The COVID 19 pandemic continues to rattle the world as we know it: people’s lives, businesses, the entire world’s economy, and everything in between. Terms that didn’t exist more than ten years ago like social distancing and working remote are household terms these days, and a handshake is suddenly the least desirable way to conduct business. It is imperative that companies leverage services that allow businesses to continue collaborating, serving customers, and communicating and operating effectively while remote.

Many IT folks are asked for a multitude of remote solutions from their employees. However, the majority of their employees aren’t entirely sure what they need; all they know is that they need it now. Many people are actively transitioning to working remotely, with little to no knowledge of what they need to be successful in doing it. While every end-customer is different, I’m seeing a general need for three specific technologies that are vital for remote work success: Unified Communications, Web Conferencing & Collaboration, and Virtual Desktops and Workspaces.

1. UCaaS

Basic voice communication is still the number one way many businesses reach out to their customers today. A full UCaaS solution will enable you to hold voice calls as your employee’s telework, hit the road, or wherever they might be. Businesses can use softphones on desktops, laptops, tablets, or even cellphones utilizing their corporate telephone number. Or of course, they can also use a traditional headset or handset. Many of these platforms also include many built-in collaborative tools, such as web conferencing, whiteboarding, instant messaging, knowledge-based systems, presence, and a whole lot more to allow people to interact with their fellow employees or collaborate with external customers.

2. Web Conferencing & Collaboration

When you want to see your teammates and communicate with them face-to-face, but in a safe way during the coronavirus, web conferencing is the perfect solution. This can be a quick add on for most businesses, whether you are using an on-prem voice system or a full UCaaS solution. But, adding video capabilities can bring a great personal touch to remote meetings. Many also have built-in whiteboarding capabilities, webinar functions, the ability to share files, etc. Moreover, with collaboration, services such as Microsoft O365 and Teams can take an organization to the next level. Teams can help pull people together, not only within your organization, but also across the globe, giving them the ability to collaborate on documents, share files, plan projects, and more. Web conferencing allows many people to get together in an instant, and do more together, even when thousands of miles apart. Most UCaaS providers also tightly integrate with Teams. Plus, O365 and Teams run on almost any device: Windows, Mac, tablets, cell phones, etc.

3. Virtual Desktops and Workspaces

People need desktops while working remotely. Many of our suppliers allow you to have an entire virtual desktop or workspace running remotely in the cloud, giving you access to your full corporate desktop experience anytime, anywhere. Remote desktops and workspaces can typically run on almost any device—Windows, Mac, iPads, Android devices, etc. This allows users that are teleworking to utilize the equipment they may already have at their home office. Also, many software packages today run across the web making teleworking much easier in the event you may not have a full virtual desktop provisioned. But integration with your voice and collaboration systems for many of these packages, such as Salesforce, NetSuite, Microsoft Dynamics, and more allow a much richer experience for that remote worker. Especially advance-knowledge workers who interact with customers day in and day out.

IT executives are currently being inundated from various providers offering multiple solutions. It can be overwhelming but we are here to help you navigate through the noise quickly to select the best solutions at the best price for your company. Also, many providers in our portfolio are offering complimentary services and special pricing as relief for businesses impacted by COVID-19 so we can help you take advantage of the many offers available for your business.