In the blink of an eye, things changed for most every business, large and small, across the United States. COVID-19 has forced millions of Americans to quickly adjust to working remotely and company leaders have been challenged with having to make quick decisions about tech solutions to connect their remote workforce.
Early evidence indicates that one side effect of the coronavirus-driven movement to work from home may be a greater tolerance to the idea of remote work for the long haul. A new survey of CFOs by Gartner revealed that more CFOs are looking to shift more of their previously on-site employees to remote workers on a permanent basis. A full 74% said they intend to move at least 5% of their on-site workforces to remote positions after the COVID-19 crisis resolves. What’s more, 17% of respondents to the survey said that 20% of those moved to work from home will remain as permanent remote workers after the crisis.
As CIO’s assess their priorities and make decisions about remote access, VPN, security, meeting and collaboration tools, and several other remote workforce technologies that will need to be implemented, they also need to examine legacy systems and non-cloud ready applications that will challenge remote work. In a new survey by Adobe, 90% of respondents said they’re using a public cloud service to some degree, but most data is still housed on-premises. So there is still a lot of work to do.
Computer SI has helped connect remote workers and business units for years with enterprise cloud-based platforms. We know what works and want to share some of our insights and experience with company leaders and remote workers who are searching for viable solutions to address these new challenges.
ShareBase by Hyland
ShareBase by Hyland is an enterprise file-sharing product that provides secure, cloud-based sharing while ensuring your organization retains ownership and control. Many processes require your employees to share and collaborate on documents with people inside and outside of your organization. This leads to costly sharing solutions — like maintaining hard-to-manage tools or employees using their own sharing methods that are out of your control.
This makes ShareBase the perfect solution to help enterprise-level businesses securely manage transactional content and case-centric workloads. ShareBase provides a simple experience to store, search for, and share content securely. Users can set permissions per each share of each document; leverage password protection for external shares; and set shared documents to expire. Moreover, users can access content and share from anywhere, using a web browser.
Remember, you can’t stop employees from sharing content, but you can help them stop, think, and then choose the right tool to share with.
OnBase Web Server
OnBase Web Server provides users with secure, web-based access to enterprise data, documents, and real-time interactions with business processes from anywhere and at any time. OnBase Web Server can improve the ways that organizations do business with public customers, extranet partners, and remote employees. Web browsers function as secure Internet or intranet clients that connect to a centrally managed OnBase Web Server.
Standard browsers function as secure Web-based clients to the centrally managed OnBase Web Server. The architecture allows the separation of the Web Server and Application Server, providing enhanced performance, scalability, and security options.
Some of the benefits include:
- Remote and public access for consumers, remote employees, and business partners via standard Internet browsers.
- Centralized administration— server-based as opposed to client-based.
- Customization is supported using standard development technologies.
- Browser ease-of-use reduces the need for end-user training.
- Personalization is easily accomplished with point-and-click configurable interfaces.
Have multiple locations and time-sensitive information? The browser-based ease of use of OnBase Web Server simple interface allows users quick and reliable access to up-to-date documents, records, and information from any location. Having current, time-sensitive information immediately available to every location can dramatically reduce service-related errors and associated risks.
Click here for more details on how to empower your workforce with these Hyland tools.
UiPath Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
Demand for RPA was already very high before the world shifted to working from home. And now that companies are having to rapidly adjust many processes like their paid leave and sick day policies in such a short period due to COVID-19, we can expect to see an even greater urgency for RPA technology.
UiPath has been creating solutions to help with remote work. Here are some examples:
- Automatic Slack updates: When working from home, your teammates do not know when you are not at your desk. So this bot updates your Slack status based on your calendar activity.
- Call notes distribution: UiPath has a bot that automates the sending of notes for a conference call that is sent out to the invitees.
- Call scheduling: With no more water cooler run-ins, this bot will find conflicts on your Google calendar and send requests to reschedule.
UiPath has even created a Productivity Marketplace Bundle for Remote Working that has some of the most in–demand components that can boost your team’s efficiency while working remotely.
“We can think about the benefits from RPA in multiple ways,” said Vijay Khanna, who is UiPath’s Chief Corporate Development Officer. “In the front office and call center, customer contact is critical and call volumes have spiked dramatically. Freeing up front-line agents in the call center or similar functions can help them spend more time with customers resolving issues that are otherwise just adding to the stress that customers are shouldering in the current environment. Helping customers when they need it most can be a remarkable differentiator for all companies. Next, in the back office, having bots to tend to much of the repetitive work that might have forced an employee to come to the office in these difficult times has the added benefit of both keeping that employee safe and ensuring that work still gets accomplished–this is extremely important in considering some of the compliance requirements in highly regulated industries.”
Teams combines instant messaging with video meetings (similar to Skype) and collaboration. Remote workers can upload and store files, but unlike Skype, MS Teams can be integrated with other Microsoft Office 365 services and applications.
Teams offers remote workers the ability to manage all aspects of remote communication in one place. This platform has the potential to increase productivity by combining messaging, files, online meetings, tasks, and more. Users will find five key Microsoft Teams capabilities especially valuable:
- Deliver emergency communications and relevant resources
- Access work files with Teams file tab
- Help employees communicate with each other using audio and video capabilities
- Virtual meetings support collaboration
- Keeps remote work secure
Several third-party apps integrate with MS Teams, further increasing its functionality.
These are just a few of many technology suggestions that we hope can help ease your transition to a remote workforce. We use and have helped many clients with the tools mentioned in this article and have a good understanding of how to maximize their functionality. We would be happy to offer assistance and answer any questions about mapping out a technology plan for your remote teams as we all navigate this new landscape together.