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It’s that time of year again. The Met Office have warned that snow and ice are likely to cause disruption for most of the UK this week, and as usual when there’s adverse weather, our helpdesk has been inundated with calls from clients asking how they can access their network remotely, whether there’s any way they can connect them to their phone system so they can update the answerphone message and if there’s anything our team can do to help them work remotely. Is it time to weatherproof your business?
The answer to all the above is “yes” There’s no excuse with modern technology why any business shouldn’t be able to operate remotely if employees are stuck at home. This technology isn’t expensive, and in some cases is cheaper than using older systems.
With that being said, check out our top three easily accessible and affordable technologies that can weather-proof your business:
VoIP systems give you the flexibility to connect to your internal phone system from almost anywhere (and in most cases, from many types of device) but pretty much without exception they are cheaper on rental and call charges than traditional systems. We use VoIP at Systemagic, so when the team can’t get into the office because of flooding or snow they simply plug their IP handsets in to their home broadband connections or fire up the VoIP app on their smartphones and are immediately able to deal with support calls.
VoIP is great if you work remotely or have multiple offices. Calls between internal extensions are always free regardless of where they are (including overseas which is a godsend for a number of our clients). It’s handy for those who need to work seamlessly from home, or for busy MDs who spend a lot of time out of the office but still need to be part of the system to receive and make calls.
‘Cloud’ is a huge subject to cover here, but in summary, your data and software no longer needs to be confined to an internal computer network. With cloud you can access your files, folders, emails, software remotely, usually from almost any device.
The benefits of cloud are wide-ranging, from flexibility, resiliency and backup and compliance through to saving both money and the environment.
VPN (Virtual Private Networking) isn’t new by any means, but is still a great way of connecting remotely to an internal IT system that hasn’t yet embraced cloud computing. Essentially, a VPN creates a secure, encrypted connection between the device you’re using (e.g. a home PC) and your business computer network, allowing you to access internal resources via a secure link.
We practice what we preach when it comes to remote access, and the team are able to remain fully operational during times of adverse weather. We use a combination of the above. We have a VoIP telephone system allowing all staff to connect in from home, and we can also connect mobile phones and tablets to the system if necessary. Our systems run in the cloud, our data is stored in a secure online datastore so we can access it from any location and any device, our email server is online and of course our helpdesk is hosted in the cloud. We use a secure VPN connection to connect into the office in case we need to access our internal servers.
So, if you’d like your business to continue making money whatever the weather, isn’t it time you made your business weatherproof? Get in touch today to find out how you can weatherproof your business!