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Technical challenges of working from home

Technical Challenges of working from home

Just about everyone in business has had the opportunity in the last few months of working from home. The new normal as we call it of dogs barking at delivery men, to kids asking questions right in the middle of an important call, it’s humbling and real that everyone is having the same issues.

Since we build networks for businesses it’s been on our radar to notice some of the details as it relates to our calls and most importantly to our conference meetings, especially where a shared screen is involved. Our observations so far have been varied, from folks dropping from a call because their internet went away to choppy voice to no voice. We saw this initially as a hindrance to doing business and then we reminded ourselves that we could fix this. The interesting thing we have noticed though, is people don’t feel like there’s anything to fix. This seems to be part of the new normal that internet issues are just like the dog barking, sometimes it just can’t be stopped or fixed. Even if it could, it’s probably not worth the effort.

Our curiosity set us out to find if that’s actually true. So we set our sights to gather information from LinkedIn. So far, what we have found is people are content with their home internet situation. Although they may have issues, they are intermittent and they don’t affect them very much. So the next step is figuring out, if the users can live with it, how does the company feel about this.

It’s a little premature to say how most companies feel about this because most of them aren’t even sure if there’s an issue yet. We had a call a couple weeks back with an entity that has roughly 3000 users all over the globe and they mentioned that their users aren’t calling in to fix any internet issues. What they did say is that they have noticed a spike in productivity, and they plan to shudder some of their brick and mortar locations to keep employees home and more productive. They surmised the users were undoubtedly having issues, but that they had grown accustomed to them. It was the previous normal for them that they deal with intermittent internet issues.

As a network solution provider, our people have two connections at their home and they have a SD-WAN device that manages which connection the data goes out. The SD-WAN device also optimizes the users experience by treating the local internet as merely a last mile connection to the SD-WAN service provider, who is directly connected to hundreds of application providers, salesforce, office365, google, AWS, Azure, etc, etc. This solution allows for both upstream and downstream quality of service, which makes our HD VoIP phones, Zoom video meetings and conference calls work like they are working from an office in the big city.

I think you can see why we were curious if users were having issues if they would want to do something about it, because we have a very tangible way to fix it. However, the question still remains even though the users can live with it, can the company live with their customers, vendors and partners who deal with their end users having a less than professional experience with their brand? Time will tell, but in the meantime, we are betting that some entities out there are going to want to continue the work from home movement even after Covid is gone and we have a solution waiting for them called Network in a Box – Home Edition!

Be safe and be bold!

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