The Home Office
The Road Warrior
Working at home or on the road is so much easier if you can tap into the phone system and computer network at the office. I will share with you the hardware, connectivity, and applications that are commonly used for small businesses and for the professional who needs the option to work at home.
Phones offer voice, text, messaging, Internet access and email. At home I have two phones and a signal booster. My main phone uses Sprint’s cell phone service with a Samsung Epic 4G Android smart phone, the cell phone signal is weak at my home office and has a tendency to drop out. That is until I got the Wilson cell phone signal booster. Now all signal bars are up; you need a strong signal when talking with customers from home.
I believe strongly in having a backup phone plan, so I own an inexpensive ($25.00 per year) Magic Jack with a small wired digital phone set. This phone uses the Internet for voice and connects to the USB port via the Magic Jack adapter on my computer.
The Avaya phone system at work does a wonderful job of forwarding calls to my cell phone. Yea! I no longer have the need to give my cell phone number away. Also the professional appearance to clients is nice; they do not need to know I am working at home or from the road.
I have all the Avaya phone system features by just dialing in and taking control of my telephone on my desk at the company office. I can check voicemail, forward messages, intercom employees, and create conference calls.
Computers at the home office include a Lenovo laptop, wireless networking, 17 inch external display, full size external keyboard and mouse, amplified speakers, and a web cam. My back up computer is a Samsung Galaxy Tablet 10.1. The 10.1 is not only the screen size but how many hours the battery will last.
The home office uses Internet connectivity by Comcast Cable, and a Netgear wireless router. The Epson 810 printer includes color, black & white printing, scanning, faxing, and copying. The printer is also wireless and you can be working anywhere in my place and get Internet connectivity and be able to print. Visitors may also connect to the Internet and print with permission.
My company office has the exact computer (laptop) setup with one exception. The laptop at the company office uses Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate version. This version is required to access our company office’s servers.
The main office uses Internet connectivity by Verizon, a router; a Linux based firewall and has two intelligent switches to connect our employees. The main office also has an Epson printer, one of those all-in–one printers that do everything easier through special automatic feeders and prints faster with its bigger engine. The main office has an extensive cabling plant so almost all the computers and printers are connected by cables.
Our operating systems are all Microsoft Windows 7 with a couple of the older Windows XP hold outs. We have one Intel “tower type” computer running a version of the Linux operating system. Our servers use Microsoft Server 2003 for VPN CONNECTIVITY, data storage, serving applications, centralized administration, and security.
So finally we get to the best part of why we connect remotely from the home office / the road to the main office, our host. The best part is our applications, programs like Project Management, Service request & work order management, Customer Contact managers, and QuickBooks accounting. These programs are served to us by our main computers; the servers. All of our data is stored here including Microsoft Office documents, spreadsheets, databases, and email to name a few.
The “Cloud” (Internet based resources) are readily available. BlueFolder (Qwest) one of our Information Management tools is accessed only through the Internet and next year we add on Microsoft Office 365 to our list of programs that are available anytime, from anywhere, and from almost any device; smart phones, tablets and computers.
Our web site server and email server are additional “Cloud” resources provided by Inforest Communications and Pair Networks.
The Home Office / Road Warrior set up may appear complicated. But if the installation is well thought out and installed properly then learning how to use it will be a lot easier that you ever thought possible. You probably already have most of the components you need. Not sure give us a call and we will come out and take a look.