Customer email May 15, 2020
Dear Applied Tech Customer,
Well, we’ve gone from Bouncing Badgers to what is now termed the “Wild West.” As you know by now, the Wisconsin State Supreme Court overturned Governor Evers’ statewide Safer-at-Home order. In effect, the decision to continue on with the policy or open up business is left to each county and municipality.
At Applied Tech, our plans are to continue operating as we have been the past 2 months. We realize the Court’s decision may change the plans for some of our customers. If so, let us know how we can best support you in your move to expand operations. For the safety of both our employees and customers, we will continue to practice safe social distancing and hygiene.
Bounce Back Redux
Last week, we asked if you have been having internal discussions regarding your own return to work plans. Recently, many of the large tech companies like Google and Facebook have extended their work from home plans with Twitter indicating it might be permanent for those employees who wish to do so.
Whether our politicians come to any kind of agreement, consumer and employee safety concerns will drive many of our collective decisions on how we expand operations by bringing people back:
- Employee safety traveling to/from the workplace
- Employee childcare situations
- Distancing staff and customers within the current physical environment
- Adequate ventilation to reduce airborne concentrations of the virus
- Installing sneeze guards where distancing may be difficult
- Expanded hours to accommodate staggered shifts
- Cleaning products and protocols to surfaces that provide confidence
- Widespread availability of hand sanitizer stations and face masks
These are but a few of the considerations we are mulling at our own company not to mention concerns about potential liability or our response to infections that might occur in the office after we reopen.
Perhaps these are things you are considering as well. Most experts seem to be in agreement that we will be dealing with this for at least another 12 months.
This raises a larger question suggested by some of the aforementioned tech giants, and that is whether we all need to prepare to be a much more virtual workforce in the foreseeable future. Beyond the obvious technology considerations, there are also cultural, logistical and financial factors unique to every industry and company that are pulling at each other making the decisions more complex.
Applied Tech is no different in that regard. As mentioned, we are already built to be a distributed workforce and will operate for now as we have been the past two months. Please let us know how we can support you in whatever path you decide to pursue.
Practical (Teams) Stuff
Out of necessity, many of our users have become more proficient at using Teams. We created a Quick Calling Guide for one of our customers and thought we would share it for those with new employees or have some who are still a little timid expanding their use of Teams . It’s only 2 pages, so very handy to keep next to the workstation. Download it here.
It’s a nice companion piece to a 6 min video (Microsoft Teams Calling Capabilities) one of our Strategic Account Managers recorded for another customer that has received a lot of views. If you or your team has not seen it, it is a nice primer on basic calling and video features for running meetings on Teams.
Teams has been slowly rolling out welcomed improvements, including the much-anticipated video grid that delivers a “Brady Bunch” experience with up to 9 images on screen. You’ve likely noticed the new available background effects and closed caption feature along with some others.
Like your parents always told you to close the fridge door when getting your after school snack, we’re are asking you to make sure you close the digital door to hackers trying to steal your data goodies.
Here’s an e-book from our partners at Webroot that describes all the different kinds of hackers out there from black to red to white hats. Also, some facts to consider:
- 81% of security breaches happen because of lost or stolen passwords
- 62% of SMBs do not use multifactor authentication (MFA)
- MFA can block over 99.9% of account compromise attacks
Questions about MFA? Ask your Strategic Account Manager.
Working from home has created some cultural touchstones many of us can relate to (maybe). Here are just a few:
- Exercising with your pets
- IT support “encounters” of the odd kind
- Deciding to adopt a pandemic puppy
Have a great weekend. And remember we’re always here when you need us (even when you don’t).
The Applied Tech Team