Expanding your remote workforce can have a significant effect on network architecture, security/compliance, and corporate workflows. Progent has 20 years of experience helping small and mid-size businesses to design, deploy, manage, optimize, and troubleshoot IT environments that support work-from-home employees. Progent can help your Grand Rapids organization to pick the appropriate tools and follow leading practices in building and maintaining a safe virtual office ecosystem for telecommuters that facilitates teamwork and returns top business value. Progent can provide support services ranging from on demand expertise for helping you past challenging IT bottlenecks to full project management or co-management to help you successfully complete mission-critical tasks.

Progent can help Grand Rapids, Michigan businesses to with any facet of building a high-functioning telecommuting ecosystem by providing network infrastructure configuration services, VoIP PBX troubleshooting, video conferencing support, collaboration platform customization and training, cloud integration, helpdesk augmentation, security and compliance, data protection solutions, and unified management.

Infrastructure for a Remote Workforce
Setting up the network infrastructure required for a remote work environment can be especially complicated if you have to manage a mix of personal hardware such as PCs and notebooks, Internet routers, and wireless appliances from an assortment of vendors and with a variety of operating systems and firmware levels. Progent's experience delivering online support for both legacy and modern technologies in virtual office solutions allows you to make cost-effective use of your available network infrastructure and offers fast access to top-tire consultants for implement essential upgrades. Support services available from Progent to help you to create a productive telecommuting ecosystem include:

  • Virtual Private Network connectivity allows you to establish a secure tunnel for authorized at-home employees to use IT resources located at your corporate datacenter or in a public cloud. Progent can help your company to configure and manage VPN connections between your at-home workforce and your key network resources by providing online VPN integration consulting. For businesses using Cisco's ASA security appliances, Progent's Cisco ASA experts can assist your at-home workers to utilize Cisco's AnyConnect software for safe VPN tunneling for a broad selection of devices such as Microsoft Windows, Mac, Apple iOS, Linux, and Android.
  • Virtual Desktop Infrastructure products enable a telecommuter to see and use a data center PC's desktop. This technology provides network managers more control over the digital environment of telecommuters and offers them a familiar experience. Progent's virtual desktop services include Windows Remote Desktop integration and Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops VDI consulting.
  • Routers attach at-home computer networks to the Internet and support VPN tunnels, local wireless connectivity, and firewall services. Progent offers expert online support for setting up routers from a range of vendors. See router configuration support from Cisco-certified consultants.
  • Home Wi-Fi networks, often shared by families and visitors, are frequently utilized by at-home employees to connect to their router for work. This can cause throughput as well as cybersecurity problems. Progent can assist you to mitigate these problems by providing services like Cisco Aironet integration expertise, Cisco-certified Meraki WiFi deployment consulting, and Ubiquiti WiFi AP integration help.
  • Internet access methods affect the performance and reliability of connections between at-home workers and the corporate network. Vital processes might require redundant Internet connections in the event the normal connection fails. Progent offers guidance for picking service providers, choosing appropriate service bundles, and configuring redundant Internet connections. Refer to Internet access solutions.

IP Voice Integration for Telecommuters
Expanding the corporate phone system to accommodate telecommuters is vital to maintaining a productive at-home workforce. A variety of cloud-based IP voice products are used by small and mid-size businesses to server remote users. Many enterprises rely on Cisco's current or older platforms for IP voice solutions. Progent can assist businesses of all sizes to plan or tune a telecommuter IP voice environment that provides the versatility, convenience and security required for remote users. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE IP Voice experts can provide advanced support to help businesses tune their current Cisco IP voice environments to handle a growing remote workforce.

  • Cisco Unified Communications Manager (Cisco Unified CM or CUCM) extends advanced telephony features to devices such as IP phones, media processing platforms, VoIP gateways, and multimedia applications deployed across the network. CUCM supports other mixed media services like messaging, video conferencing, and team interaction networks. For more information about Progent's Unified Communications Manager support, see Cisco Unified Communications Manager expertise.
  • CallManager is Cisco's earlier call-processing software and has been superseded by CUCM. Progent can assist your company to maintain your current CallManager environment 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 IP voice products, see Cisco CallManager consulting services.
  • Cisco IP Gateways enable integration with PSTN networks and with users working outside the corporate perimeter like telecommuters. Progent can provide expert support for Cisco's legacy IP gateways including the UC520, UC540 and UC560 product lines and for modern Cisco SIP gateways. See Cisco SIP gateway integration consulting.
  • Additional VoIP Products supported by Progent's consultants include Vonage, RingCentral and 8x8. Progent can assist you to enhance your wide area network infrastructure to work with these solutions and provide as-needed integration and debugging expertise.

Voice/Video Conferencing for At-Home Workers
A broad selection of voice/video conferencing products from leading vendors enable online meetings, video and voice conferencing, chat sessions, and content sharing for both local users and telecommuters. Many organizations use multiple conferencing products to meet the needs of their different partners and customers. Progent can assist you to maintain your existing voice/video conferencing ecosystem and enhance the engagement of your at-home employees.

  • Skype for Business is Microsoft's leading unified communications platform that supports real-time presence, IM, audio and video calling and 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 consultants who can assist you to configure and maintain Skype for Business clients to accommodate your remote employees. For details about Progent's consulting services for Skype for Business, see Skype for Business integration services.
  • FaceTime is Apple's group video phone app for compatible iOS and macOS computers and smartphones. FaceTime runs over Wi-Fi or cellular Internet connections. Current editions of FaceTime allow up to 32 concurrent users for video calls. For details about Progent's consulting expertise for FaceTime, refer to Progent's FaceTime configuration expertise.
  • Webex Meeting Center supports remote conferencing for virtually all computing devices. Offered via Cisco's Webex Cloud platform, Webex capabilities include sharing discrete content or computer screens, presentations that incorporate rich media including Microsoft PowerPoint and Flash videos, session capture, plus editing and playback for training. To learn more about Progent's consulting services for Webex and for additional video conferencing products from Cisco, refer to Progent's Webex Meeting Center support services.
  • Teams is Microsoft's follow-up for Skype for Business. Teams acts as a hub for conversations, contacts, and information with capabilities such as voice/video calling, threaded chat, plus file sharing. For details about Progent's consulting services for Microsoft Teams and for additional Microsoft 365 apps, visit Progent's Microsoft Teams consulting services.
  • Other Conferencing Apps supported by Progent include Google Meet, Amazon Chime, Zoom, and Slack. Progent can deliver configuration and debugging expertise for these products and help you to tune your network infrastructure to host them.

Microsoft Collaboration Software for Teleworkers
Microsoft's collaboration platforms are closely integrated with Microsoft's popular Office and Microsoft 365 suites, offering a powerful ecosystem of applications that deliver a cohesive user interface for exchanging data and ideas throughout multiple sites and on a broad range of endpoint computers. Progent has delivered remote consulting support for SharePoint and Exchange since their original releases and can assist your company to tune these flagship collaboration platforms to maximize the effectiveness of your remote workforce.

SharePoint Server Deployment Experts for Remote WorkersSharePoint uses web sites to allow collaboration and information delivery by offering policy-based delivery of content, business processes, and tools for looking through enterprise-wide information silos. SharePoint enables you to create protected web portals that enables remote workforce to see and update consolidated business intelligence by means of Intranets (Wikis), Blogs, social web sites, and Web Parts (Widgets). To learn about Progent's SharePoint expertise, go to SharePoint integration and development expertise.

Exchange Integration Experts for Remote WorkersExchange 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 deployment consulting for Exchange Server.

Microsoft Onedrive Integration Consultants for Remote WorkersOneDrive is MicrosoftÔŅĹs shared cloud-based file hosting and synchronization service, comparable to GoogleDrive. Remote users can save files to OneDrive, and colleagues can retrieve them safely through a browser. Provided with Microsoft Office and Microsoft 365, OneDrive enables at-home employees to co-author documents. Revisions made offline are synced when you go back online. To find out about Progent's support services for OneDrive, go to Onedrive integration consulting.

Public Cloud Integration for At-Home Workers
Progent can provide advanced remote assistance for enabling organizations to create, maintain and optimize integrated hybrid network architectures that include physical data centers, teleworkers, branches, plus public cloud resources. Progent offers expertise for all types of public cloud service delivery including Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service. Progent can help teleworkers resolve issues with cloud connectivity, identity, and cybersecurity.

Microsoft Azure Integration Services for At-Home WorkersMicrosoft Azure is a popular platform for cloud services that enables you to utilize infrastructure, virtual servers, and key applications hosted on Microsoft's extensive cloud. Microsoft Azure includes over one hundred services services such as the ability to host Windows and Linux-based virtual machines, scalable cloud storage, messaging, app development with Visual Studio, and data backup. Progent can assist your organization to deploy VMs on Azure Virtual Machines, integrate cloud-based storage on Azure Storage services, streamline identity management with Azure Active Directory, and design data backup and recovery solutions with Azure Backup. Progent can also help you create secure connections to Azure for remote workers by configuring and troubleshooting firewall appliances and VPN tunnels. To find out about Progent's consulting services for Microsoft Azure, refer to Azure consulting services.

Microsoft 365 Integration for Remote WorkersMicrosoft 365, previously branded Office 365, is Microsoft's popular family of client productivity software and cloud services available on a subscription basis. Office applications and cloud services are marketed in a variety of bundles intended for customers ranging from individuals and small offices to large enterprises. Progent can provide fast and easy online access to experts knowledgeable about Microsoft 365-compatible endpoint devices running Windows, Mac, iOS, and Google Android operating systems. Progent can help your business to assess the various subscription bundles available for Microsoft 365 and deploy 365 apps for your at-home workers to achieve maximum business value. For details about Progent's consulting services for Microsoft 365, go to Microsoft 365 consulting services.

Exchange Online Integration Services for TeleworkersMicrosoft 365 Exchange Online is one of the most widely used cloud-based applications in Azure-hosted Microsoft 365 product line. Exchange Online offers the advantages of reduced costs for data center infrastructure, easier management, on-demand scaling, high reliability, and additional advantages associated with cloud computing. Microsoft has designed Exchange Online to run seamlessly with local Exchange environments, enabling customers to create hybrid cloud/onsite information systems. Progent's Exchange consultants are available for occasional help to guide you past tough IT bottlenecks and can also provide comprehensive project management outsourcing to make sure your telecommuters have easy and secure access to your Exchange Online environment. To find out Progent's support services for Microsoft 365 Exchange Online, visit Microsoft 365 Exchange Online configuration and troubleshooting consulting.

Amazon AWS Integration for At-Home WorkersAmazon AWS is a trailblazer in the public cloud computing arena and is the world's top source of cloud services. Progent can provide rapid and affordable online access to cloud connectivity experts who can help your business to design, 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 offers the skills of Cisco-certified CCIE networking consultants to help your company to create a high-availability network architecture to make sure your users have a productive computing environment whether they are working from your main office, a branch office, from home, or on the move. To find out about Progent's support services for Amazon AWS, go to Amazon AWS consulting expertise.

Google Cloud Platform Integration for At-Home WorkersGoogle Cloud Platform (GCP) is a leading suite of cloud services that provides Infrastructure-as-a-Service and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) products. Progent's Microsoft, Linux, and Cisco experts can help your business to scale your current IT resources with the Google Cloud Platform, and Progent's database consultants can help you make your mission-critical apps cloud ready so your remote workers can take full advantage of Google Cloud services. Progent can help your business to deploy virtual machines on Google Cloud Compute Engine, design an efficient storage solution with Google Cloud Storage, and simplify access control for remote workers with Google Cloud Identity. Progent's experts can also help your organization to utilize GCP's management technology to administer and track your GCP ecosystem. To find out, refer to Google Cloud Platform (GCP) consulting expertise.

Help Desk Call Center Support for Remote Workers
A sudden, enterprise-wide transition to a telecommuter workforce, which might be the result of a pandemic or as part of a business continuity plan, can overwhelm even a high-performing in-house Support Desk. Progent's Help Desk Call Center services allow organizations of any size to outsource or expand their Call Center with Progent's remote Technical Response Center (TRC) team.

  • Progent's Standard Call Desk support services utilize Progent's extensive network of online IT support specialists along with world-class ticketing and follow-up software to provide an economical, advanced Help Desk Call Center. Progent's Standard Help Desk Services offer a comprehensive solution that addresses all aspects of online Level 1 desktop support from initial help requests through ticket creation, screen sharing, issue resolution, and reporting. A browser-based User's Service Portal allows from-home workers to check or update their current tickets, enter information, and upload screenshots and attachments. Desktop support services are delivered at a substantial discount off Progent's normal Level 1 desktop support rates, and Progent makes available the option of rapid hand-off to Level 2 and Level 3 IT specialists to deal with complex problems. For more information, refer to Progent's Standard Helpdesk Services for small businesses.
  • Progent's Help Desk Call Center Supplemental Service enables your business to supplement your existing Support Desk staff by splitting responsibilities for Help Desk support seamlessly between your regular support organization and Progent's extensive roster of desktop support technicians and subject matter experts. Progent's shared Support Desk service is based on a collective support solution utilizing the leading PSA tool for managing service requests and ticketing, establishing ownership, monitoring progress, and generating management reports. To learn how Progent's Call Desk Supplementation Services can help your business to provide world-class IT support to your at-home workforce, see Progent's Help Desk supplementation Services.

Security and Compliance for At-Home Workers
Work-from-Home employees typically use their personal computing devices and often operate in a poorly secured physical environment. This multiplies their vulnerability to malware threats and requires judicious configuration of corporate firewalls, AV tools, MFA-based identity verification, remote monitoring, thorough user training, and the development of security policies built on leading practices. Progent's veteran group of cybersecurity solutions experts can assist you to design, implement and maintain a compliant cybersecurity solution that guards vital information assets in environments that include telecommuters.

Firewall Integration Services for At-Home WorkersFirewalls enable companies to create a network that can be securely accessed by local users as well as by at-home workers, mobile users, vendors, clients, and the public. Next-generation firewall devices permit you to assign and manage appropriate access rights to various groups of users and to scale your network and modify your security profile as your business evolves and as cyber threats become increasingly sophisticated. Progent works with both current and older firewall devices from all leading vendors including Cisco, Palo Alto Networks, Check Point, Juniper, and Fortinet. To learn more about Progent's firewall configuration services, visit firewall support services.

Remote Endpoint Monitoring and Management for At-Home WorkersOnline Endpoint Monitoring makes it easy to track the disparate devices used by telecommuters and either block or spot and mitigate the latest threats like ransomware. With Progent's ProSight Active Security Monitoring (ASM) services, a small-footprint software agent is installed on every secured endpoint, watching all activity and using state-of-the-art AI technology from SentinelOne to detect zero-day attacks before they can spread. When an attack is spotted, ProSight Active Security Monitoring instantly disconnects the infected device from the network to quarantine the threat. Since the ProSight ASM software agent is self-contained, endpoints remain secure even when they are not connected to the Internet. For details about ProSight ASM, visit remote endpoint monitoring for remote workers.

Two-factor Authentication Services for Remote WorkersProgent's Duo MFA services utilize Cisco's Duo technology to defend against password theft through the use of two-factor authentication (2FA). Duo enables one-tap identity confirmation with Apple iOS, Android, and other personal devices. Using 2FA, when you sign into a protected online account and give your password you are asked to confirm who you are via a device that only you have and that uses a different ("out-of-band") network channel. A wide selection of out-of-band devices can be utilized for this added form of ID validation including a smartphone or wearable, a hardware token, a landline phone, etc. You can register multiple verification devices. To learn more about ProSight Duo identity validation services, refer to Cisco Duo MFA two-factor authentication (2FA) services for an at-home workforce.

Security Audit Services for At-Home WorkersSecurity Audits can evaluate the exposure of your network to all classes of outside and internal security attacks for an environment that includes an at-home workforce. Progent can deploy remote, automated security analysis scanning for rapidly and affordably uncovering a broad range of security holes that can be surfaced over the Internet. Progent's endpoint security audit experts, which can be provided by security experts with top credentials including CISM, ISSAP, and GIAC, can help your company to audit your operations and governance policies and review your IT architecture to enable you to design the highest level of security for your at-home workers.

Download White Paper: Securing a Work-From-Home Network
To view or download a white paper about key things to focus on for securing an IT environment that includes telecommuters, click:
Securing a Work-From-Home Environment White Paper. (PDF - 2.4 MB)

Data Protection Solutions for Remote Workers
The field of Data Protection involves saving and recovering critical information so as to avoid data loss and reduce restoration time in the event of storage failures resulting from equipment issues, programming hiccups, operator error, malware, or other causes. Reliable data protection strategies can be especially difficult to design and maintain in hybrid environments that combine in-house data centers, cloud resources, and at-home workers.

  • Backup/Restore solutions for teleworkers must cover diverse kinds of user-owned endpoint devices. Progent offers quick remote help from experts knowledgeable about a wide array of products for protection Windows, Apple Mac and Linux/UNIX powered servers and desktop computers as well as notebooks, tablets and smartphones. Popular backup/restore products maintained by Progent's data protection consultants include Barracuda Backup, Microsoft Azure Backup, Symantec Backup Exec, CrashPlan, Retrospect, and Time Machine. To protect data spread throughout a hybrid network, Progent can provide ProSight Data Protection Services (DPS), a backup/recovery service that uses cloud-based storage and features fine-grained restore and unified management capabilities.
  • Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity plans typically envision circumstances that require a rapid switch to telecommuting. Progent's expert disaster recovery preparedness experts and business continuity planning specialists can help you to produce, document and test a DR/BC strategy that includes the logistics of moving to an at-home workforce.

Unified Management for an At-Home Workforce
Microsoft has renamed and rebundled its endpoint management products under the title Microsoft Endpoint Manager, which encompasses Intune for cloud-based management of remote devices and Configuration Manager for managing local endpoints. Microsoft Endpoint Manager provides a unified solution for protecting corporate data by controlling onsite, mobile, and home-based endpoints.

Intune
Intune is part of Microsoft's Endpoint Management suite that also includes Microsoft Configuration Manager. Intune is a cloud-based service for managing and securing remote computers and software. Remote endpoint computers can be personally owned or company owned. IT administrators managing the endpoint computers of teleworkers can use Intune to deploy and authenticate applications on managed devices, push updates and certificates, set up policies for permission to access information and networks, set passwords, create VPN connections, control how teleworkers share data, establish threat defense, verify compliance, and delete sensitive information from lost, stolen or deactivated devices. Microsoft Intune can be used with iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS/OS X endpoints. To learn about Microsoft Intune and how Progent can help you to use this platform to manage the endpoint computers of your at-home workforce, see Intune mobile device management expertise.

VMware Workspace ONE
VMware Workspace ONE is a feature-rich centralized MDM product that helps network managers to keep offsite endpoints current and secure. Workspace ONE uses VMware AirWatch technology for unified endpoint management plus VMware's Horizon virtual software delivery platform for authorization control, application management, and setup management of endpoint computers. Workspace ONE operates with devices powered by Windows 10, macOS, Apple iOS, Android, Chrome OS, or leading distros of Linux. VMware Workspace ONE is offered by subscription as a cloud service or as an on-premises deployment through a perpetual license. Top features of Workspace ONE include rapid remote deployment of new laptops, quick onboarding of new users, policy set up and enforcement for all classes of endpoints, unifies reporting and performance analytics, an email encryption gateway, and integration with Microsoft applications and cloud products. To learn about Progent's support services for VMware Workspace ONE, visit VMware Workspace ONE mobile device management consultants.

Contact Progent for Remote Workforce Support Services
To contact Progent about building and managing an efficient telecommuter solution for your Grand Rapids, Michigan business, phone 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.