Quickly Deploy Remote Worker Solutions During COVID-19

We hope that everyone is healthy and continuing to stay safe.  Now that we are a few weeks into life with the Coronavirus COVID-19 virus, it is clear that it will take some time before a return to normal life and business operations. Many of you have already deployed remote worker solutions to allow users to securely operate remotely, but many are struggling to provide these services quickly and securely to support large workforces over a longer period of time.  Given that it may be several weeks or more before staff can return to places of work, we wanted to make everyone aware of some of the Microsoft Remote Worker solutions that are readily available and can be quickly deployed.  Since these are Microsoft Azure based cloud solutions, they do not require additional bandwidth and servers that are related to traditional remote worker solutions.  These solutions can be setup in a few days or less and do not require any additional hardware or circuits. Microsoft has several offers to assist customers during this period so we’re passing on the resource information below along with the offer of our services to help deploy them so that IT departments can provide the remote worker solutions that allow business continuity during these unprecedented times. https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoftteams/faq-support-remote-workforce

Microsoft Quick Deploy Remote Worker Solutions

Microsoft Teams – Microsoft Teams is part of Office 365 and is a cloud-based collaboration platform for IM chat, meetings, calls, and collaboration all in one place, no matter where you are.

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/blog/2020/03/05/our-commitment-to-customers-during-covid-19/

  • If you already own Office 365 licenses (Enterprise E1 or higher, Business Essentials, Business Premium or any O365 for Education) then you already have the necessary licenses to deploy Teams.  Avvenire can assist with quickly deploying Teams to your workforce to allow remote collaboration.
  • If you work for a business that isn’t currently licensed for Teams, Microsoft will provide free Office 365 E1 licenses for six months. Contact Avvenire or your Microsoft sales representative to get started today. (Note: the same offer is available in the Government Cloud, but not available in GCC High and the Department of Defense.).
  • If you work in education and want to set up teachers, students, and administrators on Teams, use Office 365 A1. This free version of Office 365 is available to all educational institutions. Sign up by following this link.

Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) – Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) is a comprehensive desktop and app virtualization service running in the cloud. It’s the only virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) that delivers simplified management, multi-session Windows 10, optimizations for Office 365 ProPlus, and support for Remote Desktop Services (RDS) environments.

https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/services/virtual-desktop/

  • WVD is Azure cloud hosted so no additional hardware or circuits are required to provide a virtual desktop that will be on your O365 tenant.  Users will have access to all corporate O365 services from home PCs with no network traffic on your corporate infrastructure. Local file server data can be moved to SharePoint, OneDrive or Azure Blob Storage to allow remote users to share data without a VPN.  https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/virtual-desktop/overview
  • If access to corporate data and applications is required, an Azure VPN tunnel can be configured between Azure and your datacenter’s firewall to allow WVD users to have full access to datacenter resources.  As long as an Azure supported firewall exists, no additional hardware is required.
  • WVD solutions can be configured and deployed very quickly since they are Azure cloud-based.
  • Microsoft funding to help deploy WVD may be available for Enterprise customers during the COVID-19 crisis.  Funding availability is evaluated by Microsoft on a case by case basis.

Avvenire is Here to Help

As a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, Avvenire has on-staff expertise that can help you design, configure and quickly deploy remote worker solutions.  Support services can be performed 100% remotely so these solutions can be deployed even during the current lockdown period.  As always, we’re also available to answer any questions about these solutions or any other IT solution or service.  Feel free to reach out to us and we’ll do our best to get back to you with answers ASAP. Avvenire is ready to assist!

For additional information about COVID-19, get the latest report from the CDC at cdc.gov or your local health department website.