Welcome. Like most of us, I'm working hard to figure out how to respond to the COVID-19 crisis in a way that's best for my clients and my own business. This page is my attempt to help small local businesses prepare their employees to work from home when possible.

Before I get to that, I have created a Facebook group for businesses in Jefferson County to discuss issues and solutions, and to help support each other through this crises. This has become a fantastic resource. I invite you to join the discussion... after you read through this page, of course!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/jeffcobiz/

Work from Home

The Dailey Computer Consulting team is hard at work figuring out ways to respond to the current COVID-19 crisis. Our priority in these early days is helping our clients, as well as the wider local business community, find ways to work effectively from home wherever possible.

If you're not already talking to your team about self-isolating and working from home, it's time to do so. Here are a few thoughts about things to consider as a business owner, and to talk about with your team.

Access to technology

If your company provides laptops and smartphones for your employees, you're ahead of the game. If your company does not provide these, you'll need to find out what your employees have access to at home.

  1. Do your employees have a reliable Internet connection?
  2. Do your employees have access to a computer? Is it a Windows machine or a Mac? How up to date is it? How well protected?
  3. Do your employees have access to a smartphone? Android or iOS?
  4. Do your employees have access to a headset microphone? These are needed for online meetings and VOIP telephone calls, and they're getting hard to find right now.
  5. Are your employees willing to use their personal devices for work?

Security

Of course, if you allow your employees to use personal devices to access company data (and if they're willing to do so in the first place), that raises serious questions about security. In fact, we normally strongly advise our clients NOT to allow employees to use their personal devices. However, given the circumstances, we may all have to make some concessions.

  1. Are your employees willing to sign a Computer Use Agreement that outlines proper use of company data?
  2. Are employees willing to let your IT professional vet their equipment to ensure that it's both suitable and safe?
  3. Taken a step further, are employees willing to let your IT professional install security software to ensure that their equipment is well protected?
  4. When things get back to normal, are employees willing to let your IT professional remove company software and data from their equipment?

I invite you to contact us for a free consultation if your business can use help getting your team online at home. Each business's needs are different, and we can help you implement the right technology to support your team.

Software and services

Here's a list of software and services that may be helpful. This list is similar to dozens of lists floating around already, but these are systems that we use or our clients use.

Remote Control

  • TeamViewer - The free version is for personal use only. The commercial version is a bit pricey, but it works really well.
  • Dualmon - This isn't very well known. It's not as well developed as TeamViewer, but it's much more affordable. We have an enterprise license that we can share with our clients, making it even more affordable and easier to access.

Team Collaboration

  • Microsoft Teams - If you use Office 365 for your email, you probably have a license for Teams. It appears they're offering free accounts as well.
  • Telegram - This free, encrypted group chat program is my team's main hub for communication. I suspect we'll eventually move to Teams, but for now, this does the trick.

Video Conferencing

  • Zoom - I should have bought stock in Zoom a month ago. Zoom has a limited free account, and it's paid version is still very affordable. And it works great.
  • Microsoft Teams - Teams does web conferencing and video conferencing as well, although I haven't used it myself. Again, if you have Office 365 already, this is worth a look.

File Syncing

  • Dropbox - One of the oldest and still the king. A limited free account. Works great.
  • Google Drive - I'm shocked this is the first Google product on my list. If you have a Gmail account, you have access to Drive.
  • OneDrive - We find this harder to use than the other two, although there have been major improvements. If you have Office 365, this is included.

Email

If you're using the IMAP accounts included with your web hosting, or free Gmail or Yahoo accounts, you really need to consider an enterprise grade email system. These aren't free and take some work to implement, so I probably shouldn't bring this up here. However, email is far and away the most vulnerable technology most businesses use, and proper email security is more important than ever.

  • Microsoft Office 365 - The vast majority of our business clients use Office 365 for email. It has great security (which takes some work to setup, admittedly) and is very flexible, if sometimes cumbersome. The Microsoft ecosystem also includes a number of other useful products like Teams and OneDrive.
  • Google GSuite - The only real competitor to Office 365. There are things I love about the Gmail interface, but it lacks some features which make it less suitable for many of my clients.