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Guest blog by Macy Kirk, Marketing Manager for Meriplex

 

COVID-19 has thrown us all for a loop, transforming how enterprise businesses operate now and for the foreseeable future. Even those with a strong telecommuting culture are struggling to make an abrupt and unexpected transition to a fully remote workforce. To help you keep operations on track with many, if not all, members of your team working from home, Meriplex and VMware have teamed up to offer support, suggestions and tools for this challenging time.

Let’s cut straight to the chase. It’s about infrastructure and security. Two questions are critical.

Question #1: Can Our Existing Infrastructure Support a Fully Remote Workforce?

Most enterprise businesses have some ability to support employees working outside the office, whether from home or on the road. Today’s demands are above and beyond, however, putting enormous strain on infrastructure that just wasn’t set up to accommodate a fully remote workforce. Yet now more than ever, your team needs applications they can count on, not those that generate frustration and impede productivity. With more business communication being conducted over UC platforms, VoIP and/or video conferencing, it’s important to have all applications running optimally, without lag or connection interruptions.

Maintaining high QoS is also critical for customers who call in over the phone. Frequent interruptions and drops can cause them to hang up and not call back, the last thing any business wants. COVID-19 has triggered a tremendous rise in residential internet consumption, with remote employees now competing with family members for bandwidth. Limited bandwidth and latency may cause disruptions to real-time services such as VoIP and teleconferencing, all with a negative customer impact.

If you are relying on legacy WAN architecture to support your remote workforce and meet the demands of your customers, you may already be running into problems. While optimizing your infrastructure can sound expensive and time-consuming, especially now, SD-WAN is a quick and cost-effective solution that can mitigate bandwidth and latency issues, strengthen connectivity and help keep customers on the line.

SD-WAN affords you visibility into your network traffic and the ability to prioritize and determine traffic path optimization for better connectivity and performance. By adding SD-WAN resiliency to your network, you can support a high number of end-users while simultaneously utilizing your essential applications with high QoS, promoting efficiency. SD-WAN also supports cloud application deployment, allowing you to move applications simply and securely to the cloud. SD-WAN is easily scalable with zero-touch deployment. Quick adoption means you can better support your remote team right now.

The benefits of SD-WAN don’t stop there. As residential internet service provider networks become more saturated, this can cause jitter and packet loss. SD-WAN utilizes features like packet replication and jitter buffering to enhance voice and video quality over these degraded networks. To help further, additional circuits or LTE services can be added to aggregate remote workforce bandwidth and give your team what it needs to keep pushing forward.

Question #2: Is Our Digital Workspace Secure?

Cybercriminals are ready to take full advantage of the pandemic, hoping that the vulnerable or distracted will give them the opportunities they need to carry out scams. With remote employees using personal Wi-Fi, sharing an internet connection with their kids or using IoT devices that don’t have the same level of protection afforded by a company network, risks are everywhere. The door to passwords and data can be opened with just one careless click or download, leaving these employees—and your business—open to ransomware and malware attacks that can be costly, detrimental and even catastrophic.

By integrating a cloud internet security solution with SD-WAN, your remote team can feel more confident accessing the Internet or applications on any device, from anywhere. The load on site-to-site connections is eased as cloud bandwidth increases, and the cybersecurity odds can be tipped decidedly back in your favor.

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To ensure that you have the communication, collaboration and connectivity capabilities you need to support your business and remote team during the unpredictable days ahead, Meriplex is partnering with VeloCloud, now part of VMware and iboss to provide free, 60-day trials of secure VMware SD-WAN. We hope you’ll take advantage of this offer and sign up today. Want to learn more? Listen to an episode of SD-WAN 360 about the impact of remote work and the need to manage networks differently in light of increased usage.

Stay safe and reach out if you need us. We’re always here to help.