By David Hollingsworth, Managing Member at Avid Communications
Six months ago, businesses had to figure out how to help their employees be productive while working from home. In a flash, businesses had their employees leave the office (leaving behind all of the business infrastructure that is deployed to make things work efficiently and reliably.)
From the start of work from home orders, Avid has supported our customers by making the transition from the office to home and back to the office as simple as possible. The three areas that have required the most support have been getting the right phone setup, secure VPN service back to the office and optimizing employee home networks.
Avid customers were able to take their phones from the office to their home and simply plug them into an Ethernet connection. If their home office didn’t have a wired Ethernet jack, they used our unified communications softphone (MaxUC) which runs on their computer, smartphone or tablet.
As customers deployed the MaXUC softphone, a decent headset became an item that many users needed to figure out. We provided the following recommendations based on price and functionality:
Cordless Headsets (phones and computer):
Poly/Plantronics CS510, CS520 and CS540
(These headsets require a cord to connect to the device: APS-11 when connecting to a phone, APU-76 when connecting to a computer.)
USB Headsets (computer)
Poly/Plantronics C5510 and C5520
Jabra Evolve 20
Bluetooth (bluetooth enabled computer, bluetooth enabled phone and smartphone)
Poly/Plantronics Voyager 5200 UC
Beyond getting voice communications to work seamlessly, our customers have asked for VPN connections back to the office. With any Avid deployed firewall, VPN service has been provided for our users.
Optimizing the home network largely falls into three categories:
- Verifying bandwidth is sufficient (limited upload bandwidth causes the most issues.)
- WiFi coverage throughout the house as users tend to move around while using the Avid MaxUC app on their smartphones.
- Providing a wired Ethernet connection to the home workstation. Wiring to the new workstation sometimes can be accomplished when the router/firewall are close, but this is typically not the case. Powerline Ethernet adapters have worked well to provide a wired Ethernet connection and they are easy to purchase for under $50 (TP-Link AV600 or AV1000).
The most important tool we have provided our customers is having our customer service and engineering team readily available to answer questions and provide advice to help with the transition from the office to the home.
Not a current customer? If you aren’t getting this level of support from your current provider, please call us at 816-994-7050! Don’t take our word for it, talk to our customers. They’ve consistently told us how much they appreciate our support during these challenging times. And it has been rewarding to know that we’re making a difference.