Has your company enabled your staff to work remotely when they are not in the office? Secure, remote connections to the office network and cloud technologies make it possible for them to get business done on the go – while at the airport or a hotel, while at off-site meetings, while waiting for a meeting, and when they need to work from home. The ability to work remotely enables your employees to collaborate more effectively with coworkers, vendors and customers, and respond to customer and client needs in a timely manner. The result is increased employee productivity, which enables your business to improve its service and consequently to increase customer satisfaction.
There are several technologies that enable workforce mobility.
Virtual Private Network
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) lets employees connect to the office network securely on a PC from a remote location. VPN creates a secure tunnel over the internet allowing workers to open and edit documents. With secure remote desktop software, an employee can remotely use his or her own work computer as if seated in front of it.
Document Sharing and Collaboration
Enabling your team and your clients to view, share and even collaborate on documents securely from different locations is essential to working productively with a mobile workforce. There are a variety of cloud solutions available including SharePoint and One Drive.
Mobile Device Management
Technologies such as mobile apps and email exchange servers enable employees to work on smartphones and tablets. The downside is that, when they use their personal devices, your business loses control over who can access corporate data. In addition, mobile devices are easily lost or stolen which can provide the thief with access to your company secrets. The solution? Mobile Device Management prevents unauthorized access through password protection, encryption, and remote locate, lock and wipe technology. Another less invasive option is taking a “no-data-on-the-device” approach. Companies should have and enforce BYOD – Bring Your Own Device – acceptable use policies. These policies might include requiring employees to access data remotely through VPN or https with two-factor authentication, and not allowing the storage of corporate data on their mobile devices.
Remote Phone Use from a Smartphone
Forwarding calls from an office phone after a set number of rings enables workers to answer calls when away from the office. This solution, however, does not enable workers to place calls on the office line (with the office phone number on the caller ID). ShoreTel VoIP phone systems Mobility Client actually enables workers to use the office line to both make and receive calls directly from their iPhone or Android phone, while maintaining their private line. The personal phone line and the work phone line are accessed through different icons. Using the office line on their smartphones, they can dial extensions, transfer calls, and use directory query, as if they were using an office phone. They can also use Unified Communications features on any device, including peer-to-peer video, room-based video conferencing, web conferencing and desktop sharing. To reduce mobile costs, the best network available (Wi-Fi, 3G/4G or cellular) is automatically selected, and the call is handed over to Wi-Fi when Wi-Fi is available. The smartphone or tablet can be clicked into the ShoreTel Dock to use desk phone features, including speakerphone, handset and keypad, when the smartphone is used at a desk.
Electronic signatures make it possible to sign documents online so that work can be completed remotely. A digital signature links the document to the signer’s identity, permanently embedding the signer’s information, as well as the date and time of the signature, into the document, making the electronic signature legally enforceable. Several cloud solutions are available including DocuSign, EchoSign, RightSignature and SIGNiX.
When you meet with your account manager at Big Idea, we’ll discuss your business needs – including your requirements for IT security, your current IT infrastructure, how you currently get work done, and how your business could work more effectively using mobile solutions. Together we’ll design the optimal plan to enable your workforce to work effectively, in and out of the office.