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Whether you’re an MSP with a remote workforce or you’re helping clients work from home, you have to take certain measures to ensure a successful transition to remote work.

Datto Guest Blogger

April 24, 2020

4 Min Read
Remote workforce home office

Whether you’re an MSP with a remote workforce or you’re helping a number of clients work from home, you have to take certain measures to ensure a successful transition to a remote work. Security, communication and connectivity are just a few of the technical aspects you’ll have to evaluate to develop your transition strategy.

At Datto, when the global health crisis became apparent, a decision was made early on to start testing more work-from-home scenarios. We wanted to be sure that we could protect our employees by enabling them to work from home, support our partners and keep the business going even if we all had to work remotely. When the time came to have everyone work from home we had to transition quickly, but we were ready. The steps I outline below helped us make the switch to a remote workforce successfully. I hope these tactics will help you, the MSP, ensure your business and your clients’ businesses have a seamless technical transition, as well.

  1. Audit your tech stack: Evaluate the technology you have for your own team and the technology that you offer to your clients. What do you have that would be helpful to work-from-home teams and enable their success? What might be missing that you’ll need to add to support this new way of working?

  2. Consider capacity planning: Audit the technology that different departments need. What is in place, and what does the company need to ensure people can work from home? General connectivity, communication sets and technology sets are all pieces of this puzzle. Look at your VPN capacity, as well as your licensing for videoconferencing and other technologies that are essential to keeping the business up and running. In addition, evaluate backups for those technologies should you need them. You need the right software capacity and bandwidth to make working from home possible.

  3. Test if you have time: We realize that for some the order to work from home came so quickly that testing was not possible. However, for those that have not yet had an order to reduce the number of people in the office or to close the office, take this time to do some work-from-home tests. See what’s possible so when the time comes you can make sure teams can easily work from home.

  4. Communication with customers is key: The following aspects of our communication plan have been essential in our success while working from home.

    1. Intranet

    2. Instant messaging

    3. Video conferencing

    4. Email

Whether you use an intranet site, email, internal instant messaging tools, or even text chains, keep all employees updated during the transition. We use a combination of media to continue to provide updates and communication as we go. Instant messaging platforms are also extremely useful for remote workers.

  1. Communication with clients is key: Provide frequent updates to clients and customers over a variety of media that are easy for them to access and receive.

  2. Security: Maintain your vigilance. Understand where the edge of your network is. With people working from home, your network is expanding beyond your office walls and your corporate WAN, and you need to adjust accordingly. Extend your security posture to the current work-from-home structure to ensure you’re not relying on VPN alone to get virus definition updates, SCCM commands and other security updates.

  3. Support: Make sure you have a process set up for both internal and external support needs. What kind of support will your team need, what do your clients need, and how can you provide that support remotely? These are all questions you should be asking to be sure that you can continue to provide the same level of support from remote locations that you do from your office.

During a time like this, when so many are transitioning to a new normal, it is often easy to lose sight of the small steps we can take to ensure success for our businesses and our clients. I hope this article has provided some insights and value for your MSP business. If you’d like to hear more about each of these steps, please listen to the full podcast we did on the topic: “The Tech You Need to Enable Remote Workers”.

 Todd Nemeth is Senior Manager, Internal Systems, Datto.

 This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.

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