Working Remotely: Loffler IT Panel Discussion

Working Remotely: Loffler IT Panel Discussion


– [Joe] Alright, so welcome everybody who’s tuning in and
thank you all the panelists for joining. We’ve kind of gathered Loffler’s – some of Loffler’s
best and brightest here to share a little bit about what’s going on in their world
and our clients world in this temporary normal that we have. A little fun to kick things off, I guess we’ll start with you, Randy.
I know we’re all sequestered we’re all probably picking up some new or weird
different hobbies, doing things differently, so you know, what have you been doing different since
you’ve been stuck at home? – [Randy] I’m learning how to bake bread,
that’s gonna be my next activity. The old fashioned way. There’s gonna be plenty of
kneading, there’s going to be yeast, and that sort of thing. That’s, that’s my next phase. – [Joe] Yeah. Chad? – [Chad] Oh, organizing and cleaning. Long awaited projects
to get the house and stuff organized. – [Joe] Cool. Spencer? – [Spencer] Well, my dad’s a farmer and we got
some chickens last summer. So I was spending some breaks every day
in the backyard with our chickens and trying to understand what that’s all about. – [Joe] Cool. Terry? – [Terry] Believe it or not, I’ve just been grooming.
20 years of having a beard. Feels kind of weird, getting rid of that thing. – [Joe] Cool. I’ve just been working out some more.
I was hoping that, someone would have some fun stuff. So chickens and
grooming and bread. I like them. All right, so to kick things off. So Randy, I mean,
everyone’s remote, you know, we’re reeling from that But from a security perspective, which is where you really focus, what kind of tips can you give our clients
in terms of making sure that they secure themselves. We’ve heard that hackers are out in full force.
So it should be front of mind for everybody. – [Randy] Yeah, sure. I mean, we’re seeing reports of
increased activity. Targeted really through email, right. So email scams,
phishing attempts, that sort of thing. This is nothing that’s new, but of course the
malicious actors are exploiting this situation, trying to get
people’s attention. And so I think the thing that most people need to do right now is
beef up the security on their email systems whether that’s an on premise [Microsoft] Exchange Server
or whether that’s [Microsoft] Office 365 or some other hosted cloud based email service. Make sure that you’re going in there, reviewing the settings and, products like Microsoft Office 365, for example,
have built in tools that can allow you to assess your security posture.
So anyone can go in there and do that. Of course, if there’s anyone out there that
needs some help from us we can certainly assist with that. And then I think, warning your employees, making sure that your
employees remain vigilant about clicking on things in email. That’s probably the number one way that attacks are happening
or have happened over the past few months, and that’s expected. So those are the things
that I would be very concerned about. Some other things are just, you know, making sure that you have good
work from home or remote access policies. I know that, given the fluid nature of this situation
there are a number of companies out there that didn’t have these sorts of policies in place beforehand.
So whatever you can do to create a policy, even if it’s not perfect, make sure that you
got something written down that’s understandable for people to follow as they’re working remotely. – [Joe] Cool. Thanks Randy. Chad, from an IT strategy standpoint, you’re – day to day
you’re working with various businesses, trying to align their strategy with IT. You know, in this new world of ours,
what tips would you have to businesses as they start to build out or harden their BC and DR plans. – [Chad] Well, it’s interesting. A lot of clients that I work
with, they don’t have a business model that lends itself to remote work or it’s not a culture that is
historically enabled that type of thing. So, Those types of companies are having to adapt on the fly,
trying to figure out how to redo their work processes and how to enable remote work where they didn’t necessarily
have the tools or the laptops or the VPN licenses or whatever that might be. So I guess,
you know, first of all, this is a real awakening for companies to realize that business continuity planning
is not an IT exercise. It’s really about… Getting all the key stakeholders involved in
understanding what it looks like to run your business. This isn’t a scenario that I think a lot of
companies really anticipated or planned for. It seemed unlikely when we’re talking about
business continuity planning, but here we are and so, I just think it’s important for companies to be thinking about,
you know, even if their culture is to work on premise, work on desktops or whatever, that they need to be
thinking about what would it look like if we had to have everybody work remotely. So we’ve been doing a good job.
Our engineers and our teams and clients themselves have been nimble and flexible and adapting how they work
and leveraging tools they haven’t used before. And so… I guess in the future, just thinking a little bit about what
that strategy looks like and how you would execute that. And what that looks like from a planning perspective. – [Joe] Thanks Chad. Spencer, you’re managing our Managed Services teams right?
I mean, how is this all affected our teams at Loffler and more importantly, the clients out there and
what tips can you provide? – [Spencer] Yeah, over the last few days we’ve seen a lot of
support requests for people to work remotely that haven’t before and I think it’s important to remember
that there’s a variety of ways to do that. As Randy said you always want to keep security in mind.
You want to use VPN connections and multi-factor authentication if you have it available to access company resources, but it
doesn’t have to be every employee does everything the same way. Some work can be done without a VPN connection, maybe. Your IT managed services partner may be able to help
with a cloud solution that can maybe get a task that you’re used to doing in the office done efficiently,
but done a different way than you’ve used before. So, definitely talk with your managed services partner and
understand how people are working throughout the day and what people need to access, what resources,
so you can use what you have most efficiently. – [Joe] Cool. And Terry, last but not least. I mean your –
communication collaboration is really your focus so, that’s got to be impacting a lot of people hard right now.
So what tips would you have for folks in terms of those topics? – [Terry] Well, one of the things we’ve been trying to work on over
the last couple of years is really getting to a cloud based strategy for voice communication, for collaboration. And so, in a time
like this you can send people home, they still have the ability to work and with the cloud solutions that we offer it’s basically,
you can work wherever, however, whenever you want. So you can use soft phones, you can use mobile devices.
You can even use, you know, your 3G off of your cell phone to be able to provide internet, to be able to do a call just like this,
which is what I’m doing right now remotely. So, there’s all these tools that you can utilize to be able to work
however, wherever and whenever you want. – [Joe] Cool. Well, that’s it. We want to keep this brief.
I really appreciate everyone’s time for covering everything from security, to strategy,
managed services, remote work and collaboration. So, for all those that are tuning in, if you have any questions,
make sure to click the link for any more comments or to connect with somebody
and everyone have a great day.

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