5 solutions to help IT companies prepare their customers for a second wave of Covid-19

Monday, June 1, 2020

World health experts are warning a second wave of Covid-19 is possible[1]. Just in case this does happen, we have written this blog to help our customers, and all UK IT companies, prepare their customers for remote working.

The solutions below will benefit any company and will help them towards 'business as usual'.

What’s Predicted?

At the time of writing, the UK has been in lockdown for 10 weeks. Businesses have been massively affected. 27% of UK employees were furloughed in less than a month. People claiming unemployment benefits has soared to a 14-year high.

Things are improving. The government is slowly easing lockdown measures and those that can safely go back to work, can.

But now health experts are predicting a second wave of Covid-19 is a possibility and has suggested local lockdowns may be put in place to fight infection rate.

Capterra, the leading B2B software search engine website, revealed 43% of businesses had to buy or install new software to be able to work remotely and 26% plan to buy or install software to help their transition to remote working [2].

Giacom partners, and all ITCs, play a vital role in helping UK businesses transition to remote working, until we reach the end of this pandemic.

The Solution – Cloud-Based Services

In February, we predicted, in another blog post, the adoption of cloud services was going to rapidly increase over the next two years. With Covid-19 hitting and remote working becoming a necessity, that adoption timeline will dramatically shorten.

We have all had to quickly learn that to get through this pandemic, remote working is essential. Most businesses (Giacom included) have never had their full workforce working from home.

Lockdown is easing and companies/employees can go back to work but asked to work remotely where possible. Now is the time to start future-proofing your customers' businesses. Microsoft’s Chief Executive, Satya Nadella, said on April 30th: “We’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months.”

Business operations need to shift to the Cloud and out of the physical building.

If a second wave does come, travel will be limited to the essentials. Your customers’ offices are off-limits. You need to move their infrastructure to the cloud.

There are 5 key areas and solutions that need considering to help businesses work remotely, efficiently and securely. These 5 areas may not be necessary to every business but we believe each need consideration.

Solution 1 – Productivity & Communication Through Microsoft 365 & Teams

While working from home in lockdown, companies must look after their employees and their mental health.

There's no substitute to face-to-face interaction with a colleague. The next best thing is video calls and internal social channels. The latter should be separate to work talk and is a great way to keep happy, healthy and motivated.

The above are all combined in the leading business productivity tool - Microsoft 365.

Part of Microsoft 365 is Microsoft Teams, the fastest-growing teamwork application. Teams is one of the best solutions on the market to communicate with colleagues, customers and suppliers. Since March, Microsoft Teams users have grown from around 32million to 77million.

In our experience, Teams is the starting point of end-users moving to the Cloud. When they see the benefit, they’ll look at channels to store documents, to replace existing on-premise solutions. Teams also has an add-on for a cloud telephony system in Microsoft Business Voice.

Microsoft Teams is currently free for 6-months.

Solution 2 – Cloud Server

Before Covid-19, many SMBs were buying on-premise servers over cloud-based servers. We found that this was due to end-users not being comfortable storing their data in the cloud. A lack of confidence from all parties to configure and deploy a cloud server also contributed. Not to mention the complicated pricing models that come with them.

Now, cloud servers are possibly the biggest asset a company could have.

Giacom Cloud Server, a unique offering in the UK, is a pre-configured Microsoft Azure server.

With various specifications, you can deploy these cloud servers in a few clicks. The costs are easily managed with a simple, fixed monthly price. Your customers know what they're spending and you don't have to waste time checking usage.

Each Cloud Server comes with an optional VPN and backup and all data is stored within a UK data centre.

The simplicity of Cloud Server means, if you’ve used on-premise servers before, then you’ll have no problems using Cloud Server.

Cloud Server, with a VPN, is currently free to all existing and new customers until July 26th 2020.

Solution 3 - Telephony

Is your customers' telephone system critical to running their business?

Whether they provide a support helpdesk or outbound calls are their biggest sales generator, a good, reliable phone system is vital to the continuation of their business.

If a second wave of Covid-19 hits, on-premise phone systems are not an option. Enter cloud telephony solutions.

These softphone VoIP systems can be deployed and setup in minutes. All done remotely, through the cloud, with no hardware needed. Add users easily to scale the solution as and when their employees come back to work or their business grows. For full flexibility, these systems are available across desktop, laptop and smartphone devices.

CircleLoop, a cloud telephony solution, is currently free until July 26th 2020.

Solution 4 – Document Management

If your customers have not already started moving towards a paperless office, then now is the time.

On-premise document storage is going to be a waste of time if lockdown measures tighten. Compared to a document control cloud solution that is available 24/7, from any device.

Many cloud solutions are GDPR compliant, with ISO27001 and Cyber Essentials accreditations. They have also proven to improve productivity and are easily scaled. And, you don’t need to worry about office space restrictions.

Storetec and Microsoft SharePoint are just two options available for ITCs to resell.

Solution 5 – Online Backup

Offline backups in lockdown are not possible. Infrastructure in the office won’t be accessible and it’s not feasible for every employee to backup their own files from home.

Automated online backup solutions can backup all data critical to a business. There are many solutions available, some of which integrate into Microsoft 365. This secures all your customers’ emails, contacts and documents.

Online backups can even be configured for on-premise infrastructure, if it’s needed.

Once backed up, the data is secure and easily accessed from anywhere and from any device.

Our Office 365 Secure product, which includes both Acronis Backup and Vade Secure, is currently free until June 26th 2020.

Conclusion

A second wave of Covid-19 is a real possibility but even if it doesn't happen, remote working is going to be at the top of most businesses priority lists going forward and it's more important than ever to ensure your customers are prepared.

This is a hard time for every business, so make use of the free offers available and pass these onto your customers.

If you choose to help your customers by partnering with Giacom, we don’t have any contracts or tie-ins. Take advantage of the free offers and then when they’re not needed anymore, cancel them at no extra cost.

Our Cloud.Market integrates directly with solutions for all the above. Making the management of all products for your customers easy. If you want to see how easy, contact us and ask for a demo.

Finally, we’re here to help. If you need anything or any advice, please do get in touch: 0333 332 0888 or sales@giacom.com.

Your Customer-first cloud services distributor
Your business, technical, go-to-market readiness
Your efficient, effective IT business

[1] www.cebm.net/covid-19/covid-19-epidemic-waves/
[2] www.capterra.co.uk/blog/1471/key-takeaways-from-uk-going-remote

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