5 Things Businesses Need for a Successful Long Term Remote Workforce

Posted on: June 30th, 2020 by admin

A man in a suit working on a tablet and a laptop, with his hands and technology being connected with bright orange dots and white lines that have a sphere in the center of it.

As the mandates for isolation and closure are slowly lifting, many business are finding themselves presented with a new challenge. What do they do with their newly founded remote workforces? While some choose to transition them back into the office environment, others are trying to figure out if they can transition this short term plan into a long one. This, however, isn’t as simple as some would think, as many things would need to be addressed for a long term remote workforce plan to be successful.

We at ATS know what’s needed for a remote workforce to succeed. So we’ve compiled 5 things businesses need to address for long term remote working:

  1. Acquire Better Managed Technology – Most businesses scrambled to quickly get what they need to adapt to remote working as fast as possible. While these might have worked in the short term, in the long term a more thought-out and streamlined technology will be needed. Businesses will need to reconsider what tools to utilize, whether or not the company should provide work PCs or Laptops, cloud services to use for file hosting, and so much more. Your business needs to look at how they can build a better technological infrastructure to support long term remote workers.
  2. Proper Documentation of Work – One of the key things businesses need to have in place to make remote work successful in the long term, is a proper system to document work that is being done. Documentation will not only aid in informing team members when they are working asynchronously; it will also create an archive for organizational assessments. That’s why it’s important for companies to start looking into a system to implement that makes managing all the documenting of the data easier for them.
  3. Assess Software & Hardware Security – The threat of hackers and viruses are ever-present for many businesses, and remote workforces can present a huge security risk if not assessed beforehand. Not only does the software and network need to be assessed for potential vulnerabilities, but hardware being used to work remotely also needs an assessment. Your companies cybersecurity is only as strong as the weakest link, which is why it needs to ensure that workers are using a pre-setup work computer or they are provided what is needed to secure their hardware for external threats. Things like email protection and firewalls should be looked into heavily for long term protection.
  4. Solidify Your Virtual Collaboration Tools – Without proper communication setup for remote workers, they are doomed to fail. You need a way for them to communicate back and forth with each other and with management. Businesses need to have tools in place that allow for instant messaging, video conferencing, and instant collaboration. You may end up with a singular app that has functionality for everything you need, or you may have multiple applications that serve different purposes being used in tandem. That’s why it’s important to solidify what applications or systems are going to be used by your remote workforce.
  5. Update Policies and Procedures – Not only does your business need to adopt new policies and procedures for working remotely, but they also need to adopt ones that work. While you can look to other businesses’ pre-established policies for inspiration, there are many things your business needs to consider when making new policies:
    • Can all roles remain functional and equally productive when performed from an offsite location?
    • Which roles, if any, will require job description or job performance updates in order to transition to telecommuting positions?
    • Will any roles require new resources, equipment, or software in order to be performed remotely?

    Not to mention other things like the chain of command, administrative functions, and reporting need to be outlined as well.

While building up a remote workforce for long term success can be challenging, it can ultimately lead to great growth and prosperity fo many businesses. That’s why we here at ATS are here to help, contact us today and get started on planning a successful plan for a long term remote workforce.

ATS Communications Provides Cybersecurity for a Remote Workforce

Posted on: June 9th, 2020 by admin

A businessman working remotely in his home office

With businesses moving to a remote workforce, they face different challenges that they didn’t deal with before. One of those challenges is how to keep your network secure while operating under a remote model. Here are some recommendations to ensure your business avoids a network breach.

Be Vigilant Against Phishing Scams

Hackers have been exploiting the increase in remote work by sending out phishing emails. They have been sending out these emails posing as health or government officials to prey upon people’s fear or curiosity over the coronavirus. One mistake by an employee could cause massive issues with your company.

To help with this, we offer email filtering services, which leverages more than 20 separate filters to protect against a wide range of dangers. We continually update this service so you can rest assured that you will be protected from the latest threats.

Password Strength

Making sure that your company uses strong passwords is a critical requirement to ensure your business is protected. Unfortunately, the top passwords in 2019 were ‘12345’ and ‘123456’ which offers little protection against a motivated scammer. A mixture of letters, numbers, and symbols and a length of at least ten characters is ideal for a strong password.

Additionally, enabling multi-factor authentication will further strengthen your protection against hackers. Multi-factor authentication adds an additional layer of protection, so if your password is compromised, your data will remain protected.

Training

Train your employees on the best practices for remaining safe. An educated workforce is an essential part of your business’s defense against cyber threats. If your employees know about data security and phishing scams, they will know how to identify them and avoid any issues. We offer a web-based training solution to educate your employees, and we can help define your security policies.

Protecting your network is critically important to your business’s success, and even more so now that employees are working remotely. Contact ATS Communications today to ensure your network is protected from the latest security threats.

Empowering Companies to Combat COVID-19 with Microsoft Teams

Posted on: June 3rd, 2020 by admin

A man working from home using a laptop and drinking coffee

CONCORD, CA – ATS Communications, a leading managed technology services provider (MTSP) is empowering business owners to accelerate innovation within their companies through Microsoft’s new software, Teams. Microsoft Teams is a tool that dramatically enhances every employee’s ability to collaborate by integrating the functions of chat, meetings, calls and collaboration into a single platform. With the recent outbreak of COVID-19, mandatory precautions have forced small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) across the country to innovate after being thrust into an immediate need to keep their operations running, remotely. ATS Communications is proactively helping customers transition to their staff to a remote workforce leveraging Microsoft Teams.

While working remotely is the “new normal” among many businesses, some companies are reluctant to change, often citing intangible benefits of working in a shared physical location. However, according to the Forrester Study: The Total Economic Impact of Microsoft Teams, those assertions lack data. In fact, according to the study, “information workers were able to save 4hrs/wk through
improved collaboration and information sharing,” thereby giving many employees the extra time they needed to finally catch up on all the loose ends that often interrupt operations. Furthermore, the Forrester Study also concluded that “an average of 150 overnight trips [were] replaced with online meetings by year 3.” Regardless of industry, every business stands to benefit greatly from the dramatic reduction in costs associated with decreasing travel budgets as well helping to combat COVID-19.

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ATS Communications Helps Companies Transition to a Remote Workforce

Posted on: May 8th, 2020 by admin

A man working from home using a laptop and a headset while writing on in a notepad

CONCORD, CA – ATS Communications a leader in managed technology services, announced today that the company is proactively helping small to midsized businesses (SMBs) rapidly transition to a remote workforce. With the recent outbreak of COVID-19, mandatory precautions have forced organizations to adopt a work from home policy. ATS Communications has been setting up remote workforces for years and their expertise has enabled the company to be in the leader in their community and enable organizations to make a successful transition in a very short period of time.

Working from home is just as productive as working in the office if you have the right technology and the right provider guiding you along the way. Today’s technology that is a must for collaboration, communication, and productivity includes voice, videoconference, instant message, Office365, Microsoft Teams and access to files whether cloud-based or via VPN. Cybersecurity solutions is a necessity as well because there has been a substantial increase in cyberattacks. Hackers are sending a flurry of COVID-19 phishing attacks and are preying on workers sitting at home hoping to gain access to personal and company information.

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We Are Working Hard to Educate Customers on Cloud Technologies

Posted on: May 5th, 2020 by admin

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As more companies are switching to a remote workforce, there is a learning curve to using the new technology. Whether it is adjusting to the unified communications (UC) software or learning how to communicate over a video conference efficiently, ATS Communications is working hard to ensure that our customers are trained on the new technologies.

Training

During these difficult times, we are using all of the tools at our disposal to ensure our customers are able to get the most out of their cloud technology. We have been handling training sessions by doing screen shares to walk our clients through the UC software capabilities.

As our customers grow accustomed to the UC software, they are beginning to see the added value. The increased mobility and collaboration afforded by the cloud is offering real benefit to their business. With Microsoft Teams, collaboration is easy and efficient. Our customers can hold on-the-spot meetings, share files, and sync calendars. Having these tools at their fingertips makes working remotely much less stressful and allows their employees to be efficient and productive.

On-site Calls

Our technicians are still going out to calls at essential businesses. Before they go out, we ensure that the company is set up for social distancing, and all of our technicians are wearing masks and carrying wipes. We are taking every precaution to ensure the safety of all employees involved.

Help Desk

Our help desk is still available 24/7/365, and we will work diligently to resolve any issues that may arise while your business is working remotely. We are able to troubleshoot most issues, including virus and malware issues, desktop performance problems, email applications, and more.

ATS Communications is working hard to ensure that all of our customers are set up and able to work from home efficiently. We offer a variety of services and tools to keep them collaborating and able to hold effective communication amongst themselves and with their customers. It is not too late to transition to a remote workforce and get set up with cloud technologies. Contact ATS Communications today!

ATS is Your Business Technology Partner – Use Us!

Posted on: April 9th, 2020 by admin

Man Working Remotely on Laptop in Coffee Shop

As we face together the reality of needing to work remotely for an extended period, rely on the ATS team to help you make the best total decisions for your company and your staff. We can help navigate all the technical offerings being made by multiple vendors and find the right fit for your company to maximize your daily business operations.

Guidance Icon

Guidance: There are a multitude of options for businesses to connect their voice and data infrastructure to a remote workforce. Work with us to identify your specific short-term and long-term objectives so we can match the right technology for your team.

Advice Icon

Advice: A successful deployment has multiple components necessary to create a stable and secure environment. ATS will advise you on all the specifics for your environment to ensure a successful deployment the first time.

Recommendations Icon

Recommendations: We are already familiar with your technical environment. Leverage the ATS expertise to get recommendations on which platforms will be the best fit so your staff can work as efficiently from home as they do in the office. With our vendor agnostic approach, we will create and implement a strategy that will provide short-term and long-term solutions. Whether the need is to address the current COVID19 environment, a permanent remote worker or to better prepare and position the business to mobilize instantaneously, the ATS team can design the right solution.

Guidance, advice and recommendations are the values the ATS team can provide you as your business technology partner. Please use us a that resource. Contact your Account Manager or Technical Advisor directly or call (800) 995-4287, Option 1 or email service@teamATS.com for support.

ATS Communications Offers Cloud Solutions to Work Remotely

Posted on: April 2nd, 2020 by admin

Woman working remotely in her home office with a laptop

With the growing COVID-19 crisis, it is becoming increasingly necessary for your employees to be able to work remotely. At ATS Communications, we have cloud solutions that will give your company the mobility to adapt to the rapidly changing landscape. From presence-based awareness to video communication, your company will remain productive and be able to maintain all of the necessary communication needed to run efficiently.

In order for your business to continue running smoothly during the COVID-19 outbreak, it is critical that your employees are able to maintain collaborative efforts. Our cloud solutions offer video conferencing, so meetings and customer communications can still take place. Having the ability to convey information is essential, and video conferencing will allow your employees to remain efficient and productive.

Additionally, our solution delivers a single communications portal that displays consistently on desktops, laptops, smartphones, and tablets. The single communication portal will allow your employees to communicate effectively from any device.

Other features that are included are:

  • Unified Messaging
  • Flexible SIP bundles
  • Contact center solutions
  • Direct Inward Dialing

If your company is already using some cloud applications, such as Office365 or IP phones, the transition to working remotely can be done quickly and easily. If your company is using older technologies, we will still be able to migrate your company relatively quickly and cost-effectively.

Adapting to this situation is critical for your company to survive. Contact ATS Communications today, so we can take the necessary steps to get your business migrated to the cloud. We will work diligently to ensure your business operations are back up and running as soon as possible.

Coronavirus (COVID19) Update – Our Concord Office Remains Open and We Are Here to Help!

Posted on: March 16th, 2020 by admin

Businesman opening door and walking into an office full of people

To our valued clients:

The spread of the COVID19 (Coronavirus) is requiring us to rapidly adapt and change our work routines and our personal lives. This afternoon the Contra Costa County has issued a mandate that all county residents “shelter in place” and that Contra Costa businesses cease normal business operations until April 7th, 2020.  Our corporate office operates in Concord, a Contra Costa city. There are exceptions for businesses that provide essential services during this timeframe. ATS meets the requirements for providing essential services in supporting our client’s voice and IT infrastructure.

This means our Concord office can stay open. We will have essential personnel only in this office while other staff work remotely. Additionally, our Sacramento and Redding offices remain open with no restrictions as of this email (subject to change, and probably will).

We are committed to making sure your systems continue to operate in a safe a stable environment. Our service center and technical team continue to be fully staffed and fully operational. Our technical advisors are supporting clients remotely whenever possible in lieu of traveling to sites, but if required and safe, our team will travel onsite to support your systems. Our objective is to continue to provide our best to you, our clients, in these unique circumstances.

Our account management team is also available via phone and email (or in person in some cases) and can assist with any transitional projects that you may need to set up your own remote workforce or add new cloud applications.

If you have a pending project currently scheduled, our operational team will contact you directly to review the timeline and determine if any modifications to your project are needed.
The safety and health of our staff and their families remain a top priority.  Even with offices open and our ability to go to client sites remain intact, we have a social responsibility to follow the recommendations of the CDC to help minimize the exposure and spread of COVID19.  We are asking all team members from all offices to limit in person meetings and service tickets until April 7th.  We will look to conduct meetings online using our tools and complete service requests remotely.  If any ATS team member does conduct a site visit, we will ask for confirmation from you that in person meetings are acceptable.  While onsite, our team members will be accommodating to any specific safety requests you have in place and follow the proper safety protocols (no handshaking, social distancing, washing hands before and after meeting). 

ATS team members are going to do our part to “flattening the curve” and limit our exposure so we can be sure our staff is able to protect themselves, their family as well as our fellow community members.

As always, we appreciate your partnership and we stand ready to assist as we navigate these unprecedented circumstances together. 

Want to Set Up a Remote Workforce?

Posted on: March 13th, 2020 by admin

Remote workforce computer engineer coding from home office

It May Not Be As Hard As You Think

In these unprecedented times, some businesses are evaluating their options for their staff to work remotely so they can continue to conduct daily operations. If you are considering these options, but have questions, ATS is here to help.

The ATS team is available to answer your IT and voice related questions about working remotely. Your IP phone and cloud applications will work anywhere there is an internet connection. If you do not have IP phones or cloud applications, there are options starting at about $30/user with no contracts.

Consult your Account Manager directly or call or send an email to our technical service center for support if you would like to learn more.

Leveraging Microsoft Azure to Take Customers Into the Cloud

Posted on: March 9th, 2020 by admin

A blue digital cloud hovering over a man's hand

CONCORD, CA – ATS Communications a leading managed technology services provider (MTSP) is leveraging Microsoft Azure to help eliminate outdated IT hardware in small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) and make a seamless transition to the cloud. Microsoft’s most common suite of products has reached expiration such as Windows 7 and as those products and services have matured into obsolescence along with server they ride on. ATS Communications has been proactively transitioning companies with end-of-life Microsoft products into Microsoft Azure in order to keep them up-to-date with the contemporary business world.

While many business owners are accustomed to purchasing on-premise servers, this way of storing data has become obsolete with the proliferation of the cloud. Aside from the fact that the tech world has embraced the cloud and that virtually all innovation from this point forward will incorporate the cloud in some way, on-premise servers have matured beyond their useful life into obsolescence. On-premise servers are vulnerable to becoming outdated, which lead to major security concerns for business owners. On top of that, without regular updates and software upgrades, they are susceptible to slower speeds while the rest of the world is speeding up. In sum, it makes no sense for business owners to outlay large capital expenditures on deteriorating technology.

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