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Master Agents on Remote Working: Welcome to the New Normal

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Telecommuter

Remote working isn’t just part of the near-term future. It is the future and has been for some time.

We wrote in a previous article about how channel partners – master agents in particular – responded to the influx of remote workers. Now we’ve asked more partners to weigh in on remote workforce challenges and give us their prognosis for the future. What will the “new normal” be for businesses and the technology providers that serve them?

Avant's Drew Lydecker

Avant’s Drew Lydecker

“In these unprecedented times, enterprises are compelled to enable a remote workforce to preserve the safety of their employees, customers and partners,” Avant Communications president Drew Lydecker said. “More than anything, this global pandemic is revealing the true extent of enterprises’ preparedness, as well as their potential to withstand what many believe will be a lasting shift in the way we work.”

Read part one of our series featuring the COVID-19 response from Telarus, PlanetOne, TCG, Intelisys and more.

The challenges are many for businesses, and they’ve called upon subagents not just for technology integration, but to be “sounding boards” for their problems, according to Lydecker.

“Enterprises must balance their desire for a speedy deployment with sizable factors like ensuring adequate bandwidth for all remote employees; interoperability with legacy systems, CRM platforms and edge devices; geographical distribution for those who have a global footprint; and the ever-present need for end-to-end security,” said Lydecker.

Renee Bergeron, AppSmart’s senior vice president and general manager, said partners are turning to “creative solutions,” such as SD-WAN, fixed wireless, and VPN as a service to solve bandwidth problems.

AppSmart's Renee Bergeron

AppSmart’s Renee Bergeron

“Home bandwidth is becoming throttled both by other homes in the area as well as by family members competing for streaming bandwidth,” Bergeron said. “It’s inhibiting virtual meeting effectiveness.”

iTelecom CEO Micah Bevitz said his company adopted this new normal well before the crisis required it. The California-based master agent had already worked with customers to make them “full-time remote ready.”

iTelecom's Micah Bevitz

iTelecom’s Micah Bevitz

That paid dividends when the stay-at-home orders began pouring in.

“All our clients had to say was, ‘OK, let’s work from home now,’ and their teams just went home and worked. They could do that because we had already implemented technology solutions that give the end-user the same experience in the office, at home, or at Starbucks,” Bevitz told Channel Partners.

Bevitz in a LinkedIn post cited hosted desktop companies such as Star2Star that provide a native softphone application.

“When you wrap in a softphone to the desktop you then are able to give your end users the ability to securely work from any location for an extended amount of time without the need for a local IT presence to assist each user because no hardware is sent by the company,” Bevitz wrote.

Bergeron pointed to disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) as a technology that is …

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