Enlarging your at-home workforce can have a significant impact on IT infrastructure, security, and company culture. Progent has 20 years of experience helping SMBs to design, deploy, administer, optimize, and troubleshoot IT networks that incorporate a remote workforce. Progent can assist you to select the appropriate technologies and adhere to leading practices in building and maintaining a safe virtual solution for teleworkers that promotes teamwork and delivers maximum value. Progent offers services ranging from on demand guidance for getting you past challenging IT roadblocks to full project management to help you successfully complete business-critical tasks.
Progent's consultants can help you to succeed with any facet of creating a high-performing work-from-home ecosystem by providing network infrastructure design and configuration services, IP voice troubleshooting, voice/video conferencing support, collaboration platform customization and training, public cloud connectivity, Call Desk augmentation, cybersecurity, backup/restore solutions, and centralized management.
Infrastructure for an At-Home Workforce
Configuring the physical and software infrastructure required for an at-home workforce can be particularly complicated if you have to manage a combination of personal equipment such as desktop computers and laptops, Internet routers, and Wi-Fi APs from an assortment of manufacturers and with a variety of operating systems and firmware releases. Progent's background delivering online help for both legacy as well as modern IT products in remote office venues allows you to make cost-effective use of your available network infrastructure and offers ready access to top-tire consultants for implement essential upgrades. Services offered by Progent to help your company to implement a high-functioning work-at-home infrastructure include:
- Virtual Private Network (VPN) connectivity makes it possible to create a secure tunnel for authenticated at-home employees to use IT assets situated at your company data center or in a public cloud. Progent's consultants can help you to configure and maintain VPN access between your at-home workforce and your various IT resources by providing online VPN configuration consulting. For businesses with Cisco's ASA security appliances, Progent's Cisco-certified ASA consultants can assist your remote workers to set up Cisco's popular AnyConnect client software for secure VPN connections for a broad range of devices including Windows, macOS, Apple iOS, Linux, and Google Android.
- Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) products allow a telecommuter to see and interact with a data center computer's desktop. This technology provides IT managers significant control over the computing environment of at-home employees and offers remote users a familiar work experience. Progent's VDI services include Windows Remote Desktop support and Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops VDI solutions.
- Routers attach home networks to the Internet and support VPN tunnels, home wireless networks, and firewalls. Progent can provide expert online support for deploying home routers from a range of vendors. See router integration support from Cisco-certified consultants.
- Home Wireless networks, typically supporting an entire household and guests, are frequently utilized by at-home employees to access their router for work. This can cause performance and cybersecurity problems. Progent can assist businesses to mitigate these problems by providing services like Cisco Aironet configuration consulting, Cisco Meraki wireless deployment consulting, and Ubiquiti WiFi access point setup help.
- Internet connectivity methods affect the speed and reliability of connections between at-home workers and the company network. Vital processes might demand backup Internet connections in the event the normal connection breaks. Progent can provide guidance for identifying service providers, picking sensible service bundles, and integrating high-availability Internet access. See Internet connectivity solutions.
IP Voice Integration for Telecommuters
Extending the business PBX system to include telecommuters is vital to supporting an effective work-at-home solution. A broad range of cloud-centric IP voice platforms are popular with small and mid-size businesses to server telecommuters. Many larger organizations depend on Cisco's current or legacy products for IP voice management. Progent can help organizations of any size to plan or maintain a remote VoIP environment that delivers the versatility, transparency and protection needed for telecommuters. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE IP Voice experts can provide advanced support to help businesses optimize their current Cisco IP voice environments to support an expanding at-home workforce.
- Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM) delivers high-end IP telephony features to devices like VoIP phones, media processing platforms, Voice over IP gateways, and mixed media applications used throughout the network. Unified Communications Manager manages additional combined media services like messaging, voice/video conferencing, and team collaboration networks. For more information about Progent's Unified Communications Manager expertise, see Cisco Unified CM expertise.
- Cisco CallManager is Cisco's legacy call-processing software and has been superseded by Cisco Unified CM or CUCM. Progent can help you to maintain your current CallManager deployment or migrate smoothly to Cisco's current IP telephony solutions. To find out about Progent's expertise for Cisco CallManager and Cisco's other legacy VoIP platforms, visit Cisco CallManager consulting services.
- Cisco IP Gateways enable connectivity with PSTN networks and with users working beyond the corporate perimeter
such as telecommuters. Progent can provide consulting expertise for Cisco's earlier generation IP gateways like the UC520, UC540 and UC560 product lines and for modern Cisco SIP gateways. See Cisco SIP gateway configuration expertise.
- Additional VoIP Platforms supported by Progent include Vonage, Intermedia Unite and 8x8. Progent can help you to update your wide area network architecture to support these solutions and provide online deployment and debugging expertise.
Video Conferencing for Telecommuters
A broad selection of video conferencing platforms from major technology companies support online meetings, video conferencing, chat, and content sharing for both local workers and teleworkers. Many companies use multiple conferencing products to meet the needs of their various partners and customers. Progent's communications experts can help your organization to maintain your existing conferencing environment and enhance the productivity of your remote workforce.
- Skype for Business is Microsoft's leading communications platform that enables presence, IM, voice and video conferencing as well as the transparent integration of these capabilities within Office desktop and Microsoft 365 applications such as PowerPoint, Word, and Excel. Progent offers the expertise of Microsoft-certified consultants who can help 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, refer to Skype for Business integration experts.
- FaceTime is Apple's group video phone platform for compatible iOS, iPadOS, iPod and Mac computers and smartphones. FaceTime works over Wi-Fi or cellular Internet connections. Current versions of FaceTime allow as many as 32 simultaneous users for voice/video calls. For details about Progent's consulting services for Apple FaceTime, refer to Progent's FaceTime configuration expertise.
- Webex Meeting Center supports remote conferencing for virtually all computing devices. Offered through Cisco's Webex Cloud, Webex capabilities include sharing granular content or screens, presentations that incorporate rich media such as Microsoft PowerPoint, session capture, plus revision and playback for future reference and training. To learn more about Progent's consulting services for Webex as well as for additional IP video solutions from Cisco, see Progent's Webex Meeting Center support services.
- Teams is Microsoft's follow-up for Skype for Business. Teams provides a portal for conferencing, contacts, and information with capabilities that include video calling, persistent threaded chat, plus data sharing. To learn more about Progent's support services for Microsoft Teams as well as for additional Microsoft 365 products, refer to Progent's Microsoft Teams consulting services.
- Other Voice/Video Conferencing Apps supported by Progent's conferencing experts include Google Meet, Amazon Chime, Zoom, and Slack. Progent can provide integration and debugging services for these products and
assist your business to optimize your network infrastructure to host them.
Microsoft Collaboration Platforms for At-Home Workers
Microsoft's collaboration products are tightly integrated with Microsoft's familiar Microsoft Office and Microsoft 365 suites, providing a powerful ecosystem of productivity apps that deliver a cohesive user interface for sharing information throughout multiple sites and on a wide range of endpoints. Progent has delivered remote consulting services for SharePoint and Exchange since their initial releases and can help your company to deploy these critical collaboration products to maximize the effectiveness of your remote workforce.
SharePoint utilizes web sites to enable collaboration and knowledge sharing by providing policy-based access to content, workflow, and tools for looking through enterprise-wide information silos. SharePoint permits you to create protected portals that permits remote workforce to view and edit consolidated corporate intelligence via Intranets (Wikis), Blogs, social web sites, and Web Parts. For information about Progent's SharePoint consulting services, 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 learn about Progent's Exchange support services, see deployment consulting for Microsoft Exchange.
OneDrive is Microsoft's shared cloud storage service, similar to GoogleDrive. At-home users can save files to OneDrive, and colleagues can retrieve them securely via a browser. Included with Microsoft Office and Microsoft 365, OneDrive enables home workers to co-author files. Revisions created offline are uploaded when you go back online. For details about Progent's consulting expertise for Microsoft OneDrive, visit Onedrive configuration experts.
Cloud Integration for Remote Workers
Progent can provide affordable online support for enabling organizations to build, maintain and repair cohesive hybrid network architectures that combine internal data centers, telecommuters, branch offices, and cloud resources. Progent can provide expertise for all types of cloud service delivery including Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service, and Software as a Service. Progent can help teleworkers resolve problems with cloud connectivity, identity, and cybersecurity.
Microsoft Azure is a leading family of public cloud software and services that allows you to use infrastructure, servers, and key applications hosted on Microsoft's massive cloud. Azure includes over 100 cloud-based services such as the ability to host Windows and Linux-based virtual machines, scalable cloud storage, email and messaging, application development with Visual Studio, and data backup. Progent can assist your organization to set up virtual machines on Azure Virtual Machines, integrate storage on Azure Storage services, unify identity management with Azure AD, and design data backup and restore systems with Azure Backup. Progent can also help you create protected connections to Azure services for remote workers by configuring and debugging firewalls and VPN IPsec tunnels. For details about Progent's consulting services for Azure, refer to Azure consulting.
Microsoft 365, previously called Office 365, is Microsoft's popular family of client productivity software and cloud-based services offered on a subscription basis. Microsoft apps and services are marketed in a selection of bundles intended for customers ranging from students and households to major enterprises. Progent offers fast and affordable remote contact with experts knowledgeable about Microsoft 365-compatible endpoint devices based on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Google Android technology. Progent's experts can help your business to evaluate the numerous subscription bundles offered with Microsoft 365 and configure 365 applications for your telecommuters to achieve maximum business value. For details about Progent's consulting services for Microsoft 365, go to Microsoft 365 integration services.
Exchange Online is one of the most popular applications in the Microsoft 365 product suite. Microsoft 365 Exchange Online provides the benefits of lower spending for physical infrastructure, simplified management, dynamic scaling, high reliability, and additional benefits inherent with public clouds. Microsoft has engineered Exchange Online to operate seamlessly with local Exchange environments, enabling customers to create hybrid networks. Progent's certified Exchange experts are available for as-needed help to get you through tough technical bottlenecks and also offer comprehensive project management services to make sure your at-home workers have convenient and safe access to your Microsoft 365 Exchange Online deployment. To find out Progent's consulting services for Exchange Online, see Microsoft 365 Exchange Online configuration and troubleshooting expertise.
Amazon AWS is a pioneer in the public cloud computing market and is the industry's top source of cloud services. Progent offers rapid and affordable online access to cloud connectivity consultants who can help your business to plan, implement, manage, and debug hybrid IT networks that integrate Amazon AWS cloud-based services with on-premises resources and with other popular cloud platforms like Microsoft Azure. Progent also can provide access to Cisco-certified CCIE networking experts to assist you to create 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, at home, or on the road. For information about Progent's expertise for Amazon AWS, see Amazon AWS consulting services.
Google Cloud is a popular suite of cloud services that offers Infrastructure-as-a-Service and Platform-as-a-Service products. Progent's certified Microsoft, Linux, and Cisco experts can assist your organization to scale your existing IT resources with the Google Cloud, and Progent's database experts can show you how to make your mission-critical apps cloud friendly so your at-home workers can benefit fully from Google Cloud Platform services. Progent can help your organization to set up VMs on Google Cloud Compute Engine, design an efficient storage solution with Google Cloud Storage, and streamline access control for at-home workers with GCP Cloud Identity services. Progent's experts can also assist your organization to use GCP's management technology to control and track your Google Cloud ecosystem. For details, visit Google Cloud Platform (GCP) consulting services.
Help Desk Support for Telecommuters
A rapid, organization-wide switchover to a teleworker workforce, which might be driven by a pandemic or as part of a business continuity plan, can overwhelm even a high-performing internal Call Desk. Progent's Help Desk Call Center services allow businesses to outsource or supplement their Help Desk with Progent's remote Technical Response Center (TRC) services.
- Progent's Standard Help Desk support services utilize Progent's extensive network of online IT support specialists combined with enterprise-class ticketing and follow-up software to provide an affordable, modern Call Center. Progent's Standard Help Desk Services offer a comprehensive solution that handles all facets of online Level 1 desktop technical support from initial help requests through ticket generation, screen sharing, issue resolution, and incident reporting. A web-based User's Service Portal allows from-home workers to monitor or edit their active tickets, add details, and upload screenshots or relevant files. Technical support services are delivered at a significant price reduction off Progent's ordinary Level 1 technical support charges, and Progent offers the option of rapid hand-off to Level 2 and Level 3 IT specialists to deal with advanced problems. To find out more, visit Progent's Standard Helpdesk Services for small businesses.
- Progent's Help Desk Supplemental Service allows your business to supplement your existing Help Desk Call Center staff by sharing delivery of Call Desk support seamlessly between your in-house support organization and Progent's nationwide roster of desktop support technicians and subject matter experts. Progent's co-managed Call Desk service uses a collaborative support model based on the leading professional services automation platform for handling help requests and ticketing, assigning responsibility, monitoring progress, and generating reports. To find out how Progent's Help Desk Call Center Supplementation Services can help your company to deliver world-class IT support to your teleworkers, visit Progent's Call Desk supplementation Services.
Security for Teleworkers
Work-from-Home staff members commonly utilize their own computers and often work in a poorly secured physical space. This multiplies their susceptibility to malware attacks and requires judicious deployment of corporate firewalls, AV tools, MFA-based identity verification, remote endpoint monitoring, thorough end-user training, and the development of policies built on best practices. Progent's veteran group of data security support consultants can assist you to plan, configure and maintain an effective security solution that guards vital information resources in networks that incorporate remote workers.
Firewalls allow companies to build a network that can be safely accessed by local users as well as by at-home workers, mobile users, vendors, clients, and the public. Modern firewall appliances allow you to configure and control different access rights to various classes of users and to expand your IT network and modify your security profile as your company evolves and as cyber threats grow increasingly sophisticated. Progent works with both new and legacy security appliances from all major manufacturers like Cisco, Palo Alto Networks, WatchGuard, Juniper, and Fortinet. For details about Progent's firewall configuration expertise, see firewall support expertise.
Remote Endpoint Security Monitoring makes it easy to watch over the disparate devices used by at-home workers and either reject or spot and respond to the latest cyber attacks like ransomware. With ProSight Active Security Monitoring services, a lightweight agent is put on each secured endpoint, watching all activity and using advanced AI technology from SentinelOne to identify zero-day attacks on arrival. When a cyberattack is spotted, ProSight ASM instantly isolates the targeted device from the corporate network to quarantine the threat. Since the ProSight ASM software agent is autonomous, endpoints stay protected even if they are offline. Progent is a SentinelOne Partner, dealer, and integrator. For more information about ProSight Active Security Monitoring, go to remote endpoint monitoring for remote workers.
Progent's Duo authentication service plans utilize Cisco's Duo cloud technology to protect against stolen passwords by using two-factor authentication. Duo supports one-tap identity verification with iOS, Android, and other out-of-band devices. With 2FA, whenever you sign into a secured application and give your password you are asked to verify your identity on a device that only you have and that uses a separate network channel. A broad range of out-of-band devices can be used for this added form of ID validation such as an iPhone or Android or wearable, a hardware/software token, a landline telephone, etc. You can register multiple validation devices. For details about ProSight Duo two-factor identity validation services, go to Cisco Duo MFA two-factor authentication (2FA) services for at-home workers.
Security Audits can evaluate the vulnerability of your network to all types of outside and local security attacks for an environment that incorporates remote workers. Progent can run online, automated cybersecurity analysis software for rapidly and economically uncovering a broad range of security holes that can be surfaced over the Internet. Progent's security audit consulting services, which can be provided by data security professionals with top certifications including CISM, ISSAP, and GIAC, can assist your business to evaluate your workflows and governance policies and assess your network infrastructure to enable you to implement the highest level of security for your at-home workers.
Download White Paper: Securing a Work-From-Home Environment
To read or download a white paper describing key things to focus on for protecting an IT environment that includes telecommuters, click:
Securing a Work-From-Home (WFH) Network White Paper. (PDF - 2.4 MB)
Data Protection for Teleworkers
The field of Data Protection covers saving and restoring vital information so as to prevent data loss and minimize recovery time and effort in case of storage problems due to equipment issues, programming hiccups, human mistakes, cyber attack, or other causes. Dependable data protection solutions can be particularly difficult to design and manage in hybrid environments that combine in-house data centers, cloud resources, and an at-home workforce.
- Backup/Restore strategies for an at-home workforce must cover diverse kinds of user-owned endpoints. Progent offers fast online help from experts knowledgeable about a broad range of products for backing up Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac and Linux/UNIX powered servers and desktop computers as well as laptops, iPads and smartphones. Popular backup/restore solutions maintained by Progent's backup/recovery experts include Barracuda Backup, Azure Backup, DoubleTake Software, Acronis Backup and Recovery, Retrospect, and Time Machine. To protect resources spread across a hybrid network, Progent can provide ProSight Data Protection Services (DPS), a managed backup/recovery service that uses cloud-based storage and includes granular restore and centralized management.
- Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity (DR/BC) plans typically envision scenarios that call for a rapid switch to telecommuting. Progent's expert disaster recovery preparedness experts and business continuity planning consultants can assist your business to develop, document and validate a DR/BC strategy that includes the process of switching to an at-home workforce.
Unified Management for an At-Home Workforce
Microsoft has renamed and reshuffled its endpoint management platforms under the name Endpoint Manager, which includes Intune for cloud-based management of remote endpoints and Configuration Manager for managing on-premises computers. Microsoft Endpoint Manager provides a unified environment for protecting corporate information by managing onsite, mobile, and at-home endpoints.
Intune is a component of Microsoft's Endpoint Management suite that also features Microsoft Configuration Manager. Intune is a cloud service for managing and securing remote computers and applications. Managed endpoint computers can be user owned or company owned. Network administrators managing the enrolled endpoint computers of teleworkers can utilize Intune to provision and authenticate apps on devices, push updates and certificates, configure policies for accessing data and networks, manage passwords, create VPN connections, determine how telecommuters share data, establish threat protection, verify compliance, and erase sensitive information from lost, stolen or decommissioned endpoint devices. Intune runs with iOS/iPadOS, Android, Windows, and macOS endpoints. For information about Microsoft Intune and how Progent can help you to use Microsoft's Endpoint Management to manage the endpoint devices of your at-home workers, go to Intune telecommuter endpoint management experts.
VMware Workspace ONE
VMware Workspace ONE is an advanced unified Mobile Device Management platform that allows network managers to keep remote endpoint devices up to date and protected. Workspace ONE incorporates VMware AirWatch for centralized endpoint management along with VMware's Horizon virtual application delivery platform for authorization control, app management, and setup management of endpoints. Workspace ONE runs with endpoints powered by 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-site product via a perpetual license. Top capabilities of VMware Workspace ONE include rapid remote deployment of new laptops, quick onboarding of new employees, policy setting and enforcement for all categories of devices, aggregated reporting and analytics, an email encryption gateway, and seamless integration with Microsoft apps and cloud products. For information about Progent's expertise for VMware Workspace ONE, visit VMware Workspace ONE remote endpoint management expertise.
Contact Progent for At-Home Worker Support Services
To contact Progent about building and managing an efficient work-from-home environment, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.