A telecommuting "HOV lane" is one of the new solutions vendors have launched to mitigate the pandemic.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

March 20, 2020

4 Min Read
Work from home

A telecommuting “HOV lane” is one of the new solutions vendors have launched to mitigate the global COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s old news to most of you that remote work has become the norm for corporate America since the U.S. declared a state emergency and various local governments implemented quarantine rules. Businesses have sent workers back to their houses and apartments en masse. KnowBe4, for example, on Wednesday authorized its 884 employees to start working from home and gave each employee $200 in extra compensation.

And while mitigating the idiosyncrasies of your new “co-workers” is already a struggle, connecting to your company’s network can also be a challenge.

According to Atlas VPN‘s data, U.S. VPN usage increased by 53% during the week of March 9-15 from the previous week. The same study suggested that VPN usage may increase even more, as Italian VPN usage most recently made a 112% week-over-week uptick. That makes for a crowded internet highway.

To that end, Aryaka Networks recently announced its new Secure Remote Access (SRA) solution, which gives employees an “on-ramp” onto their company’s VPN concentrators.

“Most organizations offer some type of remote access solution, but they were never designed for ‘peak capacity,’ meaning to scale for the present situation where employees or students are required to work from a location distant from their corporate HQ or university campus,” said Mario Vecchio, Aryaka’s senior vice president of Asia-Pacific.


Aryaka’s David Ginsburg

David Ginsburg, Aryaka’s vice president of product and solutions marketing, said Aryaka’s customer base is widely distributed across various remote locations. Launching the remote access solution allows Aryaka customers to bring their workers onto a global backbone with improved performance. Ginsburg said many enterprises lack the VPN concentrator footprint required in today’s environment.

In previous months, a South Korean employee working for a multinational company would be able to connect to a concentrator in the Asia-Pacific region and work efficiently.

“You’d have pretty good performance because a very low percentage of the employees would be telecommuting,” Ginsburg told Channel Partners. “That’s no longer the case. These concentrators are becoming overburdened. They can’t bring up the capacity that quickly. Obviously the user experience suffers. The overall employee productivity suffers.”

Aryaka said in a news release that the SRA offering improves application performance and allows students to use VPN to more easily access university resources.

Other networking companies announced offerings that target the current crisis.

Extreme Networks announced a list of products and promotions designed to improve life for customers and partners. The vendor launched a HIPAA-compliant Wi-Fi 6 mesh network solution geared toward health care facilities. Extreme listed pop-up clinics, testing facilities and quarantine areas as places that the solution can support. Customers have the option of delaying their payment for network solutions until July 1.

Extreme also has made free cloud technical certification training available to partners and customers through July 20.

“Our support and professional services teams continue to be…… on site – sustaining customers in their mission critical environments – to help them roll out improved connectivity to support increased traffic growth and new and evolving demands,” Extreme said in a statement.

UCaaS and CCaaS companies have also been busy this month.

Intermedia is letting new users access its AnyMeeting Pro video conferencing solution for free until the end of 2020. Intermedia CEO Michael Gold said his team felt “a significant obligation to act.”

“Organizations have enough to worry about at a time like this. As health organizations and government officials increasingly recommend (and in some cases mandate) remote working arrangements, staying connected to one another is essential to maintain collaboration and productivity,” Gold said.

Bright Pattern made a special virtual call center capability – deployed within days – available to companies whose agents need to work remotely.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has affected lives and companies around the world and the call center industry is no exception,” Bright Pattern CEO Michael McCloskey said.

Lynn Haber has published an article entailing how distributors are coming to the aid of partners.

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About the Author(s)

James Anderson

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.

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