Business Continuity Strategies
During this time, as businesses assess remote work scenarios, we are continually monitoring vendor solutions and communicating their special offers to support rapid transitions. We will update this page as we gather new information. Contact us for expert guidance on how you should move forward based on specific business requirements.
Best-in-Class Vendor Offers
90-day free WebEx license with no financial commitment
Cisco Webex is the global leader in video and web conferencing. We offer services to scale to your needs, reach wherever you work and deliver what’s next for your business.
Cisco Meraki Remote Workforce is offering a set of discounts for entire family of security products
Meraki is the quickest solution to get virtual workers online and securely connected to corporate resources with access to VoIP telephony. Truly zero-touch provisioning: employees can plug a Meraki appliance straight out-of-the-box and have the same experience as at the office
Emergency Cisco AnyConnect VPN licenses
Cisco AnyConnect VPN allows end clients to unlock the maximum simultaneous user capacity of the ASA hardware and be authorized to support any number of authorized users during this 13 week period.
90-day free trial of Aruba Central
Aruba Central is a unified network operations, assurance and security platform that simplifies the deployment, management, and service assurance of wireless, wired and SD-WAN environments.
Free year of Fortinet’s FortiClient & Endpoint Management Server (EMS) version 6.0 subscription
FortiClient locks down visibility and control of your software and hardware inventory across the
entire security fabric. Identify vulnerable or compromised hosts and track all details of
systems and user profiles across your attack surface.
Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops Premium End User/Device Licenses
Citrix is offering a BCP (Business Continuity Plan) promotion on term licenses for Virtual Apps (XenApp) and Desktops. These are renewed annually, allowing businesses to reassess the use case for their business in 12 months.
Amazon WorkSpaces for up to 50 users at no charge for new WorkSpaces customers
Amazon WorkSpaces is a managed, secure Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) solution. ou can use Amazon WorkSpaces to provision either Windows or Linux desktops in just a few minutes and quickly scale to provide thousands of desktops to workers across the globe.
RingCentral Customer Engagement is offering FREE seat license for 90 days
All new customers get free seat license access to RingCentral Contact Center Work from Home Business Continuity Program. Additionally, you can get your agents up and running with Express Implementation – anywhere in 48 hours.
RingCentral Office is free for educators (K-12 schools), health-care providers, or non-profits
RingCentral Office integrates phone, video, meetings, and messaging in one reliable, easy-to-use solution.
Top 3 Strategies for Business Continuity in Face of COVID-19
In critical times we look to our leaders to organize and protect us. As leaders it is imperative to reflect critically on what our employees are doing right now, and how to guide them to what they should be doing. Below are three strategies to maintain workforce continuity during uncertain times:
Important questions to ask involving company policies when there has been a change in the work environment due to unforeseen circumstances include: Are there any ambiguities in your business continuity plan that creates uncertainty for employees? Do they know if they should be coming into the workplace or if they can telework? How are you keeping them up to date when an event is declared, and your business continuity plan is enacted?
Here are some steps you can take to help reduce workforce uncertainty and ensure that your employees can transition smoothly and successfully:
• Involve executive leaders, communications, information technology, finance and payroll, human resources, legal and risk management, safety, security, facilities, and other key stakeholders as part of your business continuity strategy.
• Identify and prioritize critical business functions and departments.
• Catalog employee skills for resource pooling and cross-train employees so you have no single points of failure (SPOF).
• Develop a communications plan and update contact information for key personnel, customers, and vendors.
• If you do not currently have a business continuity plan or a disaster recovery plan, Broadleaf Group is here to assist you so that you can remove future uncertainty.
Once you have developed your communications plan, what are you doing to implement it? What steps are necessary for the organization to implement the business continuity plan?
Action items such as forwarding desk phones to cell phones is an example of a simple, yet manual task imperative for communications to operate fluidly. Leveraging technology to facilitate and keep business communications as normal as possible should be the goal during this time. Here are some examples of how to achieve this:
• Use email, phones, and text messaging when possible.
• Make use of UC or UCaaS solutions for remote workers.
o Calls go anywhere you choose with features like voicemail to email and call forwarding.
o Some solutions allow you to receive and make calls from your work phone number directly to your smartphone.
• Use video conferencing solutions to replace in-person meetings.
3. Maintain Operations
You already have good policies and procedures in place, and your users are well trained on their implementation. What happens when a few of your users get bored at home and start browsing the web (YouTube, etc.)?
Below are tips to ensure that you are fully protecting such a distributed network of remote workers:
• Maintain secure remote access for your users with IPsec VPN, SSL VPN, or “always-on” VPN.
• Confirm you have plenty of inexpensive and dependable bandwidth to manage the new uptick of VPN connections and associated traffic. If you have not had discussions yet with your network team about it, an SD-WAN implementation may save your company in these hard times.
• Ensure that corporate security policies and visibility are extended to the endpoint.
• Identify critical IT systems and ensure data is retrievable and backed up.
If you are using legacy backup and recovery technology, such as archiving to tape, are there steps that require manual human intervention?
How will that manual process be handled during an extended remote work environment?
It is always a good idea to review your backup strategy and ensure your critical systems and intellectual property are being successfully backed up to mitigate any potential risk. Using an industry best practice such as the 3-2-1 backup rule is a good place to start:
o (3) copies of your data
o (2) backup copies on different storage media
o (1) backup copy located offsite
After your data is properly backed up and secured, one of the biggest challenges we see customers face is aligning IT with the business’s expectations. Is your infrastructure capable of restoring mass numbers of VMs in a matter of minutes, hours, days or weeks? Does this align with the business expectation and the business continuity plan? We have assisted numerous customers in aligning their backup and recovery strategies with the business’s expectations.