There is no ‘one size fits all’ method for successful virtual working – the approach that works perfectly for one scenario will be entirely inappropriate in another. Alex Foster, Managing Director at Our IT Department explains how a recent project helped a client reconfigure their existing remote working solution into a bespoke virtual environment.
Collaboration was top priority.
“We were recently approached by a business consultancy that employs around 40 consultants who provide advice and guidance on site to their clients. This meant consultants spent most of their time at their clients’ premises or on the road. The firm therefore needed an environment which would allow those workers to connect to a central point for document collaboration and planning.
There were a number of problems.
“They were already using Microsoft’s Office 365 to provide that central hub, and each consultant would connect to the cloud via company-issued laptops. However, their solution wasn’t really providing the kind of service they needed and their Office 365 implementation hadn’t been fully configured to their needs. They also found themselves using a confusing mix of tools – from a basic VPN to a mix of third party file sharing tools. This was creating issues, especially around Cyber security and collaboration. Too often, important documents were getting passed around via email which was leading to duplication and misunderstandings. They also lacked a secure external firewall and weren’t consistently backing up their documents”.
Introduce a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI).
Our IT Department sat down with the firm to understand exactly how they work, what their existing requirements were and also looked at their strategy and vision going forward. “After speaking with the client, we decided that by implementing a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), we would be able to offer them a solution that would fit much more closely to their requirements. We stored the virtual desktop in our data centre and set these up with a Microsoft Windows operating system and installed. Microsoft Office on these desktops. This meant that they didn’t need to have anything installed on their physical laptops, but could instead simply connect direct to the VDI.
The client began seeing the benefits immediately.
It has become much easier for staff to collaborate on files in a central location, and eliminated the need to send lots of documents around via email. At the same time, it offered them much greater security – using a virtual desktop gave them an enterprise class firewall and meant that should a laptop get lost or stolen, the business faced no risk of losing data, as all files were stored in our private cloud.
“Given the sensitive nature of their work, we also introduced much stronger data encryption and controls for their IT administrators. They could set much stronger rules over how employees could sign in to the VDI and also set permissions via location.
“By developing a bespoke virtual working environment, we were able to give the business a much more suitable solution than what they were using previously. They no longer needed to worry about aging hardware, could collaborate more efficiently and work from a distance with greater peace of mind over security. Ultimately, it also helped the business improve processes and work in a leaner, more productive manner”.
Our IT Department supports you on the journey to more productive, secure and collaborative working. Visit our Remote Working Solutions page to find out more about our services, or click below to contact us for more information.