Clearing The IT Hurdles To Scaling Up Remote Work

No one is happy with life under quarantine from COVID-19, but the demands placed on corporate IT departments in the switch to almost entirely a remote work environment have been staggering. On top of previous responsibilities like handling system upgrades and migrations, now there’s the task of making every worker comfortable and capable to participate in likely hours of online meetings from their home. And all this needs to be done yesterday.

There are some must-have steps and questions companies need to answer when scaling up their web meeting platform, which might have previously been a small piece of the company tech stack. Now it’s a mission-critical part of operations. It’s crucial to examine those existing licenses, scale up in usage to accommodate a far higher user base, and possibly taking advantage of a wide selection of free trials from providers looking to capitalize on surging demand.

Get Ahead With Training

During a recent webinar with a wide swath of customers and industry leaders, Matt Stevenson, Vyopta’s Senior Solutions Engineer, found that more than half of those in attendance had seen more than three quarters of their workforce switch to remote working. And 56 percent of attendees said they were more likely to move their unified communications components to the cloud as a result of the change in work habits.

That shift means there is likely to be a surge in trouble tickets and complaints from users who aren’t familiar or comfortable with remote meetings, making it important to provide written and video training resources that can be consumed quickly.

“One of my biggest challenges is that most people aren’t used to working from home so there’s a lot of user error and confusion and you hear people asking ‘How do I do this?’ when they’re joining meetings and things aren’t working. Maybe I can’t hear you and you can’t hear me or I can’t see your screen,” Stevenson said.

“You can get licenses and get everyone started with an account fairly quickly, especially when things are being given away for free for a short time period. But it’s an issue when most of your meetings start off with 15 minutes of asking if someone is on and making sure you can hear everybody. People are opening up tickets and clogging up the support line and that is bogging everyone down and that keeps the IT side from being able to make sure everyone can make calls.”

Find The Data That’s Hidden

The simple truth is many new remote video users can become disenfranchised when they run into bad audio or a lag on their video for the first time. And there’s no guarantee they’ll take the proper steps to address the problem, which means underlying system issues can linger longer than they should.

The insights that come from data providers like Vyopta make it possible to sniff out these hidden or unreported problems and make it far easier for IT staff to trouble shoot effectively. Being able to see the performance of every call in real time or as a historical view provides the clearest picture of choke points or user issues that can stifle a team’s ability to work and collaborate effectively.

“One of the stories I always talk about when I’m talking to a potential customer is imagine someone is getting ready to start a meeting and they’re at home. They go to log on and end up joining someone else’s meeting and it’s problematic since no one knows what to do, there’s sounds coming from feedback… the truth is when that happens most people aren’t going to open up a ticket or call the service desk. Some are, but the majority of problems are never heard of so there’s no way to know of a problem when they won’t tell you,” he said.

“With a tool that offers you analytics you see every single call, every failure and quality issue in real time as well as historically. That’s going to give you a really good idea as to the health of your environment and how people are using things so you can optimize it by recognizing that a lot of people are having a particular problem, so you can do an email campaign or fix something on the back end if it has to do with the internal infrastructure or maybe talk to the provider.”

As part of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Vyopta is currently offering a free trial to help IT teams support massive expansion in remote work.

Chad Swiatecki

Chad Swiatecki is a business writer and journalist whose work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Billboard, New York Daily News, Austin Business Journal, Austin American-Statesman and many other print and online publications. He lives in Austin, Texas and is a graduate of Michigan State University. Find him online on LinkedIn.