Attackers Have Successfully Hit the Nation’s Largest Corporations – Their Onslaught on SMBs Will be Worse – Are You Prepared?

Posted on: August 6th, 2021 by admin

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Leading Managed Technology Services Provider Shares How SMBs Can Protect Themselves from Cyberattacks and Ransomware Threats

CONCORD, CA – ATS Communications, a leading managed technology services provider (MTSP), recently shared that some of the nation’s largest corporations, like McDonalds, Adobe, eBay, Equifax, LinkedIn, Marriott, Target and Yahoo have all been affected by cybersecurity breaches. While many of these breaches have been widely publicized, they only represent a small fraction of the attempted cyberattacks, which the modern business owner now faces. As a result of these breaches, we are also beginning to see cybercriminals become more emboldened, targeting more critical infrastructure in an effort to demand heftier sums. In fact, recently the Colonial Pipeline, which is responsible for supplying 45% of the fuel for the East Coast, was hit with a ransomware attack. This halted gas distribution, sending customers into “panic buying” throughout the East Coast and eventually cost $4.4 million to restore. Meanwhile, JBS, one of the nation’s largest meat processors who is responsible for 20% of the nation’s meat supply, was also hit with a ransomware attack that they eventually paid $11 million to resolve. While most SMBs are aware of the growing threats posed by cybercriminals, they are failing to recognize that after large corporations and major infrastructure centers fortify their cyber defenses, hackers will have no place to turn but to small business.

ATS Communications has been doing its best to educate business owners on the challenges that a breach, virus or phishing attack could have on any organization, and its best summarized by this statistic from the National Cyber Security Alliance, “60 percent of small and mid-sized businesses that are hacked go out of business within six months.” While daunting, all this statistic actually reveals is that any preventative actions taken now, could have dramatic impacts on helping an SMB avoid these kinds of disruptions. “It’s always a delicate balance,” states Sanford Gladding, President of ATS Communications. “We consider it our duty to be honest in regards to the scale and scope of cyberattacks in the modern era, however, there’s so much that businesses can do to protect themselves, so that they don’t have to worry about these sorts of nuisances affecting them.”

While an anti-virus and firewall may have been an effective security measure in the early 1990s, technology has evolved dramatically since then. There are many other technology systems available, that can fortify any SMB’s defenses so that they are fully prepared and protected. Here are 6 steps that any SMB can take to protect its staff, customers and future from cybersecurity disturbances.

  1. 1. Use “Layers of Security” –

    Taking a layered approach to security enables damage to be quarantined, while simultaneously reducing the severity of any attack. This can easily be set up as long as the network administrator has taken good care to keep the infrastructure well-organized and properly maintained.

  2. 2. Activate Multi-Factor or “2-Step” Authentication –

    Most companies now require multi-factor authentication upon logging into key systems, requiring the user to confirm their identity before proceeding further, via text message or phone call. While this is likely to become ubiquitous across all platforms, especially cloud apps, other internal technology systems need to be configured to provide this basic, yet extremely effective layer of security.

  3. 3. Have a Data Backup or Data Recovery Plan –

    In the event of a breach or an outage, it’s extremely useful to have all key data duplicated and stored securely in a remote location. Not only does this thwart less sophisticated cybercriminals who are counting on their target to be underprepared, but
    it eliminates the downtime that any breach or outage could cause, while employees “get things back up to speed.”

  4. 4. Use a SOC (Security Operations Center) –

    In the same way that residential homes are supported by a remote security center, with 24/7 monitoring, notification and authority alerting capabilities, your team’s devices should be similarly supported, as well. A good SOC will monitor network traffic, endpoints, logs, security events, etc., so that analysts can use this information to identify vulnerabilities and prevent breaches. When a suspicious activity is detected, your platform should create an alert, indicating further investigation is required.

  5. 5. Mandatory Cybersecurity Trainings for Employees –

    Unfortunately, “human error” is one of the main causes of most security breaches. If a company has not mandated cybersecurity trainings for employees, then undereducated employees can accidentally serve as a hacker’s greatest ally. These employee trainings do not take very much time to complete and they can be configured to track and confirm employee progress.

  6. 6. Remove All IT Tasks from the CEO’s List of Responsibilities –

    Not only is the CEO typically one of the people with the least amount of technical know-how in the company, but the time consumption required to build an adequate cyber defense strategy is sizable. While CEOs typically feel an obligation to keep their team protected, CEOs should be spending the majority of their time thinking strategically and focusing on how to create more opportunities for revenue growth, not tinkering with IT tools that they don’t have full mastery over. At this stage, consider consulting with or hiring an expert IT advisor to guide you through the nitty-gritty of installations, monitoring and ongoing management of critical security systems.

While hackers continue to search for targets, the steps outlined above are immediately actionable and will serve as a solid foundation for the majority of businesses that wish to prepare themselves for the coming trend.

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ATS Communications and MPA Networks Announce Acquisition

Posted on: July 6th, 2021 by admin

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Bay Area and Silicon Valley MTSPs Unite Forces to Augment Customer Experience

CONCORD, CA – ATS, a leading managed technology services provider (MTSP), announced today that they will be acquiring MPA Networks. After 38 successful years in business, Michael Price, the founder of MPA Networks, has made the decision to start his exit strategy. His eventual goals include a second career and several hobbies as he plans on shifting focus in a couple of years. Price will be involved in day-to-day operations until 2023 and will stay involved with ATS for four years. Consequently, MPA clients know Price is part of the process, will continue to assist clients as needed, and is not leaving out the back door.

ATS Logo
MPA Logo

Price spent over two years looking for the right company to merge his operations into and had key criteria: MPA clients and the MPA team members would continue to have the opportunity to be supported and served. He was adamant about not merging the business into an M&A focused venture company that would not share the same priorities he had. MPA and ATS are both Members of Technology Assurance Group (TAG), an elite international association of independently owned MTSPs in the United States and Canada collectively representing close to $400 million in annual sales. TAG was instrumental in connecting MPA and ATS because both organizations share common foundational principles, values, missions and elite-level standards for the customer experience.

“ATS met my objectives and then some,” states Price. “We are able to seamlessly take over support of clients because we have so many comparable technical offerings and we were able to successfully integrate the MPA team into the ATS team. As ATS is a larger company than MPA, we are able to deliver more resources to clients and a broader array of solutions including an expanded help desk offering for IT support, UCaaS Unified-Communications-as-a-Service), VoIP solutions, infrastructure buildout and wiring, and surveillance.”

This merger also met key ATS objectives including adding top tier talent. “The labor market for high quality technical team members is very challenging. This merger expands our technical support team by over 30% which will have an immediate positive impact for both ATS and MPA clients. With this larger pool of technical skills, our customer’s users will benefit from expanded technical resources for support and projects,” comments Sanford Gladding, CEO of ATS. “We are excited to gain excellent operational processes which we can implement to improve services, support, and offerings for ATS clients. Additionally we will strengthen our footprint in the Bay Area.” ATS is taking advantage of a remote workforce model and now has technical talent strategically located throughout the region. At the same time, ATS gains an East Coast engineer which allows selected critical services to occur prior to the start of our client’s workdays in California, creating immediate benefits for all existing ATS clients

It’s quite clear that this acquisition is being conducted conscientiously, so that the end result is that all clients end up with an augmented customer experience, regardless as to whether or not they were originally supported by ATS or MPA. Price and Gladding’s collaborative, long-term approach to this transition is a clear testament to the level of respect both hold for their clients, team members and the futures of everyone involved.

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ATS Communications Reveals Future of AI Integrated Cybersecurity Defense Strategies for Small to Mid-Sized Businesses (SMB)

Posted on: June 29th, 2021 by admin

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Leading Managed Technology
Services Provider Shares How AI
is Evolving SMB Defenses

CONCORD, CA
ATS Communications a leading
managed technology services
provider (MTSP), announced
today that AI (artificial
intelligence) is starting to play a
key role in cybersecurity defense
systems for small to mid-sized
businesses (SMBs). ATS
Communications protects the
interests of its clients by
remaining on the forefront of
technology’s latest advancements
and it is actively advising SMBs
on the potentials that AI integration promises for
cybersecurity in the very near
future. Most businesses are
becoming aware of how prevalent
phishing attempts, identity theft
and ransomware attacks have
become in recent years and ATS
Communications is doing its part
to help businesses put a stop to it,
by sharing the technology
industry’s response to more
sophisticated attacks.

“Whenever we talk about AI
integrated into technology, the
most common application that our
clients are aware of is how facial
recognition cameras can integrate
with AI. With an appropriate data
set, AI can proactively suggest a
course of action based on a
target’s background, prior
behaviors, and other factors. This
has obvious benefits for
enhancing the security of any
physical location,” stated
Gladding, President of ATS
Communications. “However, AI
is becoming more central to every
facet of cybersecurity, as well.
While the applications are still
growing in widespread popularity,
many business owners will soon
be faced with this question:
should I put my business on a
‘Smart Network’ or just on ‘a
network?’”

As more businesses utilize key
SaaS (software-as-a-service) apps
like Slack, Office 365, GSuite and
Salesforce to power their
operations, the more attractive
those services have become to
cybercriminals. ATS
Communications is now
leveraging AI to heighten
defenses so that businesses can
continue to work with their
favorite SaaS applications, but
can also rest assured that their
access to those mission-critical
programs remains 100% secure.
AI is like adding another layer to
an organization’s security stack
that constantly evolves into a
better version of itself.

AI is also entering the
cybersecurity space as a tool for
research and marketing purposes.
Some AI-enabled applications can
cross-analyze multiple publicly
available databases to help
businesses find their ideal clients’
names, email addresses, phone
numbers and other relevant
information in real-time. “AI is
absolutely exploding, right now,”
added Gladding. “The fact that
technology can learn, become
smarter and more efficient, means
ultimately that the businesses who
harness AI now, are poised to
gain significant competitive
advantages in their industry. In
other words, the gap between
early adopters and laggards is
widening.”

The main driver for AI-based
technology is simple: since
cybercriminals have access to
more advanced technologies, they
have continued to devise new
methods of infiltrating networks.
Since those are built on the back
of AI, the solution for SMBs who
want to operate securely, must
meet those strategies with equally
sophisticated cyber defense tools.
With the proper AI infrastructure,
SMBs can not only outpace the
innovation curve of
cybercriminals, but they can also
enhance their security across
every area of the organization.

View Press Release (PDF)

ATS Communications Helps Companies Successfully Adopt the Hybrid Workplace Model with Advanced Technology Solutions

Posted on: May 28th, 2021 by admin

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Leading Managed Technology Services
Provider Maximizes Employee
Productivity As Businesses Transition
to the New Normal

CONCORD, CA
ATS Communications, a leading
managed technology services
provider, announced today the
company is helping organizations
transition out of the pandemic by
migrating them into a hybrid
workplace model with the latest in
today’s advanced technology
solutions. As restrictions begin to
loosen, small to mid-sized
businesses (SMBs) are looking for
ways to bring staff back into the
office, while simultaneously
maintaining employee safety by
utilizing a hybrid model that
combines the best of in-person and
remote work environments. One of
the most significant challenges that
businesses face when attempting to
accomplish this is to ensure that all
staff have the appropriate
technologies to navigate in-person
and remote environments
seamlessly. While many business
owners are uncertain which
technologies are the best to utilize,
ATS Communications is paving a
path for SMBs to follow, so they
can optimize employee
productivity as the business world
transitions into the next, “new
normal”.

Prior to the pandemic only a
small percentage of employees
worked remotely. We now know
that remote work environments are
going to be mainstay for years to
come. Necessity to adapt,
consequently proved to business
owners just how effective their
staff could be whether in the office
or working from home. In fact,
according to a survey conducted by
a unit of S&P Global Market
Intelligence, out of 575 IT
decision-makers from a range of
industries, they found that “67% of
respondents expect work-from-home policies will remain in place
permanently or at least for the long
term,” which suggests that since
businesses were given no choice
but to adapt, they’ve managed to
survive and if they want to position
themselves for success in the
future, they should ensure that their
technology infrastructure is robust
enough to support employees
ability to communicate and
collaborate. Furthermore, a Gallup
poll revealed that “54% of office
workers would be willing to quit
their job for one that allows them to
work remotely.” Whether a
company goes full-remote or
hybrid, it’s vital that they have the
right technology systems in place
to support productivity and
accountability.

The most important technology
solution needed for any business is
an ability to communicate with its
customers, regardless of its
employees’ physical location.
Cloud voice is the natural response
to that need. ATS
Communications’s cloud voice
solution enables its customers to
leverage the same feature-rich
functionality of an office phone
system, while simultaneously
integrating it with the cloud to
enable the flexibility required in a
hybrid model.

In order to fully maximize
employee productivity and benefit
from a hybrid model, a cloud
computing solution, like Microsoft
Azure must be rapidly adopted by
SMBs. Transitioning a company’s
network from on-premise servers
into Azure is the ideal
infrastructure to support remote
workers. Sanford Gladding,
President at ATS Communications
stated, “Having your servers and
applications in the cloud enables
workers to stay at home or
transition to and from the office
seamlessly. A server in an office
closer is getting closer to extinction
like the dinosaur.”

Lastly, as more employees
spend time in their home offices,
those environments must be
secured because of the gaping lack
in security that most home
networks are exposed to. Far too
many home offices pose security
risks to the entire network because
they offer little security, which
cybercriminals are already
exploiting. “While employees may
have been able to work from
remote on a temporary basis
without setting up proper IT
security infrastructure for the home
office, it’s a huge vulnerability to
expose the rest of the company,”
added Gladding.

View Press Release (PDF)

ATS Communications Helps Healthcare Organizations Protect Patient Data with the Latest in Cybersecure Technology

Posted on: May 4th, 2021 by admin

Doctor using modern computer interface as medical data concept.

Startling Statistics Reveal Challenges of Healthcare Industry’s Ability to Safeguard Patient Records

CONCORD, CA – ATS Communications, a leading
managed technology services provider,
announced that the company is helping
healthcare organizations protect patient
data with the latest in cybersecure
technology. Recent studies show
startling statistics in the healthcare
industry’s ability to safeguard patient
records. According to a 2020 study by
Black Book Market Research, experts
found that 82% of hospital CIOs in
inpatient facilities under 150 staffed
beds and 90% of practice
administrators collectively, state they
are not even close to spending an
adequate amount on protecting patient
records from a data breach.

Additionally, 90% of health systems
and hospital employees who shifted to
a work-at-home assignment due to the
pandemic, did not receive any updated
guidelines or training on the increasing
risk of accessing sensitive patient data
compromising systems.

Healthcare organizations are
primary targets for identity theft
because of the value of the data they
store. This is no secret to healthcare
providers and policies like HIPAA
have been legislative attempts to
encourage providers to better safeguard
this information; however, healthcare
organizations can only protect patient
data to the level at which they
understand the latest cybersecurity
methods and to the level at which their
technology functions. In other words,
since healthcare providers are
rightfully focused on increasing patient
health and well-being, the strength of
their IT network often takes a backseat
in terms of priority. This dynamic
leads to ignored IT networks, outdated
technology, and a perfect target for
cybercriminals. Due to an increase in
the frequency of cyberattacks on
healthcare providers. Providers are
under more pressure than ever before
to adequately safeguard sensitive
information. However, the challenge is
that they lack the extra time required to
become IT experts themselves and they
also lack the extra financial resources
required to hire internal IT staff that
can keep pace with the new
innovations in cybercrime.

“The reason that healthcare
providers choose us is because they
want to keep their focus on serving
patients and they want to know that
their information and technology is
completely protected,” stated Sanford
Gladding, President of ATS
Communications. “Physicians should
not be focused on their IT
infrastructure, nor should they have to
operate with lingering fears of
compliance or audits. It’s a waste of
their talents, time and contribution to
society. We’ve spent decades focusing
on finding the right technology tools,
cybersecurity enhancements and best
practices to keep patients, providers
and staff safe from cyberattack,”
concluded Mr. Gladding.

View Press Release (PDF)

ATS Can Protect Your Business from The Legion of Downtime

Posted on: April 28th, 2021 by admin

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With the Legion of Downtime out there conspiring to shut down businesses, who can protect your business and save you from their hefty costs?

Malware Is Running Rampant – Learn the 3 Moves to Stop It

Posted on: April 14th, 2021 by admin

Data Security system Shield Protection Verification

ATS Communications Helps Customers
Protect Their Precious Networks

CONCORD, CA – ATS Communications a leading
managed technology services provider
(MTSP), proactively helps businesses
address the increased threat of malware
affecting small to mid-sized businesses
(SMBs) in 2021. As more companies
have increased their reliance on their
IT networks to securely access
information and applications,
cybercrime has increased as well.
Malicious actors continue to innovate
their strategies and have even exploited
insecure networks in order to trick
users into downloading malware. ATS
Communications has developed three
simple strategies designed to minimize
exposure and dramatically increase the
safety and security of their customers’
networks.

“One of the biggest concerns that
business owners need to be aware of is
that hackers are becoming much more
sophisticated,” stated Sanford
Gladding, President of ATS
Communications. “A few years ago,
most phishing attempts were relatively
simple to spot. But they have become
much tougher to catch, especially
among untrained staff.” Gladding later
added, “Cybercriminals are using
‘victim vetting’ mechanisms to ensure
that their efforts are pinpointed, and
that they are targeting wealthy
individuals or business owners, to
ensure their time is well-spent and their
attacks are precise.”

There are immediate actions that
any business can implement to add
basic, intermediate and advanced
levels of network protection to secure
their company from these threats. The
first and most easily implemented
solution is to ensure that staff is using
multi-factor authentication (MFA), via
practices such as “two-step
authentication” on tools that they
access on a daily basis. This is one of
those “no-brainers” approaches that
immediately add an extra layer of
protection across the network and is
quite effective at deterring cybercrime.

The second action that any SMB
can take to increase their network
security is to conduct phishing
awareness training. Cybercrime relies
heavily on human error and when
employees are educated as to the types
of attacks that are popular techniques,
they can recognize them and respond
appropriately. Business owners often
overestimate the level of awareness
that staff have about responsible
browsing and downloading practices.

Many people don’t realize that
oftentimes the ideal target for
cybercriminals are smaller, less
protected businesses. Through
ransomware attacks, hackers can gain
leverage that is relatively easy for them
to achieve, as opposed to how
cumbersome it is for them to attack
larger organizations, who’ve invested
much more into their cybersecurity
defense strategy. So, thirdly, for
organizations that have more to lose, in
terms of customer data, medical data,
credit cards and other highly-sensitive
information, they need to take a look at
a security operations center (SOC). A
SOC is a team of cybersecurity experts
monitoring company networks 24
hours a day 7 days a week. If an attack
occurs SOC technicians jump into
action and thwart the attack. SOCs
have grown in popularity because they
are the most comprehensive solution.

While each business faces a
unique level of threat, it’s critical that
SMBs learn more about the risks their
network currently faces and build the
right defense shield with the right
tools.

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ATS, High-End Innovative IT Services for Bay Area Businesses

Posted on: April 1st, 2021 by admin

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For more than 40 years, ATS has provided innovative technology to California businesses. We pride ourselves on our reputation of designing, implementing, and proactively supporting solutions for clients. Our technology solutions provide companies with a competitive advantage without negatively impacting their bottom line. That’s what makes the IT services we offer ideal for the fast-paced and aggressive nature of businesses in the Bay Area.

Pro-IT Services

When it comes to outsourcing your IT, nothing beats our Pro-IT Services. Our service offers meaningful improvements in business operations, helping you achieve higher productivity and profitability. We do this by ensuring that the right processes and technology are implemented and supported with proactive and professional support. All of this is done by us while you focus on your business, saving you both time and money.

Cloud Solutions

ATS offers cloud solutions that provide your business with the mobility to adapt to the changing times. Our solution covers everything from unified communications to business continuity and even supports remote working. We ensure that you can access all the applications and technology you need to operate your business from anywhere at any time.

Cyber Security

Now more than ever, cyber security is something businesses everywhere need. Data breaches, hacking, and ransomware are increasing in frequency, and you can’t let your business be at risk. Keep your company safe with everything our cyber security solution has to offer:

  • Advanced Endpoint Detection & Response
  • Dark Web Monitoring
  • Mobile Device Security
  • Data Backups

Contact ATS Today and get started on our IT Services.

Sharing How Artificial Intelligence (AI) Will Impact Small to Mid-Sized Businesses

Posted on: March 22nd, 2021 by admin

Hands of robot and human touching on global virtual network connection future interface. Artificial intelligence technology concept.

Leading Managed Technology Services Provider Reports on Increases in AI Prevalence

CONCORD, CA – ATS Communications a leading managed technology services provider
(MTSP), reported today on the state of artificial intelligence (AI) and how current applications are impacting businesses and the technology that powers those businesses. While AI is still in its early stages, global demand has increased drastically. In fact, Statista projects that there will be “8 billion voice assistants by 2023″ and according to the IDC, “75% of commercial enterprise apps will use AI by 2021.” As AI continues to expand into ubiquity, small to mid-sized businesses will need to adjust how they operate to take advantage of AI ahead of their competition.

While most businesses are primarily attracted to AI and machine learning in order to improve
operational efficiencies, expand research and development capabilities and to streamline customer experience, this is only the tip of the iceberg. “AI is reaching an inflection point and we’ve
been paying close attention,” stated Sanford Gladding, President of ATS Communications. “AI and machine learning are revolutionizing how we interact with technology and as a society, we’re just beginning to understand its potential on an SMB’s profitability.”

A great example of AI is in the area of cybersecurity, which is designed to protect an SMB’s
computer network. AI is being applied to strengthen data safeguards and prevent identity theft. One such application of AI, is to not only verify a password, but to monitor the keystroke rhythm with which the user types in the password. As a result, AI applications will be able to recognize
whether the user logging-in is typing the password in the same way they normally do it. AI will determine if it’s an identified user or a potential hacker. Cybersecurity AI-based applications
will further help fortify SMBs facing an attempted infiltration.

Furthermore, AI has also become more sophisticated in its ability to read, track, utilize and even redact data in surveillance technology. AI apps provide authorities with instantaneous intelligent access to audio, image and video content. Surveillance cameras can now perform instantaneous facial
recognition, at scale. This puts an extreme level of power into the hands of SMBs to protect customers and employees as well as educational institutions and their students.

Another context is how AI is revolutionizing customer service and support. For example, what if an
inbound customer support message could trigger an instantaneous data grab from each customer’s social media profiles, read their recent posts and summarize those insights into relevant suggestions? These types of applications are emerging and will inevitably lead to more effective interactions, which will replace customer associations of unhelpful robochat solutions.

“ATS Communications is staying at the forefront of AI in order to help our customers evolve their businesses, increase their profitability and enhance productivity,” added Gladding.

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Helping Businesses Shift from Survival Mode to Strategic Growth Mode in 2021

Posted on: February 23rd, 2021 by admin

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Leading Managed Technology Services Provider Educates Businesses on Dramatic Increase in Cybercrime Directed at Small-Business Owners and How to Prevent It

CONCORD, CA – ATS Communications, a leading managed technology services provider (MTSP), announced today that the company is helping businesses develop strategic plans for workplace interaction as they move into 2021. In 2020, virtually every business was caught “off-guard” with pandemic restrictions, which led to them focusing primarily on ways to survive and stabilize. However, as many of these businesses have successfully reoriented themselves and are back in operation, they are now looking for ways to return to strategic growth in 2021. While businesses are not in control of whether or not there are secondary or tertiary waves of infections, they can adopt a technology plan to support their new workplace environment and ensure productivity.

While business owners may have been astonished that their employees actually kept working while remote, the next area of concern is that that technology works, too. In 2020, many businesses were using “workarounds” to solve communication breakdowns, but by now, there’s no reason for lapses in productivity. In fact, there are plenty of technology tools at our fingertips that businesses are utilizing successfully to keep team members engaged, productive and efficient, regardless of physical limitations imposed by the
pandemic.

“Successful small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) are well aware of the benefits of strategic planning and even though the pandemic has been an unforeseen variable for many of us, we now have enough information to build workplace interaction strategies that will
support revenue growth in 2021,” stated RSanford Gladding, President of ATS Communications. “Although businesses may consider themselves to be lucky to have survived, they need to expand their thinking in terms of setting new goals, instead of being caught in reaction mode, once more.” COVID-19 has forced companies to adapt and at this point every business owner essentially needs 3 strategic plans for workplace interaction. The most sophisticated businesses are creating contingency plans for these three different potential environments. ATS is consulting with CEOs and CFOs individually because each business will have its own unique variables to consider when formulating their workplace interaction plan that may include the following in 2021:

  1. Fully-Remote Workplace –
    Organizations that were flexible enough to sustain a fully-remote workforce have opted to keep everyone remote, until further notice. A fully-remote work environment presents its own unique set of challenges but it also offers new opportunities to be taken
    advantage of. For this workplace interaction strategy to be successful, employees must be backed with technology tools that support key functions. For example, employees need to be empowered to remain in constant communication with other team members.
    Additionally, business owners need to provide them central access to data, with responsible levels of cybersecurity on the network. A remote team means more exposure to the network, but it also brings more flexibility than ever before. A full transition to this means that the business won’t be interrupted further by additional restrictions/lockdowns.
  2. Hybrid Workplace –
    The majority of businesses believe that this will be the most likely scenario in 2021. Over the past year, companies have cycled through lockdowns, partial openings and full reopenings depending on health risk factors. If a business owner wants to plan for this they will need to consider ways to secure entrances/exits/access points with things like body temperature scanners or touchless door access controls. They also benefit significantly from tools like cloud voice with call forwarding, to make transitions seamless when staff migrate from the office to remote work environments. In order for hybrid to work, remote technology needs to be secure and seamless, while workers/customers need to feel safe in-person.
  3. In-Person (w/Social
    Distancing) Workplace –

    For a minority of businesses, all activities are dependent on the physical location remaining open. For these businesses, owners need to consider how to adhere and accommodate various safety measures to ensure compliance and worker safety.

Regardless of which workplace environment is most likely, there are three critical aspects that must be addressed within any workplace interaction strategy to ensure success. The first is that employees need access to cloud voice to keep team members in constant communication and to ensure that office calls are properly routed to cell phones when team members are out-of-the-office. Secondly, no matter which workplace environment an SMB finds themself operating from, the team needs to be able to collaborate
effectively. Businesses are well aware that solutions like Microsoft Teams exist, but they need to maximize these tools by customizing them to achieve business outcomes. Lastly, every single workplace environment needs to be kept secure. For inperson strategies, this means secure access points, with tech like body temperature scanners to ensure illnesses cannot spread. For remote workplaces, this means that the cybersecurity precautions have to be considered because generally speaking, home networks pose
much higher risks than office environments.

“We are currently meeting with customers and depending on what they want to achieve in 2021, we are devising custom technology plans to help them accomplish their strategic goals,” added Gladding. “This is what leaders do, they step up and lead in times of uncertainty. We are using our expertise to provide structure and clarity so that businesses can continue to thrive. Technology just happens to be our particular expertise but this effort is about honoring our responsibility to the business community at large.”

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