoot IT networks that support a remote workforce. Progent can help you select the right tools and follow best practices in creating and maintaining a secure virtual environment that promotes collaboration and delivers maximum business value. Progent offers services ranging from as-needed online guidance to help you over occasional technical roadblocks to full project management for implementing mission-critical initiatives.
Progent can help you with any aspect of creating a high-functioning work-at-home environment including infrastructure, VoIP PBX expertise, voice/video conferencing, collaboration platforms, cloud integration, helpdesk services, security and compliance, data protection, and unified management.
Infrastructure for a Remote Workforce
Integrating the physical and software infrastructure required to support an at-home workforce can be especially challenging if you have to accommodate a mix of worker-owned equipment such as desktop and notebook computers, routers, and Wi-Fi appliances from various manufacturers and with a variety of operating systems and firmware releases. Progent's experience providing online support for legacy as well as modern technologies in a virtual office environment allows you to make efficient use of your existing infrastructure and provides you with ready access to expertise for making necessary upgrades. Services offered by Progent to help you create a high-functioning work-at-home infrastructure include:
VoIP Integration for an At-Home Workforce
- Virtual Private Network (VPN) technology allows you to create a secure connection that allows a home worker to access remote IT assets at your corporate datacenter or in the cloud. Progent can help you deploy and manage VPN connections for your at-home workforce and your various IT resources by providing remote VPN configuration consulting. For businesses using Cisco's ASA security appliances, Progent's Cisco-certified ASA consultants can help your at-home workers set up Cisco's popular AnyConnect client software to provide secure VPN connections for a broad range of endpoint devices such as Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android.
- Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) technology allows a home worker to see and interact with a remote computer's desktop. This gives network managers significant control over the computing environment and security of at-home workers and provides home workers with a familiar and consistent computing experience. Progent's virtual desktop services include Windows Remote Desktop support and Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops VDI expertise.
- Routers connect home computer networks to the Internet and can support VPN tunnels, local Wi-Fi, and firewalls. Progent offers expert online support for configuring routers from a variety of manufacturers. See router configuration from Cisco-certified consultants.
- Wi-Fi networks, shared by an entire household and guests, are used by many at-home workers to connect to their router and the Internet. This can create performance as well as security issues. Progent can help you resolve these issues by providing services that include Cisco Aironet consulting, Cisco Meraki Wi-Fi integration, and Ubiquiti Wi-Fi consulting.
- Internet access methods affect the speed and availability of connections between at-home workers and the corporate network. Business-critical applications may require redundant Internet access to fall back on in case the primary connection fails. Progent can provide guidance for selecting ISPs, choosing appropriate bandwidth packages, and setting up high-availability connections to the Internet. Refer to Internet connectivity solutions.
Extending the corporate phone system to support remote users is critical to maintaining a productive at-home workforce. A variety of cloud-based PBX platforms are used by small businesses to support teleworkers. Many larger organizations rely on Cisco's current or legacy products for VoIP solutions. Progent can help businesses of any size to design or maintain a remote VoIP solution that provides the flexibility, transparency and security needed for at-home workers. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE Voice experts can provide advanced expertise to help businesses tune their existing Cisco VoIP environments to support an expanding remote workforce.
Voice/Video Conferencing for Telecommuters
- Cisco Unified Communications Manager (Cisco Unified CM or CUCM) extends enterprise telephony features to IP devices such as VoIP phones, media processing products, Voice over IP gateways, and mixed media applications throughout the network. Unified Communications Manager supports additional mixed media services such as unified messaging, video conferencing, and group-based customer interaction networks. For details about Progent's CUCM expertise, visit Cisco Unified Communications Manager consulting.
- Cisco CallManager is Cisco's legacy call-processing agent and has been replaced by Cisco Unified CM. Progent can help you maintain your current CallManager environment or migrate efficiently to Cisco's modern IP telephony solutions. To learn about Progent's support services for CallManager and Cisco's other legacy IP voice products, see Cisco CallManager consulting.
- Cisco IP Gateways provide connectivity with public networks and with clients working outside the corporate firewall such as at-home workers. Progent offers consulting expertise for Cisco's legacy IP gateways including UC520, UC540 and UC560 products as well as for current Cisco IP voice gateways. See Cisco SIP gateway integration consulting.
- Additional VoIP Platforms supported by Progent include Vonage, RingCentral, Intermedia Unite and 8x8. Progent can help you enhance your WAN infrastructure to support these solutions and provide as-needed deployment and troubleshooting services.
A wide range of voice/video conferencing platforms from major vendors support online meetings, video conferencing, voice calls, chat, and content sharing for both local users and at-home workers. Many organizations utilize multiple products to meet the needs of their various partners and clients. Progent can help you manage your current voice/video conferencing ecosystem and optimize the experience of your remote workforce.
Collaboration Solutions for At-Home Workers
- Skype for Business is Microsoft's popular communications platform that supports real-time presence, IM, audio and video conferencing and calling as well as the seamless integration of these functions within Office desktop and Microsoft 365 applications including PowerPoint, Word, Excel and Outlook. Progent offers the expertise of Microsoft-certified consultants who can help you set up and manage Skype for Business clients to support your at-home workforce. For details about Progent's support services for Skype for Business, visit Skype for Business integration consulting.
- FaceTime is Apple's group video calling service for compatible iOS, iPad, iPod, and Mac devices. FaceTime works over Wi-Fi or cellular Internet connections. Newer versions of FaceTime support up to 32 simultaneous users for video calls. To learn about Progent's support for FaceTime and other popular Apple apps, see Progent's FaceTime configuration expertise.
- Webex Meeting Center provides remote conferencing for virtually any desktop or mobile device. Delivered through Cisco's Webex Cloud, Webex capabilities include sharing discrete content or screens, presentations that embed rich media including Microsoft PowerPoint and Flash videos, network-based recording, plus editing and playback for future reference and training. Refer to Progent's Webex Meeting Center support services.
- Teams is Microsoft's next-generation replacement for Skype for Business. Teams provides a hub for conversations, contacts, and content with features that include IP voice and video conferencing, persistent threaded chat, plus file sharing. See Progent's Microsoft Teams consulting services.
- Additional Voice/Video Conferencing Platforms supported by Progent include Google Meet, Amazon Chime, Zoom, and Slack. Progent can help you tune your WAN infrastructure to support these solutions and provide configuration and troubleshooting expertise.
Microsoft's collaboration platforms are tightly integrated with Microsoft's popular Office suite, providing a rich ecosystem of applications that deliver a consistent user experience for sharing information across multiple sites and on a wide variety of endpoint devices. Progent has provided remote consulting services for SharePoint and Exchange since their initial releases and can help at-home workers set up and use these flagship collaboration platforms to maximize productivity.
SharePoint uses web sites to enable collaboration and information delivery by providing policy-driven access to content, workflow, and tools for searching through company-wide business data. SharePoint allows you to create secure web portals that allow home workers to view and update consolidated business intelligence via Wikis, Blogs, social sites, and Web Parts. For information about Progent's SharePoint support services, visit SharePoint configuration and development consulting.
Exchange and Exchange Online offer secure collaboration features including public folders, shared mailboxes, and shared calendars and contacts. Progent's Microsoft certified Exchange experts can show you how to activate and utilize these features for your at-home workers. To find out about Progent's Exchange consulting services, visit integration expertise for Exchange Server.
OneDrive is Microsoft's collaborative cloud storage service, similar to GoogleDrive. At-home users can save files to OneDrive, and colleagues anywhere can access them securely via a browser. Included with Microsoft 365, OneDrive enables home workers to co-author Office documents. Edits made offline are automatically uploaded when you reconnect to the Internet. To find out about Progent's support services for OneDrive, see Microsoft OneDrive integration consulting.
Cloud Integration for At-Home Workers
Progent offers advanced online assistance for enabling businesses to create and maintain cohesive hybrid network architectures that combine internal data centers, at-home workers, branch offices, and private clouds with public cloud services. Progent offers expertise for all modes of public cloud service delivery including Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS). Progent can help at-home workers resolve public cloud connectivity, authentication, and security.
Help Desk Services for Teleworkers
- Microsoft Azure is a popular public cloud platform that allows you to use IT infrastructure, servers, and key applications hosted on Microsoft's massive cloud. Microsoft Azure includes over 100 cloud-based services including the ability to host Windows and Linux-powered virtual machines, scalable cloud storage, messaging, application development with Visual Studio, and data backup. Progent can help you set up virtual machines on Azure Virtual Machines, configure cloud-based storage on Azure Storage services, streamline identity management with Azure Active Directory, and design backup and restore systems with Azure Backup. Progent can also show you how to create secure connections to Azure for at-home workers users by setting up and troubleshooting firewalls and VPN IPsec tunnels. For more information about Progent's support services for Microsoft Azure, see Microsoft Azure consulting experts.
- Microsoft 365, formerly branded Office 365, is Microsoft's growing family of client productivity applications and cloud-based services offered on a subscription basis. Microsoft 365 apps and cloud services are available in a selection of subscription plans intended for customers ranging from individuals and households to major corporations. Progent offers quick and easy remote access to consultants with expert knowledge of Microsoft, Mac, iOS, and Google Android technology. Progent can help you to evaluate the numerous subscription plans offered with Microsoft 365 and configure your at-home workers with Microsoft 365 in a way that delivers maximum business value. For details about Progent's support services for Microsoft Microsoft 365, visit Microsoft 365 integration consultants.
- Exchange Online is one of the most popular cloud-based applications in the Microsoft 365 product line enabled by Microsoft Azure. Exchange Online offers the benefits of lower spending for physical infrastructure, simplified management, on-demand scale, high-availability, and other benefits associated with public clouds instead of local datacenters. Microsoft has designed Exchange Online to operate transparently with local deployments of Exchange, enabling customers to create hybrid information systems. Progent's Exchange consultants can provide as-needed assistance to guide you through challenging technical bottlenecks and also offer comprehensive project management outsourcing to ensure your at-home workers have easy and secure access to your Exchange Online deployment. To learn more about Progent's support services for Exchange Online, refer to Microsoft 365 Exchange Online integration and support experts.
- Amazon AWS is a pioneer in the public cloud computing market and is the world's leading source of cloud services. Progent offers quick and economical access to cloud connectivity consultants who can help your organization to design, implement, maintain, and debug hybrid information networks that incorporate Amazon AWS cloud-based services with local resources and with other public clouds like Azure. Progent offers access to Cisco-certified CCIE networking consultants to assist you build a high-availability network architecture so your users have a consistent computing environment regardless of whether they are working from your main office, a branch office, at home, or on the road. For more information about Progent's consulting services for Amazon AWS, see Amazon AWS consulting services.
- Google Cloud Platform (GCP) is a leading set of cloud computing services that offers Infrastructure-as-a-Service and Platform-as-a-Service products. Progent's Microsoft, Linux, and Cisco experts can assist your organization to expand your current IT resources with the Google Cloud, and Progent's database consultants can show you how to make your key applications cloud ready so they can take full advantage of Google Cloud services. Progent can help you to set up VMs on GCP Compute Engine, design a cost-effective storage system with Google Cloud Storage services, and simplify home workforce access management with GCP Cloud Identity. Progent can also help you to utilize GCP's unified tools to administer and monitor your Google Cloud environment. To learn more, refer to Google Cloud Platform integration expertise.
A rapid, company-wide transition to an at-home workforce, which could be the result of a pandemic or as part of a disaster recovery process, can overwhelm even the most efficient Helpdesk. Progent's Helpdesk services allow businesses to outsource their call center to Progent's online Technical Response Center (TRC) or use Progent's remote technical support team as a temporary, transparent supplement to your in-house Helpdesk.
Security for Telecommuters
- Progent's Standard Helpdesk Services leverage Progent's nationwide network of online support experts along with enterprise-class ticketing and tracking technology to provide an affordable, modern Help Desk call center. Progent's Standard Help Desk Services provide a comprehensive solution that handles all aspects of online Level 1 desktop support from service requests through trouble ticket generation, screen sharing, problem resolution, and reporting. A browser-based User's Service Portal allows at-home workers to check or update the status of their current tickets, add more information, and append screenshots and other attachments. Support services are provided at a substantial discount off Progent's normal Level 1 desktop service rates, and Progent offers the option of fast as-needed escalation to Level 2 and Level 3 IT experts to handle complex issues. For more details, see Progent's Standard Helpdesk Services for small businesses.
- Progent's Supplemental Helpdesk Services allows your IT organization to augment your existing Helpdesk resources by splitting responsibilities for Helpdesk services transparently between your in-house IT staff and Progent's nationwide pool of technical support engineers and subject matter experts. Progent's co-managed Helpdesk service is a collaborative support solution based on the leading shared PSA tool for managing service requests, ticketing, assigning ownership, tracking progress, and generating management reports. To see how Progent's Supplemental Helpdesk Services can help your business deliver best-in-class technical support to your at-home workforce, refer to Progent's supplemental Helpdesk services.
At-home workers usually use their own computing devices and often work in a physically unsecured environment. This situation multiplies the vulnerability to cyber attacks and calls for judicious deployment of corporate firewalls, anti-malware tools, multi-factor authentication (MFA) mechanisms, remote endpoint monitoring, extensive user training, and the creation of policies based on best practices. Progent's veteran team of work-from-home security experts can help you design, implement and manage an effective, compliant security solution that protects critical IT assets in networks that incorporate an at-home workforce.
Data Protection for At-Home Workers
- Firewalls allow you to build a secure network that can be safely accessed by local users as well as by at-home workers, mobile employees, vendors, customers, partners, and the public. Modern firewall appliances allow you to assign and manage different access rights to various classes of users and to expand your network and enhance your security as your business evolves and as network attacks become increasingly sophisticated. Progent supports firewall appliances from all major vendors including Cisco, Palo Alto Networks, Check Point, WatchGuard, Juniper, SonicWall, and Fortinet. To learn about Progent's firewall configuration services, see firewall integration consulting.
- Remote Endpoint Monitoring makes it possible to track the various devices used by at-home workers and either block or identify and mitigate cyber attacks such as ransomware. With ProSight Active Security Monitoring (ASM) services, a lightweight software agent is installed on each protected endpoint, watching all activity and using state-of-the-art behavioral threat analysis from SentinelOne and full execution context to identify new attacks at inception. When an attack is discovered, ProSight ASM immediately disconnects the affected device from the network to contain the threat. Because the ProSight ASM agent is autonomous, endpoint devices stay protected even when they are not connected to the Internet. Learn more about ProSight ASM remote endpoint monitoring for at-home workers.
- Progent's Duo MFA managed services incorporate Cisco's Duo cloud technology to protect against compromised passwords through the use of two-factor authentication (2FA). Duo enables single-tap identity verification with Apple iOS, Google Android and other out-of-band personal devices. With Duo 2FA, when you sign into a secured application and enter your password you are asked to confirm who you are via a device that only you possess and that uses a different ("out-of-band") network channel. A broad assortment of out-of-band devices can be used as this second means of ID authentication including an iPhone, an Android phone, a smart watch, a hardware or software token, a landline phone, etc. You can register multiple verification devices. For more information about ProSight Duo two-factor identity validation authentication services, visit Cisco Duo two-factor authentication (2FA) services for at-home workers.
- Security Audits can assess the vulnerability of your information system to all classes of external and internal security threats for a network environment that incorporates an at-home workforce. Progent can deploy remote, automated security analysis software for quickly and economically uncovering a wide variety of technical security gaps that can be detected via the Internet. Progent's security audit consulting services, which can be provided by security professionals with CISA, CISM, CISSP, ISSAP, or GIAC certifications, can help your business evaluate your procedures, operations, and governance policies and assess your IT infrastructure to enable you to design the highest level of security for your at-home workers.
Data Protection involves processes and technologies for backing up and restoring critical data so as to minimize data loss and recovery time in case of storage system failures caused by hardware breakdowns, software glitches, human error, cyber attack, or any other reason. Reliable data protection solutions can be especially challenging to design and manage in hybrid network environments that incorporate private data centers, public clouds, and an at-home workforce.
Unified Management for a Remote Workforce
- Backup/Recovery solutions for at-home workers must address multiple types of endpoint devices. Progent can provide online access to consultants with expertise in a wide range of platforms for backing up Windows, Apple and Linux/UNIX servers and desktops as well as notebooks, iPads, tablets and smartphones. Popular backup/restore products supported by Progent's backup/recovery consultants include Barracuda Backup, Microsoft Azure Backup, DoubleTake Software, Symantec Backup Exec, CrashPlan, Acronis Backup and Recovery, Mozy, Retrospect, and Time Machine. To protect resources distributed across a wide area network, Progent offers ProSight Data Protection Services (DPS), a managed backup/recovery service that utilizes cloud storage and features fine-grained recovery and centralized management.
- Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity plans commonly envision scenarios that require a rapid switch to an at-home workforce. Progent's expert disaster recovery preparedness consultants and business continuity planning specialists can help you to create, document and test a strategy for allowing your core employees to work temporarily from home.
Microsoft has rebranded 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 on-premises endpoints. Endpoint Manager provides a unified environment for protecting corporate data by controlling local, mobile, and at-home endpoints.
Contact Progent for Remote Workforce Expertise
- Microsoft Intune
is a component of Microsoft's Endpoint Management suite that also includes Microsoft Configuration Manager. Intune is a cloud-based service for managing and protecting mobile devices and applications. Remote endpoint devices can be personal or company owned. Network administrators managing the enrolled endpoint devices of at-home workers can use Intune to deploy and authenticate apps on devices, push updates and certificates, configure rules for accessing data and networks, set passwords, create VPN connections, control how home-based workers share information, set up threat protection, ensure security compliance, and wipe corporate data from lost, stolen or decommissioned devices. Intune works with iOS/iPadOS, Android, Windows, and macOS devices. For details about Intune and to find out how Progent can help you use this platform to manage the endpoint devices of your at-home workers, visit Intune remote device management consultants.
- VMware Workspace ONE
is a feature-rich unified MDM platform that helps network managers keep remote endpoints up to date and secure. Workspace ONE incorporates VMware AirWatch technology for unified endpoint management along with VMware Horizon virtual application delivery technology for access control, application management, and configuration management of endpoints. Workspace ONE works with devices running Windows 10, macOS, iOS, Android, Chrome OS, or popular distributions Linux. VMware Workspace ONE is offered as a cloud-based subscription service or as an on-premises deployment through a perpetual license. Top features of VMware Workspace ONE include fast over-the-air provisioning of out-of-the-box notebooks, rapid onboarding of new employees, policy setting and enforcement for all classes of devices, aggregated reporting and analytics, an email encryption gateway, and integration with Microsoft applications and cloud services. To learn about Progent's support for VMware Workspace ONE, see VMware Workspace ONE mobile device management consultants.
To find out more about how Progent can help you create an at-home workforce solution, phone 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.