Expanding your telecommuter workforce may have a major impact on network infrastructure, security, and corporate culture. Progent has 20 years of experience helping small and mid-size businesses to plan, configure, administer, optimize, and troubleshoot IT environments that support work-from-home employees. Progent can assist your organization to select the appropriate tools and follow best practices in creating and operating a secure virtual office ecosystem for telecommuters that facilitates teamwork and returns maximum value. Progent offers support services that go from as-needed guidance for getting you over challenging IT bottlenecks to full project management or co-management to help you successfully complete mission-critical tasks.
Progent's consultants can help you to succeed with any facet of creating a high-performing work-at-home ecosystem by providing infrastructure design and configuration services, VoIP PBX expertise, video conferencing integration, collaboration platform customization and training, public cloud connectivity, helpdesk outsourcing, security and compliance, data protection solutions, and centralized management.
Network Infrastructure for an At-Home Workforce
Configuring the network infrastructure required for an at-home workforce can be particularly challenging if you have to accommodate a mix of worker-owned equipment such as PCs and laptops, Internet routers, and Wi-Fi appliances from various vendors and with a mix of OS software and firmware levels. Progent's background providing online support for both legacy and modern technologies in remote office solutions enables you to make efficient use of your existing infrastructure and provides you with fast access to top-tire consultants for making necessary upgrades. Services available from Progent to help your company to implement a high-functioning work-at-home infrastructure include:
- Virtual Private Network connectivity allows you to establish a safe connection for authenticated remote employees to access IT assets located at your corporate datacenter or in a public cloud. Progent's consultants can assist you to configure and maintain VPN access between your teleworkers and your key IT resources by providing remote VPN configuration consulting. For organizations using Cisco's ASA firewalls, Progent's Cisco ASA consultants can assist your telecommuters to set up Cisco's popular AnyConnect software for safe VPN connections for a broad range of devices including Windows, macOS, iOS, Linux, and Google Android.
- Virtual Desktop Infrastructure products allow an at-home worker to view and use a data center computer's desktop. This technology gives network managers significant control over the computing ecosystem of telecommuters and ensures remote users a consistent and more productive work experience. Progent's virtual desktop 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 Wi-Fi connectivity, and firewalls. Progent offers expert online consulting for setting up routers from a range of manufacturers. See router configuration services from Cisco-certified consultants.
- Home Wi-Fi networks, typically shared by the whole family and guests, are frequently used by at-home employees to connect to their Internet router for work. This can cause throughput as well as cybersecurity problems. Progent can help businesses to resolve these problems by providing services that include Cisco Aironet integration consulting, Cisco Meraki WiFi installation expertise, and Ubiquiti Unifi WiFi AP setup assistance.
- Internet access solutions impact the performance and availability of connections between at-home workers and the company network. Mission-critical applications may require redundant Internet connections in case the normal connection fails. Progent offers guidance for picking Internet service providers, selecting appropriate bandwidth and data volume packages, and setting up fault-tolerant Internet access. Refer to Internet access integration services.
VoIP Integration for Remote Workers
Extending the company PBX system to accommodate teleworkers is critical to maintaining an effective at-home workforce. A broad range of cloud-based digital PBX products are popular with SMBs to server teleworkers. Many enterprises rely on Cisco's modern or legacy platforms for VoIP management. Progent can assist businesses of all sizes to plan or maintain a remote VoIP service that delivers the versatility, convenience and protection required for teleworkers. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE Voice consultants offer high-level support to help businesses tune their existing Cisco IP voice systems to support an expanding at-home workforce.
- Cisco Unified Communications Manager (Cisco Unified CM) extends advanced IP telephony capabilities to devices such as IP phones, media processing products, VoIP gateways, and multimedia software deployed throughout the network. CUCM manages additional combined media services such as unified messaging, video conferencing, and team interaction networks. For details about Progent's CUCM expertise, refer to Cisco Unified Communications Manager expertise.
- Cisco CallManager is Cisco's earlier call-processing agent and has been replaced by Cisco Unified CM. Progent's consultants can assist you to support your current CallManager environment or migrate smoothly to Cisco's current IP telephony products. To learn about Progent's support services for CallManager and Cisco's other older VoIP products, refer to CallManager expertise.
- Cisco IP Gateways provide connectivity with public telephony networks and with clients operating outside the corporate firewall
like at-home workers. Progent offers expert support for Cisco's legacy IP gateways such as the UC520, UC540 and UC560 products as well as for current Cisco SIP gateways. See Cisco SIP gateway configuration consulting.
- Additional VoIP Products supported by Progent include Vonage, RingCentral and 8x8. Progent can help you to expand your WAN infrastructure to work with these solutions and provide as-needed configuration and debugging services.
Voice/Video Conferencing for Remote Workers
A wide selection of video conferencing platforms from leading technology companies enable online meetings, video and voice conferencing, chat sessions, and content sharing for both onsite users and teleworkers. Many companies use a mix of products to accommodate their various partners and customers. Progent can help your organization to maintain your existing conferencing environment and enhance the experience of your remote workforce.
- Skype for Business is Microsoft's popular communications platform that supports real-time presence, IM, voice and video calling and conferencing plus the transparent integration of these capabilities within Office desktop and Microsoft 365 applications including PowerPoint, Word, and Excel. Progent can provide the expertise of Microsoft-certified specialists who can assist you to deploy and maintain Skype for Business clients to support your remote workforce. For details about Progent's support services for Skype for Business, see Skype for Business integration services.
- FaceTime is Apple's multiuser video calling platform for compatible iOS and macOS computers and smartphones. FaceTime works on Wi-Fi or cellular Internet connections. Later versions of FaceTime support up to 32 simultaneous users for video sessions. To learn more about Progent's consulting services for FaceTime, see Progent's FaceTime configuration expertise.
- Webex Meeting Center provides online conferencing for virtually all desktop or mobile devices. Offered through Cisco's Webex Cloud platform, Webex capabilities include sharing granular content or computer screens, presentations that incorporate rich media such as Microsoft PowerPoint, network-based capture, plus editing and playback for future reference and training. To learn more about Progent's support services for Cisco Webex and for additional video conferencing solutions from Cisco, refer to Progent's Webex Meeting Center support services.
- Teams is Microsoft's next-generation replacement for Skype for Business. Teams acts as a portal for conversations, contacts, and information with capabilities that include IP voice and video calling, threaded chat, plus data sharing. To learn more about Progent's support expertise for Microsoft Teams as well as for other Microsoft 365 products, refer to Progent's Microsoft Teams consulting services.
- Additional Conferencing Apps supported by Progent include Google Meet, Amazon Chime, Zoom, and Slack. Progent can deliver integration and troubleshooting services for these conferencing platforms and
assist you to optimize your network architecture to run them.
Microsoft Collaboration Platforms for At-Home Workers
Microsoft's collaboration products are tightly integrated with Microsoft's familiar Microsoft Office and Microsoft 365 families, offering a powerful ecosystem of productivity apps that deliver a consistent user experience for exchanging data and ideas across multiple sites and on a wide range of endpoint computers. Progent has delivered online consulting services for Microsoft SharePoint and Exchange since their original releases and can assist businesses to deploy these flagship collaboration platforms to maximize the effectiveness of your at-home workforce.
SharePoint uses web sites to promote collaboration and information delivery by offering policy-based access to content, workflow, and tools for searching through company-wide business data. SharePoint permits you to build secure web portals that permits at-home workers to view and update aggregated corporate intelligence by means of Intranets (Wikis), Blogs, social networking sites, and Web Parts (Widgets). To find out about Progent's SharePoint support services, see SharePoint integration 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. For details about Progent's Exchange support services, go to deployment expertise for Microsoft Exchange Server.
OneDrive is Microsoft's shared cloud storage service, comparable to GoogleDrive. At-home users can store files to the OneDrive service, and colleagues anywhere can retrieve them safely via a web browser. Provided with Office and Microsoft 365, OneDrive enables remote employees to co-author files. Revisions made offline are automatically synced when you reconnect to the Internet. To learn about Progent's support services for Microsoft OneDrive, visit Onedrive configuration consulting.
Cloud Integration for Telecommuters
Progent can provide advanced remote assistance for helping organizations to create, maintain and troubleshoot cohesive hybrid network models that combine physical data centers, teleworkers, branches, plus cloud services. Progent can provide expertise for all modes of public cloud service delivery such as Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service. Progent can help telecommuters resolve issues with public cloud connectivity, authentication, and cybersecurity.
Azure is a leading family of public cloud software and services that allows you to use IT infrastructure, virtual servers, and key apps hosted on Microsoft's massive cloud. Microsoft Azure offers more than 100 services services such as hosting for Windows and Linux-powered VMs, scalable cloud storage, email and messaging, app development with Visual Studio, and data protection. Progent can help your organization to set up virtual machines on Azure Virtual Machines, integrate cloud-based storage on Azure Storage services, streamline identity control with Azure Active Directory, and plan backup and recovery systems with Azure Backup. Progent can also help you create secure access to Azure for at-home workers by setting up and troubleshooting firewall appliances and VPN IPsec tunnels. For details about Progent's expertise for Microsoft Azure, refer to Microsoft Azure expertise.
Microsoft 365, previously called Office 365, is Microsoft's growing family of business productivity applications and cloud-based services available by subscription. Office applications and services are marketed in a variety of bundles intended for customers ranging from students and small offices to large enterprises. Progent offers quick and affordable online access to experts knowledgeable about Microsoft 365-compatible client devices running Windows, Mac, iOS, and Google Android technology. Progent's experts can assist your business to assess the numerous subscription bundles available for Microsoft 365 and deploy 365 applications for your remote workers to achieve top business value. For information about Progent's consulting services for Microsoft 365, refer to Microsoft 365 integration support.
Exchange Online is one of the most widely used applications in Azure-hosted Microsoft 365 product line. Exchange Online offers the benefits of lower costs for physical infrastructure, easier management, on-demand scaling, high reliability, and additional benefits associated with public clouds. Microsoft has designed Microsoft 365 Exchange Online to operate seamlessly with on-premises Exchange environments, allowing customers to build hybrid networks. Progent's Exchange consultants can provide occasional help to get you past challenging technical bottlenecks and can also provide end-to-end project management outsourcing to ensure your telecommuters have easy and secure access to your Microsoft 365 Exchange Online deployment. For information Progent's consulting services for Microsoft 365 Exchange Online, see Microsoft 365 Exchange Online integration and troubleshooting consulting.
Amazon AWS is a trailblazer in the public cloud computing market and is the industry's biggest source of cloud services. Progent offers fast and economical online contact with cloud integration experts who can help your organization to design, deploy, maintain, and debug hybrid IT networks that incorporate Amazon AWS cloud-based services with local data centers and with other popular cloud platforms like Microsoft Azure. Progent also offers access to Cisco-certified CCIE networking consultants to assist you to create a high-availability network architecture so your employees have a consistent computing experience regardless of whether they are working from your headquarters, a remote branch, at home, or on the road. To learn about Progent's expertise for Amazon AWS, go to Amazon AWS integration expertise.
Google Cloud is a popular collection of cloud services that provides Infrastructure-as-a-Service and Platform-as-a-Service products. Progent's certified Microsoft, Linux, and Cisco consulting experts can help your business to expand your existing IT assets with the Google Cloud Platform, and Progent's DBA experts can help you make your critical apps cloud ready so your remote workers can take full advantage of Google Cloud Platform services. Progent can assist your organization to deploy VMs on Google Cloud Compute Engine, design an efficient storage system with GCP Storage, and streamline identity management for at-home workers with Google Cloud Identity services. Progent's experts can also help you to use GCP's unified management tools to control and monitor your GCP environment. To find out, visit Google Cloud Platform integration services.
Help Desk Support for At-Home Workers
A sudden, enterprise-wide transition to a teleworker business model, which might be the result of an epidemic or as a component of a business continuity process, can overstretch even a well-staffed in-house Call Center. Progent's Help Desk Call Center services allow organizations of any size to outsource or supplement their Help Desk Call Center by using Progent's remote Technical Response Center services.
- Progent's Standard Help Desk services utilize Progent's nationwide network of remote technical support specialists combined with world-class trouble ticketing and tracking software to provide an economical, state-of-the-art Call Center. Progent's Standard Help Desk Services provide a comprehensive solution that addresses all aspects of online Level 1 desktop support from help requests to trouble ticket creation, screen sharing, problem resolution, and incident reporting. A web-based User's Service Portal enables from-home workers to track or update their current trouble tickets, add details, and append screen captures and attachments. Technical support services are provided at a significant price reduction off Progent's ordinary Level 1 desktop service charges, and Progent makes available the option of fast hand-off to Level 2 and Level 3 IT specialists to resolve complex problems. For details, refer to Progent's Standard Helpdesk Services for small and mid-size companies.
- Progent's Help Desk Augmentation Service allows you to supplement your existing Support Desk staff by splitting responsibilities for Call Center support services seamlessly between your in-house IT support organization and Progent's extensive pool of desktop support engineers and subject matter specialists. Progent's shared Help Desk service is based on a collective support solution based on the number one professional services automation (PSA) tool for managing service requests and trouble tickets, assigning responsibility, tracking progress, and generating reports. For information about how Progent's Call Desk Augmentation Services can enable your business to provide best-in-class IT support to your teleworkers, see Progent's Call Center augmentation Services.
Cybersecurity for Remote Workers
At-home employees typically use their own computing devices and usually operate in an unsecured physical area. This multiplies their vulnerability to cyber threats and calls for judicious configuration of corporate firewalls, AV tools, multi-factor authentication, remote endpoint monitoring, thorough end-user education, and the creation of security policies built on leading practices. Progent's veteran team of IT security support experts can assist you to plan, configure and maintain a compliant cybersecurity solution that guards vital IT resources in environments that include telecommuters.
Firewalls enable companies to build a network that can be safely accessed by on-premises users and by telecommuters, mobile employees, vendors, clients, and the public. Next-generation firewall appliances allow you to assign and control appropriate permissions to different classes of users and to scale your network and modify your security profile as your business evolves and as network attacks become more complex. Progent works with both new and legacy security devices from all major vendors including Cisco, Palo Alto Networks, WatchGuard, Juniper, SonicWall and Fortinet. For more information about Progent's firewall support expertise, refer to firewall support services.
Online Endpoint Monitoring makes it easy to watch over the disparate computers utilized by remote workers and either block or spot and respond to modern threats such as ransomware. With Progent's ProSight Active Security Monitoring services, a small-footprint agent is put on each secured endpoint, watching all activity and utilizing advanced behavioral threat analysis from SentinelOne to detect new attacks before they can spread. When a cyberattack is spotted, ProSight Active Security Monitoring immediately isolates the infected device from the network to contain the malware. Since the ProSight ASM software agent is self-contained, endpoint devices remain protected even when they are disconnected from the Internet. Progent is a SentinelOne Partner, dealer, and integrator. To learn more about ProSight Active Security Monitoring, visit remote endpoint monitoring for teleworkers.
Progent's Duo MFA services incorporate Cisco's Duo cloud technology to protect against password theft by using two-factor authentication (2FA). Duo supports single-tap identity verification on Apple iOS, Google Android, and other personal devices. Using Duo 2FA, when you sign into a secured online account 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 wide range of out-of-band devices can be utilized as this second form of authentication including a smartphone or watch, a hardware/software token, a landline phone, etc. You may register multiple verification devices. To find out more about ProSight Duo identity authentication services, go to Duo MFA two-factor authentication services for remote workers.
Security Audits can evaluate the exposure of your information system to all classes of outside and internal security threats for an environment that includes remote workers. Progent can deploy online, automated security analysis software for rapidly and affordably uncovering a broad range of security weaknesses that can be surfaced over the Internet. Progent's endpoint security audit consulting services, which can be provided by security experts with advanced credentials such as CISM, CISSP, and GIAC, can help your business to audit your workflows and governance policies and review your network architecture to enable you to design the highest level of security for your at-home workers.
Download White Paper: Protecting a Work-From-Home (WFH) Network
To read or download a white paper about key things to concentrate on for securing a network that incorporates telecommuters, click:
Protecting a Work-From-Home (WFH) Network White Paper. (PDF - 2.4 MB)
Data Protection for Telecommuters
Data Protection covers backing up and recovering vital information so as to prevent data loss and minimize recovery time and effort in the event of storage system problems resulting from hardware issues, programming glitches, user mistakes, cyber attack, or any other reason. Reliable data protection strategies can be especially challenging to architect and manage in hybrid environments that incorporate private data centers, cloud resources, and an at-home workforce.
- Backup/Restore solutions for telecommuters must address multiple kinds of personally owned endpoint devices. Progent can provide fast remote access to experts knowledgeable about a wide range of platforms for protection Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac and Linux/UNIX powered servers and desktops as well as laptops, iPads and handhelds. Leading backup/restore products supported by Progent's backup/recovery experts include Barracuda Backup, Azure Backup, DoubleTake Software, CrashPlan, Mozy, and Time Machine. To protect data distributed throughout a wide area network, Progent can provide ProSight Data Protection Services (DPS), a managed backup/recovery subscription service that utilizes cloud-based storage and includes granular restore and unified management capabilities.
- Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity (DR/BC) strategies often envision scenarios that call for a quick switch to an at-home workforce. Progent's expert disaster recovery planning experts and business continuity planning specialists can help you to create, document and test a DR/BC strategy that includes the process of switching to telecommuting.
Unified Management for At-Home Workers
Microsoft has rebranded and rebundled its endpoint management products under the title Endpoint Manager, which includes Intune for cloud-based management of remote endpoints and Configuration Manager for managing local endpoints. Microsoft Endpoint Manager provides a centralized platform for safeguarding corporate data by managing local, mobile, and at-home endpoints.
Intune is a component of Microsoft's Endpoint Management family that also includes Microsoft Configuration Manager. Intune is a cloud-based service for managing and securing remote devices and software. Managed endpoint computers can be user owned or business owned. Network admins managing the endpoint devices of telecommuters can utilize Intune to provision and authenticate apps on managed devices, push patches and certificates, set up rules for accessing information and resources, manage passwords, create VPN tunnels, determine how telecommuters share data, establish threat defense, verify compliance, and erase sensitive data from missing, stolen or decommissioned endpoint devices. Intune can be used with iOS/iPadOS, Android, Windows, and macOS/OS X endpoints. To learn about Intune and how Progent can help your company to use this platform to administer the endpoint computers of your teleworkers, go to Intune mobile device management expertise.
VMware Workspace ONE
VMware Workspace ONE is an advanced unified MDM product that allows network administrators to keep off-premises endpoint devices current and secure. Workspace ONE uses VMware AirWatch technology for centralized endpoint management along with VMware's Horizon virtual application delivery platform for identity control, app management, and setup management of endpoint computers. Workspace ONE operates with endpoints powered by Windows 10, macOS, Apple iOS, Android, Chrome OS, or leading distributions of Linux. VMware Workspace ONE is offered by subscription as a cloud-based service or as an on-premises deployment via a one-time purchase. Key features of VMware Workspace ONE include fast over-the-air deployment of new notebooks, immediate onboarding of new users, policy set up and enforcement for all classes of devices, aggregated reporting and performance analytics, an email encryption gateway, and seamless integration with Microsoft apps and cloud-based services. For information about Progent's expertise for VMware Workspace ONE, refer to VMware Workspace ONE mobile endpoint management consultants.
Contact Progent for At-Home Worker Support Services
To get in touch with Progent about creating and managing an efficient telecommuter solution, phone 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.