Coronavirus (COVID-19) Remote Working Update – 16th March 2020
As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to take its grip on the UK and the rest of the world, many of our clients are understandably worried about how they will be able to work remotely if and when the UK is placed into lockdown.
At the moment, we do not know if or when a full lockdown will happen but would like to assure you that even if we have to close our own office, we are in a position to continue to operate in an efficient manner and continue to provide support – including getting you access to your systems as and when the need arises.
Should you require remote access set up in anticipation of a lockdown, please log a ticket with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or using our portal at https://helpdesk.scisuk.com – this will log the request instantly and you should receive an incident number by return within a few minutes. Once a ticket is logged we will then document access requests and work through getting as many users set up as soon as possible. Please note that at this current time, we are seeing increased workloads but will get back to as many people, as quickly as possible to service remote access requests and continue to prioritise works in a sensible manner.
If you are already a user of our Hosted Voice platform and use Yealink handsets, these can be used at home without any modification, although you may need a power supply for the handset if you do not have one of these and the device is currently powered from a network switch. We currently have power supplies in stock and have more arriving imminently, these are priced at £12.00 + VAT each. Once you have plugged your handset in at home, if you have any issues dialling out please let us know as it may be that our anti-fraud platform has temporarily placed a block because it has sensed the handset is being used in a different location and needs the IP whitelisting.
For users of any other “on-premise” telephone system installed or maintained by ourselves (Panasonic), these handsets cannot be taken home and will need us to login and place voice diverts to a mobile phone or home landline, as and when required. Even if you are using Panasonic IP handsets but the telephone system is not a hosted system, these cannot be plugged in at home without a router to router VPN which requires on-site configuration.
- For users, we provide Microsoft Office 365 to – e-mail should continue to work without the need for any VPN access set up. Please remember the Office 365 login address is https://login.microsoftonline.com/
- For users of our hosted data share (SharePoint & ZeeDrive) proposition, again – this should work without any further configuration or VPN access.
- Should you have Microsoft Office 365 and wish to utilise Microsoft Teams for communication and have not used this before, there is a useful introduction at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CH2seLS5Wb0
It may worth mentioning that only this morning we saw a 2-hour outage of Microsoft Teams across Europe when lots of users started logging on from home. Whilst UK ISP’s have advised they are “ready for increased internet usage in the day”, there is a possibility that if and when usage shifts from commercial to domestic platforms and cloud services are used more heavily, outages or slowdowns could happen.
We recommend a “dry run” if you need to work from home, check you have access to the items you need as soon as possible and let us know if any further assistance is needed, we will, of course, do our best to assist and accommodate any requests.
If a user cannot be home in the day, we are happy (where possible) to accommodate a call in the evening to remote on and configure remote access and/or check it is functioning in readiness, however, please note this would be chargeable.
Above all – we ask you to keep in mind that we are only human, have families and are in “the same boat as everyone else”. Like others, we are under increased pressure but I would like to assure you of our continued attention at all times.