Technology to get your business Working from Home

Apr 28 , 2022

Annet Wekesa

Technology to get your business Working from Home

Technology to get your business Working from Home

Why we need technology to get your business working from home: In the unprecedented event of Covid-19, the world order has had to change. Work, is no longer a place we go but rather something we do. This is not just working from home, but working anywhere. Interestingly, many people have testified to have even more work to do during this period than on their usual work days.

For many organizations, working from home can boost productivity, reduce office costs, reduce employee turnover and lower commuting stress. It’s however a balancing act for managers ensuring that employees remain engaged, productive and adhere to the organization’s culture.

To properly work at home, you need a working space with a proper chair and table, manage distractions and have technologies that enable collaboration, secure information sharing and access. A stable, fast internet connection is also a pre-requisite. In this article, we detail some of the technologies that are making it easier for employers and employees to work from anywhere.

VIDEO CONFERENCING & ONLINE MEETING TOOLS

Online meetings have become very popular, in particular Zoom, Google talk, Microsoft Teams and Cisco Webex. A Kenyan startup has also launched an online meeting space, Gumzo. The most sought after systems are easy to use, need minimal registration and have a free offer.

There are audio conferences, Video Conferences, Webinars, team task collaboration spaces and Corporate chat systems. In another article, I will clarify the difference.

Webcams, Video conferencing kits & cameras, Conferencing audio systems and visual systems like TV screens are the hardware needed to make your meetings flawless.

Security and safety have been major challenges, with reports of people being hacked while in meetings. Paid systems are mostly safer, for us we use Zoho meetings which is uber clear, can hold both conferences and webinars and if considerably safe and secure. Most cloud systems are now focusing on safety and security and this is the new frontier of growth.

Remote Access to Corporate Systems

This is mostly a cloud computing and Security specialization. Depending on where your servers are, or where the organisation computing and storage for work resources are, for people to work from anywhere, they need to securely access their work resources. These resources include shared file services, customer information, service delivery applications like ERPs, CRM, Help desks and other corporate resources.

One you can do a Virtual Private Networks, choose to have remote desktop access, set up a cloud computing network or simply sharing files between home offices to create a virtual office setup. This is as detailed below;

Virtual Private networks (VPN)

VPN is not vulnerable to direct attack, and encryption protocols can make the transfer of information through VPN to employees working remotely very secure. It is setup on your firewall, ensure you have all the licences. The biggest threat to a VPN-based remote access solution rests with the remote worker. If the employees PCs are not protected, they could transfer viruses and malware to the VPN. Also, with an always-on broadband connection, connection to a VPN can make it vulnerable if employees don’t disconnect. This is resolved by ensuring you have a proper Network Access Control system with comprehensive user and device management policies.

Remote Desktop Systems

This is much easier to set-up than VPNs and are a product of unattended remote control service. In order to establish a connection to a company server, businesses may choose to use a remote server access solution. This allows remote users to gain access to important files, software, and print services from a remote location Teamviewer which is traditionally used for help desk, Aeroadmin, Anydesk and Remote Utilities are some of the tools we recommend.

Cloud computing and services

Using Public, Private or Hybrid clouds organisations can build their own cloud computing services which then offer their employees a browser based access to the corporate resources. In a different article we shall detail how organisations can achieve these. On the cloud, there are also existing services offered mostly by ERP suppliers that could be extremely essential for work from anywhere office set-ups. A few we love include Office365, Zoho One, ERPNext, Quickbooks online, Sage online, SAP and Oracle.

Remote Communication systems: PBX, Phones & Call Centers

Service customers remotely require that organizations are able to stay in contact regardless of being away from the office. The evolution of the telephone system has significantly enabled this.

Remote Call Centers

Today’s call centers do not have to be located in a large ugly warehouse with industrial air management. Call center agents and supervisors can work remotely, serve customers as usual with similar quality to onsite call centers. With Omnichannel contact systems, proper CRM integrations, a secure cloud or remote server connection, Browsers and headphones, the agent and supervisor are set. WebRTC is the technology that enables browser based call systems. It eliminates the need to have soft-phones as applications as this can be very limiting. However, this can also be achieved with soft-phones. Reach out for more info, we have a very rich collection of call and contact center systems of all sizes that can help you achieve this.

Remote PBX Services

You can have the PBX in the office being used remotely with the usual extensions and rules. This can be through Cloud/Hosted PBX that can be a managed service or self hosted system. Cloud PBX systems have evolved since MTN Business launched Kenya’s first Hosted PBX system in 2011. Today,

  • you can have a hosted PBX system by hosting your own PBX on cloud, 3CX, Hodusoft, Yeastar, Vicidial, Asterisks and a host of other PBX systems allow this.
  • Other systems like Avaya connect and Cloudone, are a managed service.
    • If you have a hardware PBX, do not despair, we may not put it on cloud, but we can setup features like Call forwarding, follow-me and soft-phones, that can enable your employees to be reachable remotely.

GSM-IP Desk Phones

    • Traditionally we only have had GSM desk phones that are standalone, working mostly as home or small business phones. With new technologies, we have GSM-IP Phones, they come as both an IP Phone and a 4G router. These connect through a 4G sim card to the internet, then a secure tunnel is created on the 4G link to the office PBX, giving a SIP connection that enable the extension to be configured as other office SIP Phones.
      • These are also very useful for areas like gate houses that maybe too far from your facilities, instead of pulling fibre to them which is the traditional solution. Click here to buy

Internet connection services

To do any of the above, all users will need to have a proper internet connection. Some of the available services include

  • Fibre to the house
  • 4G LTE internet connection; reach out for a permanent Safaricom 4G link of up to 7Mbps thats almost similar to fibre. If your location has no fibre services.
  • Google Loon Services

Users and Home Accessories

People working from home need tools that will improve productivity. Check out the ones below on shop.

Laptops, Docking stations, Webcams, TV screes, Mounting brackets, Headphones, All in one Computers, WiFi Range Extenders, WiFi routers, GSM Phones, Ipads

For large homes with Internet access only in the room where the service provider router is located, we have an array of services and products that can help get internet to all rooms. Reach out to us for customized solutions.

We are the Best Technology shop in Kenya

I hope this article was helpful as you make your journey to managing telecommuters as this may be our new normal