We’ve lived in a digital world for years, with remote work and on-demand access to information a bedrock expectation of many employees across the public and private sector. But while many corporate IT shops have built distributed network environments to support this mobile workforce, nobody expected they would need to support a workforce that worked entirely from home. Then came COVID-19, which has rapidly changed not only the routine of our daily lives, but how and where we work.

Although moving to 100 percent work-from-home represents a drastic and unexpected change, that doesn’t mean that business can afford to lower standards for vital issues such as employee access to business applications and collaborative tools, or customer experience.

Organizations are entering uncharted ground in many ways, but the challenge—how to deliver reliable, high-availability services wherever customers and employees need them—is one we’ve spent years solving. We’ve compiled a few key ideas that we hope help keep your employees safe and productive, and your customers happy:

  1. Unified Communications and Collaboration (UC&C) systems are vital to help your fully remote workforce effectively share information and work as a team. You need to have the tools necessary to make sure that they are not only accessible, but also free from degradation or delay to audio and video.
  2. You need to reduce the impact of unavailable or poor performing business services as well as infrastructure that supports access from off-site and home locations in order to avoid lost productivity of remote workers. To do that, ask yourself the following: Can you simulate user actions automatically and continuously from each user’s location to validate connectivity and performance, even over home WIFI? Can you understand availability and performance from every site, regardless of location?
    Lastly, what’s your plan to make sure that voice over IP (VoIP )systems are available and audible before anyone even makes a call?
  3. Critical infrastructure such as internet circuits, routers, VPN gateways, and firewalls must remain available to ensure remote access to internal resources and services,
  4. As contact centers become the face of companies, customer service reps now operating remotely depend on the unimpeded transfer of calls, high-quality conversations, and swift access to customer records. Do you have the ability to track performance and key metrics related to incoming contact center calls coming and transferred to home-based customer service reps?
  5. With many colleges, universities, and secondary schools now leveraging a variety of platforms for remote learning, IT teams at those institutions now need to ensure the performance and availability of voice, video, and online learning environments.