In today’s hyper-connected world, we may “go to work” – but that may no longer be an actual, designated physical space. Thanks to ever-smarter mobile devices and an explosion of cloud-delivered services and apps, virtual companies are becoming more common, made up of workforce talent sourced from across the country, if not the world. They’re working from their houses, from coffee shops, from the plane – and they’re doing it on laptops, smart phones or tablets. Virtual companies are flexible, forward-thinking, and care about their workers’ quality of life.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t hurdles. With everyone spread out and a lack of daily face-to-face interaction, many employees are trying to do their jobs and collaborate using a hodgepodge of apps and services. They communicate by Skype, Google Hangouts, or one of many other niche solutions. Still others use storage apps like Box for important company documents. None of these things are intrinsically wrong, but when combined, they contribute to a lack of consistency, security and management control over the work environment. That patchwork approach makes the creation of a seamless virtual company identity very hard to achieve.
New technologies can help this new class of virtual companies excel in their efforts to collaborate without a physical headquarters. Thanks to these innovations, colleagues, customers, partners, and business data and applications can now be linked together in a virtual work environment by a raft of important collaboration options and security/management tools.
For instance, unified communications (UC) as-a-service can provide an important consistency across devices and locations. UC clients give all workers, regardless of where they are or on what device, the ability to make voice and video calls, send chat messages, and make conference calls from within the same familiar interface. With built-in presence indicators, which show your coworkers your current status and how best to reach you, collaboration and productivity is boosted even further.
Virtual companies also can up the ante on their managed UC platforms by adding in inbound/outbound virtual fax. This “fax machine in the cloud” option is perfect for those working in highly regulated industries like financial services or law, where faxed copies are still required. With a virtual fax service, sending a fax is as easy as attaching a document to an email and clicking Send – no fax machine or extra phone lines required.
In a similar vein, managed Office 365 offers cloud-based email, backup in the cloud with Microsoft OneDrive, Skype for Business, and more – and can be an important add-on for virtual workers. Major highlights include business-class email with 50GB mailboxes, shared calendars, and spam and malware protection that stays up-to-date. It also comes with secure online file storage and a shared 1TB of space in the cloud.
And finally, managed endpoint security offers a critical underpinning for virtual companies. Unfortunately, just like companies with large headquarters locations, virtual companies are often targets for cybercriminals bent on stealing company data, lifting banking information, or enriching themselves with cryptocurrency miners, ransomware or other malware.
To safeguard a virtual office and achieve a secure working environment, managed endpoint security can ensure that patches and updates are always installed and can provide integrated anti-malware and anti-virus technology. It also could include 24×7 monitoring and alerting as well as troubleshooting and repair.
TPx combines all of these critical aspects of supporting a business into a complete, best-in-class, Virtual Company Solution. The suite includes Hosted Unified Communications with Virtual Fax, Managed Office 365 and Managed Endpoints for your workstations. Together, they provide all of the functionality laid out above — without the need for in-house IT expertise or other technical resources.
To be successful, virtual companies don’t need more platforms in the cloud – they need the right platforms in the cloud. Contact your TPx representative today to find out how we can cost-effectively support this modern, digital business segment with all the tools you need to keep your business up, running, secure and successful – regardless of how or where employees work.
About the Author
Matt Mair is a Senior Product Marketing Manager for Managed Services. His role includes marketing and communications for TPx’s suite of managed IT offerings including Managed SD-WAN, LAN Monitoring, Office 365, Managed Endpoint, Colocation and Server Backup solutions. Matt holds an MBA from Michigan State University’s Broad School of Business and resides in Los Angeles.