To Our Valued Clients and Partners,
It would be an understatement to say that these are unusual times. The last few weeks have upended most things we consider "normal" about daily life and we don't yet know when or how this will end.
First and foremost, I pray that you and your loved ones are (and remain) physically safe and healthy. While we are all making personal sacrifices and suffering the economic effects of the unprecedented measures being taken to slow the spread of COVID-19, these changes are clearly secondary to your and your family’s well-being.
Although we’ve already spoken with many of you, you may still have questions about the how to operate effectively, how to accommodate your staff to work remotely, and how our services will be affected during this worldwide health crisis. This message is an update on how Logical Operators is conducting business and our plans to support your information technology infrastructure during the pandemic.
We are complying with CDC/government guidelines to minimize/eliminate personal interaction whenever and wherever possible to prevent the spread of the highly-contagious SARS-CoV-2 virus, and we intend to follow these guidelines until the CDC/government indicates that the danger has passed. This behavior will protect the health of your staff members and families as well as ours.
Because of the CDC/government guidelines, we will not accept any visitors (excluding product deliveries) to our offices during the pandemic and we will avoid travel to client sites whenever possible. We will attempt to have all product deliveries drop-shipped to customers to minimize the number of human interactions necessary.
If situations arise where a face-to-face meeting with a member of our staff is DESIRED, we highly encourage you to consider using a streaming video chat/conference instead.
- Internally, we’re using Microsoft Teams for video meetings, screen sharing, and collaboration, and we can initiate a video meeting with you through your Microsoft Account via this platform if requested. (You may want to consider using Microsoft Teams for your own collaborative use if it is part of your Microsoft Office 365 subscription. A free, although limited, version of Microsoft Teams is available for those who don't currently subscribe to it either individually or through Microsoft Office 365.)
- Alternatively, if you're more familiar with Skype or Facebook Messenger, we can initiate a video chat with you via those platforms.
- If you prefer to initiate a video conference using another video conferencing solution (Zoom, WebEx, Google Hangouts, etc.), we’ll make every reasonable attempt to accept your call on that platform.
If a situation arises that REQUIRES an on-site visit (such as a failed device, installation of a new device, etc.), we will make every reasonable attempt to accommodate you (pursuant to any CDC/government restrictions that may apply at the time). We do ask that if we need to visit you, that you take every reasonable precaution to allow us to avoid any known or suspected infected areas or personnel.
Because our staff will primarily be working from home, phone calls to our main office number may not be answered/returned as quickly as usual.
We recently implemented a new ticketing-based support system, and we HIGHLY encourage all clients to use that as the primary method of contacting us for non-critical issues. Simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll respond to you as quickly as we can. Messages to this address are placed in a prioritized queue which will be accessed by the first available technician as quickly as possible.
- Please inform your staff of this new means of submitting support requests, as it will help us to respond to your issues in a streamlined, consistent manner and it will provide a much more complete record of the issue and its resolution for future reference.
Of course, you may continue to text/call our technicians’ cell phones when you need immediate assistance, in which case we will create a new ticket on your behalf.
Thankfully, we’ve been able to work remotely for several years. During this pandemic, our staff will be working primarily from our homes, but we’ll continue to have access to everything we need to provide you with service and we can visit our offices to retrieve parts or information if necessary.
Our technicians have remote access to all computers which are covered under our Logical-RMM service. This allows us to respond remotely to most normal computing issues and to provide preventative maintenance and software upgrades. All our automated services (patching, backup, spam filtering, etc.) are expected to continue to function normally.
If you’re concerned about (or encountering difficulties with) you or your staff working remotely, please let us know. Although some of you have been working remotely for a while, this will be a new experience for others. There are several solutions we can offer you to work remotely depending upon your needs, including:
- Secure VPN solutions
- Remote Desktop / Remote Application solutions
- Cloud and hybrid-cloud solutions
We can also help you keep in close touch with your employees/staff and ensure work is being completed while working remotely. Although you may be physically separated, you can still collaborate with your coworkers and complete projects while maintaining team motivation, focus, and efficiency. Using services and tools such as those included in Microsoft Office 365, you can:
- Access data securely on personal devices,
- Share and simultaneously co-edit files,
- Conduct video conferences, display your screen to coworkers, and more.
Again, please let us know if you need assistance in this area – we have solutions to help make this challenging time easier.
SECURITY AND PRIVACY
Today’s technology is impressive – it allows us to work remotely and connect to others in methods previous generations could only dream about. However, security should always be a major concern, even with the easiest-to-use modern solutions. Please be aware:
- Using home computers to connect remotely to your office network may create security and privacy issues you’ve failed to consider.
- Phishing, scams, and hacker attacks are on the rise during this uncertain time, particularly targeting workers on home computers which likely have weaker security than work computers.
- Some cloud-based solutions for remote access, file sharing, and collaboration may not provide the same level of security or backup protection you normally have within your offices.
Don’t become a victim of a data breach or identity theft! Please let us know if you have questions or concerns about the security of your computing environment (including equipment and services you use to work remotely) during this crisis.
Many wholesalers and computer manufacturers are experiencing supply chain disruptions, meaning that some products (especially laptops) are shipping much more slowly than usual. Please bear with us if an order we place on your behalf is delayed. We’ll do what we can to help you find temporary or alternate solutions.
As situations change, we’ll post updated information on our web site, our Facebook page, and our LinkedIn page. If you’re not following us on social media, please take a moment to do so.
As always, if you have any questions about our services or operations, or if there’s anything we can do to help you make better use of your technology, please contact us.
Thanks again for your continued business! Stay safe - we'll get through this together!
Warren J. Hairston, President