We’ve all seen the headlines:
- The World Health Organization declares novel Coronavirus outbreak, COVID-19, a pandemic.
- The U.S. just announced a 30-day travel ban from Europe.
- Colleges across the nation are sending students home for the rest of the spring semester.
- The CDC has declared that ALL employers should be ready to implement strategies to protect their workforce from COVID-19, while ensuring continuity of operations.
And the list goes on…Many companies are scrambling to find, dust off and implement their pandemic plans while others are scrambling to develop a plan now!
Whether you already have a plan in place or need to quickly develop one, there are critical questions which must be addressed. ‘What happens if my workforce is required to work remotely?’ ‘Will business operations grind to a halt?’ ‘How will we enable the enterprise to conduct business as usual in these challenging times?’ ‘Can we deliver highly available data and voice solutions remotely to our workforce?
IT Disaster Recovery Services for Pandemic Situations
As the Coronavirus pandemic plays out, it will present significant challenges for virtually every type of business. The good news is that there are secure, cost-effective ways to deliver highly available data and voice solutions remotely. Using these tools and solutions, it’s possible to support your workforce and carry on day-to-day operations.
Reliable IT Services
As part of its business continuity strategy, Outer Edge Technology put processes in place long ago to enable remote work operations in the event of a public health threat, like COVID-19. “We work in a vertical where technology allows us to seamlessly perform our day-to-day tasks remotely. In this way, Outer Edge mitigates health risks to our workforce and continues to deliver uninterrupted, state-of-the-art IT services,” said Rick Emlet, CEO of Outer Edge.
“We prefer the camaraderie of physically working together. But working remotely doesn’t impact the ability of our engineering teams to collaborate and provide highly available IT services which Outer Edge is known for and our customers have come to expect,” Emlet continued.
Disaster Recovery as a Service
Telecommuting and remote work capabilities are crucial parts of any business continuity plan. “Today’s companies are all data driven and businesses need to have uninterrupted data and voice access for their employees to remain productive,” Emlet observed.
According to a 2019 Cloud Data Management Report, over 70% of organizations are unable to meet user’s demands for uninterrupted access to applications and data. In total, unplanned downtime costs the average organization over $20 million globally in lost revenue and productivity. In addition to affecting the bottom line, outages damage customer confidence, brand integrity, and employee confidence.
So, what can companies do to address this issue? Emlet says, “It all begins with companies determining what their risk tolerance is. This means deciding how much data they are willing to lose and how long they can go without access to their data. In the IT world, these metrics are referred to as RPO (Recovery Point Objective) and RTO (Recovery Time Objective). They are both dependent on a company’s unique requirements and vary depending upon whether an application is considered ‘mission critical.’ For example, accounting software may be considered “mission critical,” but not a ‘low level’ application that doesn’t impact day-to-day operations.”
Once these metrics are defined, Outer Edge has many geo-redundant, cost-effective DRaaS solutions to offer. All of these options deliver highly available data and applications over a network connection in line with our customers’ requirements and expectations.
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)
With respect to how an enterprise might quickly scale-up and deliver remote data services to its employees to deal with issues like COVID-19, Emlet noted that “Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (“VDI”) is the ideal way to address this emergent requirement, especially in the era of ‘bring your own device (BYOD) to work’.”
VDI is defined as the hosting of desktop environments on a central server. It is a form of desktop virtualization, as the specific desktop images run within virtual machines (VMs) and are delivered to end clients over a network. Those endpoints may be PCs or other devices, like tablets or thin client terminals. Emlet further described the VDI solutions offered by Outer Edge as “Highly secure, cost-effective, scalable and robust.”
Likewise, a leading virtualization company has identified the benefits of VDI solutions to include:
- Data Security,
- Cost Savings,
- Delivery of cloud-hosted virtual desktops to any device, anywhere, from a single cloud control pane,
- Ease of application deployment, management and patching,
- Easily scalable.
“The beauty of VDI’s is that they can be deployed from many platforms including AWS, Azure, Outer Edge’s private cloud or even on-premises systems. The delivered application mix is customizable meaning you can give your employees access to only the applications and data they need to perform their specific job. The apps and data are hosted on a remote server and only a virtual image is delivered to the devices of end users. This ensures that data remains in complete control of the company and access can be instantly denied to any end user thereby protecting it from misuse or theft,” Emlet said.
Remote Voice and Conferencing Support
For workforce continuity, uninterrupted remote voice and video-conferencing solutions are critical. That’s where Outer Edge’s strategic partner, VOIP Networks’ expertise, innovative VoIP solutions, and talents shine. VoIP is short for Voice over Internet Protocol. VoIP is a category of hardware and software that enables people to use the Internet as the transmission medium for telephone calls by sending voice data in packets using IP rather than by traditional circuit transmissions of the PSTN.
According to Mark Mowad, COO of VOIP Networks, “There are many ways that VOIP Networks can assist companies ensure the remote delivery of voice and conferencing services over a network connection. Whether a company is still using landline telephony services or some type of IP based phone system, we offer many value added services to facilitate business and workforce continuity including Teleworking, soft phone, and/or mobile application to address issues caused by COVID-19.” The commonly recognized benefits of VOIP Networks solutions include:
- Cost Savings,
- Delivery of cloud-based voice and video conferencing services,
- High Availability with Service Level Agreements (SLA),
- Industry best contact center solutions that interface with CRM platforms,
- SIP trunking, WAN circuits, Internet circuits, and SD-WAN services.
And, like Outer Edge, VOIP Networks has processes in place to allow its workforce to work remotely and provide uninterrupted, best-of-breed VoIP solutions to our customers.
The Need to Execute Solid Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery Plans
Today we find ourselves in challenging economic conditions as a result of COVID-19. This is no time to panic. Rather, companies need to promptly execute an action plan to address business and workplace continuity issues — especially the remote delivery of data and voice services in times of a pandemic. Outer Edge is here to help. Call 844-OET-EDGE now or visit us online at www.OuterEdge.biz to schedule an appointment to speak to one of Outer Edge’s IT professionals to understand how they and their strategic partners can help your organization navigate through these uncharted waters.