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Business Continuity Central

Posted by Kevin Gulley

Mar 10, 2020

As organizations face uncertainty and possible business disruptions due to the evolving news on the Coronavirus front, The UC Buyer’s mission is to cover the latest developments from the perspective of reporting on the role that technology plays in helping businesses minimize disruption, as well as providing links to industry news, technology companies who are offering promotions for companies that need help, and links to valuable resources such as articles, white papers and guides.

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Quick Links to Curated Business Continuity Resources

UC Buyer Articles
Articles from the UC Buyer specifically focused on solutions and tactics for business continuity, enabling remote workers, and work-from-home employees to be safe and productive during the Coronavirus threat.

Business Continuity Resources for Business and IT Leaders
Businesses around the globe are in various stages of planning or executing their business continuity plans to keep workers safe in the face of the expanding COVID-19 threat. We share the best resources and insights for business leaders seeking best practices and tactics to enhance their business continuity plans.

Remote Worker Productivity Resources
A critical element to minimizing business disruption during a crisis is enabling traditional office worker employees with the software, tools, and the right equipment to maintain productivity remotely.  With the right tools in place, employees can sustain productivity levels, remain engaged, and ultimately minimize business impact throughout the crisis.

Virtual Event Solutions
With the evolving threat of Coronavirus, large gatherings such as trade shows and events are being canceled, travel restrictions are being imposed, and schools are being closed to halt the spread of COVID-19 in an effort to protect the health of employees and students. Having the right tools in place to keep business moving forward are critical to minimize disruption.

Technology News
We’ll keep our readers up to date with the latest relevant articles on how the Coronavirus threat is impacting technology companies, as well as breaking news on the business continuity front.

UC Buyer Articles

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Articles from the UC Buyer for business owners, leaders and Information Technology organizations either planning or executing Business Continuity plans. Our topics will include helpful insights, helpful tips and tactics in the areas of Remote Worker productivity and engagement, keeping employees engaged and productive, and how to drive adoption of the UC tools among others.

Dave's Tips for Awesome Virtual Meetings
Video conferencing is not just a business tool. It has become a way to stay personally connected. Dave Gilbert and Vince Corsaro have collaborated on a guide full of tips on how to deliver awesome virtual meetings.

Redefining the Future of Work and the Work From Home Employee
What does the growth of streaming services mean for the distributed workforce and the future of working from home? Mike Cromwell speaks with Kevin Thomsen on Zoom about the state of the technology and what it can mean for the future.

Has the Workplace Been Forever Changed by COVID-19?
Mike Cromwell and Dave Gilbert have a chance to talk to Michael Tessler about the changes coming to telecommunications and the workplace in general in a Video Blog. Insights about how Unified Communications fits in with these changes fills this article.

Improving Productivity for Remote Workers: Top Tips for #WFH
In this article by Guest Contributor Kelly Strain of PGi, a number of tips are given to make sure you are more productive as a remote worker, and how to engage your employees to make them as effective as they can be, regardless of the environment.

Infographic: UC and Telework
Cloud-based technology like Unified Communications is made for telework. This infographic shares some insights about remote work leading up to the aggressive push toward mobilization in March 2020.

How to Drive Participation and Engagement with a Remote Workforce
In this article, Mike Cromwell distills advice about how to effectively manage a remote team, including four major categories and a dozen pieces of advice on keeping that remote staff engaged, participating, and performing.

Infographic: The Benefits of Remote Working for Companies and Workers
This infographic details some of the benefits for remote working, both for the employee as well as for the business. Employer benefits, employee benefits, and Technological drivers are quantified with data gathered from a survey conducted by ConnectSolutions.

Now is the Time to Consider a Unified Communications Business Strategy
Dave Gilbert offers advice to managers and executives amid the fear, uncertainty, and doubt of the COVID-19 outbreak. This article gives tips on what you can control as well as an expected outcome for your business.

Remote Worker Emergency Business Continuity ‘Must-Haves’
Having the right tools in place for the remote worker can make a big difference in the impact to a business during times of uncertainty and in the face of health risks to employees due to the constantly evolving COVID-19 threats.  With the right plan in place and equipping employees with the right tools to perform their work from home are critical to minimize business disruption by keeping employees engaged and productive.

3 Myths Managers and Companies Need to Know About Remote Working
As business leaders are beginning to quickly migrate to a widespread remote working environment, it is important for leaders to understand how to maintain productivity, drive employee engagement and the tools needed to effectively lead.  We explore 3 common myths about working remotely.

Desk Phones vs. Softphones for the SMB
For an employee to remain productive and fully engaged when working remotely, studies have shown that selecting the right applications and tools makes an impact.  We explore the pros and cons of desk phones, mobile clients and softphones.

Whitepaper: Why Your Remote Workers Hate You (It's Not What You Think)
This is a downloadable white paper that covers ways to keep your remote team working at maximum efficiency.

Business Continuity Insights and Resources

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Businesses around the globe are in various stages of planning or executing their business continuity plans to keep workers safe in the face of the expanding COVID-19 threat. We share the best resources and insights for business leaders seeking best practices and tactics to enhance their business continuity plans.

The Suddenly Remote Playbook
Toptal, the world's largest fully remote company, has assembled a playbook for getting your business remote in a sustainable way. They go into detail about how this will impact people, culture, and productivity so you know what to expect, and they also discuss some common problems and their resolutions.
Source: Toptal, May 1, 2020

With Coronavirus IT Security Threats Rising, MSPs Must React Wisely
With a growing number of people working remotely, some bad actors are looking at this as an opportunity for cyber threats. Without adequate time and planning to fully prepare for this possibility, MSPs are forced to react to these emerging threats. In this article by Todd R. Weiss for Channel Futures focuses on the kind of tools that can help manages service providers identify, protect, detect, respond, and recover from these threats.
Source: Channel Futures, March 26, 2020

Infographic: A Coronavirus Action Plan for B2B Sales
Bain & Company has put together a quick read infographic to help B2B sales teams stem the threat and get on the right foot in topics such as securing revenue, delivering value, protect your margin, and growing your skilled employees.
Source: Bain & Company, March 20, 2020

What Should Be Included in a Business Continuity Plan?
In order to maintain profitability during and after a natural disaster, service interruption, or wide-scale medical emergency, you should have a Business Continuity plan. Jan Ritter of Voyant provides information and a guide to building that continuity plan, including information about SIP Trunking to maintain service, remote work strategies, and how you can use Unified Communications to best effect.
Source: Voyant, March 12, 2020

Why Critical Event Management is Essential to Business Continuity
Many articles talk about what to do for business continuity within the scope of your organization. How to protect your employees and customers, when to send people home, and how to continue communications remotely. But what about your supply chain and other components crucial for your business? This article by Everbridge brings up topics like how to protect your supply chain, and how to leverage technology and data to your advantage.
Source: Everbridge, March 11, 2020

How to Prepare Your Company for Telecommuting
Now that you need to move to telecommuting as a business strategy, what is the best way to implement these changes? This article by Star2Star give five important considerations, including how to share desktops, communication needs, and how to organize workflows and procedures remotely.
Source: Star2Star, March 11, 2020

The 4 Key Considerations for Extending Your Business Continuity Plan (BCP) to Home and Remote Workers
Due to the spreading health crisis, we are presently in the early stages of the largest global work-from-home experiment in history. This article by Cato Networks explains the key factors that go into maximizing business continuity through the use of remote workers.

Source: Cato Networks, March 8, 2020

How Pandemic Threats Can Impact Financial Institutions
With examples pulled from the financial sector but messages that can matter to others, this article by Marie Giangrande exposes how enterprises can be affected in indirect ways. Have you thought of how to track absenteeism for your remote workers, or how to improve your business continuity plan in preparation for the next disaster, because this article will help.
Source: Everbridge, March 5, 2020

How to Start a Work-From-Home Agent Program
If there is one thing you can count on needing, it is a business continuity plan. When this extends to your contact center agents, a work-from-home program could be the ideal solution. Kay Phelps of 8x8 offers a series of five questions to ask and a load of advice to consider before implementing a remote worker solution for your contact center.
Source: 8x8, March 4, 2020

Weathering the COVID-19 Crisis Means Being Part of the Solution
When faced with monumental circumstances, such as the COVID-19 outbreak, the best leaders must be able to think, innovate, adapt, and overcome. This article gives tips on how to respond and push through such crises. Seven immediate steps and three longer-term tips for managers of every type of enterprise give crucial advice on topics such as protection, communication, and risk assessment.
Published on LinkedIn by Lars Faest, BCG, Managing Director Greater China, March 4, 2020

Communication Best Practices for the Next Infectious Disease Outbreak, Epidemic, or Pandemic
Governments across the world, as well as agencies like the World Health Organization are learning the best ways to communicate to an audience of billions. The development of best practices for communication in the event of a pandemic, outbreak, or other disaster is front and center to these organization, as well as yours. This article by Michael Scott defines these best practices, and the article includes a link to a Coronavirus Preparedness Kit.
Source: Everbridge, March 3, 2020

8 Questions Employers Should Ask About Coronavirus
Make sure you are asking the right questions and gathering the right information about this outbreak in order to best protect your employees and your business. The Harvard Business Review spells out the type of conversation starters necessary to best protect your employees, your customers, and your business itself. From when to exclude workers and visitors to travel policies, these eight questions will put your business in a better position to emerge from this disruption in a good place.
Source: Harvard Business Review, March 2, 2020

Lead Your Business Through the Coronavirus Crisis
Business leaders around the globe are in various stages of preparing or deploying crisis management & business continuity plans as the COVID-19 crisis continues to evolve.  HBR provides valuable insights in this distilled list of 12 lessons for responding to unfolding events, communicating, and extracting and applying learnings.
Source: Harvard Business Review, February 27, 2020

Stress-Test Your Business Continuity Management
You should have a business continuity plan, but how can you be sure it will be effective before faced with the anxiety of an actual crisis? This article lays out the four components of a proper business continuity management program, including IT disaster recovery, as well as how to test, prioritize risks and threats, and select the proper team players.
Source: Gartner, February 12, 2020

A Video-First Culture is Critical for Overcoming the Workplace Challenges of the Future
Forbes Insights partnered with Zoom last year to gauge the impact of video on the workplace and the increasingly important role of video in the workplace.  In this survey by Forbes Insight, an assortment of valuable insights are provided around workforce trends and the effectiveness of video in improving productivity.
Source: Forbes Insights & Zoom, February 5, 2020

How to Measure Your Organizational Resiliency for Critical Events
This article from Everbridge shows you how to quantify, using the Organizational Resiliency Maturity Model, your enterprise's maturity in the sense of being able to cope with the next crisis. You can assess risks, locate what may be harmed, prepare to act on protocols, and analyze performance at all stages of the response.
Source: October 2, 2019

Remote Worker Productivity Resources

work-at-home-ucaas

A critical element to minimizing business disruption during a crisis is enabling traditional office worker employees with the software, tools, and the right equipment to maintain productivity remotely.  With the right tools in place, employees can sustain productivity levels, remain engaged, and ultimately minimize business impact throughout the crisis.

Work From Home Productivity Data
With the spread of coronavirus forcing thousands of people to work from home for the first time, there are more opinions than ever about how to work from home. This article explores what the data shows and why bosses don't need to freak out about productivity from work from home employees.
Source: Rescuetime, April 1, 2020

Bosses Panic-Buy Spy Software to Keep Tabs on Remote Workers
As the number of remote workers rises, some leaders turn to keystroke capturing, browser logging, and screenshot saving measures. This article from Bloomberg explores the impacts this has for employers and employees, including some pitfalls that may impact employee trust, as well as advice for employees on how to utilize these measures to prove their reliability and resourcefulness.
Source: Bloomberg Technology, March 27, 2020

How to Transform Your In-Person Training Into Engaging Virtual Training with Zoom
In this time of social-distancing, in-person training is easy. This article from Zoom showcases some of the ways you can make virtual meetings as impactful as possible. Tips about how to get creative with your content, how to ensure retention, and how to create engaging virtual learning.
Source: Zoom, March 25, 2020

A Practical Guide to Remote Working
The appeal of remote working has come and gone, and now it is back again. Nadine Malek of Prodoscore does a great job in this article of exploring some great tips from personal experience like how to establish trust, setting up space to work, and how to regulate your time.
Source: Prodoscore, March 24, 2020

How to Avoid the Time-Suck of Social Networks While Working at Home
When transitioning from a typical office environment to one with less oversight, there is a natural concern that your productivity may drop. This article by ZDNet offers advice on how to minimize the distraction that social media brings to a work-at-home arrangement. Tips on how to ration your time, turning off notifications, and even some software that can assist you.
Source: ZDNet, March 18, 2020

Remote Work in the Era of Coronavirus
Many businesses were ill prepared for moving much or all of their employees from in-office to remote working. This article from 2600hz links to a podcast where Crisantos Hajibrahim, Alisha Bartash, and Dave Gilbert talk about this topic and others, such as work from home policies and how to ensure success with your remote workforce.
Source: 2600hz, March 13, 2020

How to Hide Your Messy Room for a Zoom Video Conference
Not every room is as photogenic as you might like. This article from The Verge explains how to use Virtual Backgrounds in the Zoom client to disguise anything in your room that might be less than professional.
Source: The Verge, March 11, 2020

Calling Without Compromise When Working From Home
Support for work-from-home business models is on the rise, so what is needed next is a path to get to where your home office is just as productive as your work office. In comes Cisco to talk about collaboration and calling with the minimum impact to your customer base.
Source: Cisco, March 11, 2020

Working in a Coronavirus World: Strategies and Tools for Staying Productive
Four strategies for remote work, enabling workers to stay productive when working from home - a trend that will experience a major boost as businesses shift to conducting business through tools and applications in an effort to avoid physical gatherings.
Source: ZDNet, March 11, 2020

New to Working from Home? Here Are Some Tips to Help You Meet Like a Pro
Working from home has been a reality for a growing percentage of the workforce for years, but new factors are increasing these numbers at an alarming rate. If you or your staff have never worked remotely before, this article from Zoom offers the necessary instructions for not just setting up a home office, but how to optimize it and make it at least as productive as one in the office. Tips about environment, lighting, and the right software help managers and employees alike through this transition.
Source: Zoom, March 9, 2020

Productivity Hacks for Remote Workers
With remote and mobile work becoming common, it can be a daunting endeavor to switch from working at the same place to working any place. Joe Martin of CloudApp details 6 practical and 3 technological hacks that can make your remote work as productive, comfortable, and enjoyable as possible.
Source: CloudApp, March 5, 2020

Coronavirus Plan: How IT Can Enable Remote Work
The Coronavirus outbreak is impacting businesses large and small, forcing even the best business continuity plans to adapt. The information technology department of such organizations can be invaluable in implementing remote work. This article lists several matter-of-fact statistics and then moves to offering solid advice about how to roll out a remote work plan.
Source: InformationWeek, March 4, 2020

How to Set Up a Basic Home Workstation for Remote Employees
As COVID-19 spreads and the possibility of widespread remote work deployments, setting up employees to effectively conduct their work from home isn’t as complex as you might think.
Source: TechRepublic, March 4, 2020

Is Your Remote Workforce Ready for Anything?
You have a remote workforce, but you are not sure if it as good as it can be. This article by Michelle Accardi explores the kind of tool and expectations a remote workforce should have. Tips on how to rally your workforce links to several other resources to provide you the information you need.
Source: ZDNet, March 3, 2020

Top 10 PROVEN Tips to Setup a Temporary Work From Home Office Successfully
If you have been put in a position to move your workforce off-site, they may benefit from some tips on how to setup a home office. This article from Henry Kayser with Zoom analyses this very scenario and offers ten ways to help your employees, such as setting up their workstation, benefiting from natural light, and using technology for virtual meetings.
Published on LinkedIn by Henry Kayser, Zoom, March 3, 2020

Working from home? Use these 6 tips for better video calls
Flexibility in working has been a rising trend for the past decade, and technology such as video conferencing facilitates this transition. Google offers tips for controlling your environment, focusing on what you present, and how to change parameters of your presentation software to make you as productive, comfortable, and impactful as you can be.
Source, Google, February 24, 2020

The Coronavirus Outbreak Could Change the Way You Work. Here's How to Prepare Your Company
If it is not 5G changing how we work, it is a viral outbreak. In any case, the times are changing. This article explores these changes and gives four ways your business can become prepared to not only adapt to the changes, but how to thrive because of them.
Source: Inc, February 24, 2020

Remote Work Statistics: Shifting Norms and Expectations
Flexible working is becoming mainstream, and that fact is changing the paradigm of what is considered normal. In this article, Beth Braccio Hering breaks down key metrics about a remote workforce - including growth, attractiveness to talent, business impacts, and profitability.
Source: Flexjobs, February 13, 2020

7 Stats Leading the Remote Future of Work
The conversation is no longer "how big an office do we need" but "do we need an office at all?" In this article, CloudApp cites seven key performance indicators all managers and executives should be aware of regarding such topics as the demographics of remote workers, the impact of video conferencing, and customer preferences for chat vs telephone conversations.
Source: CloudApp, October 28, 2019

Remote Workers Are Outperforming Office Workers -- Here’s Why
For a decade offices have been remodeled with experiments from pool tables to open-office plans. This article shows that not only have these changes failed in making employees more productive time. Brian de Haaff lays out the three principle areas where remote workers outperform their in-office counterparts.
Source: Inc, October 30, 2017

Virtual Event Solutions

With the evolving threat of Coronavirus, large gatherings such as trade shows and events are being canceled, travel restrictions are being imposed, and schools are being closed to halt the spread of COVID-19 in an effort to protect the health of employees and students. Having the right tools in place to keep business moving forward are critical to minimize disruption.

B2B Video Sales Meetings in the Time of Coronavirus
The COVID-19 outbreak is affecting business meetings across the globe, but that doesn’t mean that business can grind to a halt. B2B sales professionals can use virtual meetings to replace the in-person ones they are used to. In this article, Connect Leader offers advice about how to use tools like Zoom to close the deals and the dynamic impact that video conferencing has for sales.
Source: Connect Leader, March 11, 2020

Best Practices for Hosting a Digital Event
Travel restrictions and other concerns have put a spotlight on events that can be attended online, rather than in-person. In this article, Zoom discusses the difference between webinars and meetings, how to host virtual events, and tips for engaging your audience. This advice can be used to give your presentation the impact it deserves, even if it is virtual.
Source: Zoom, March 4, 2020

How to Effectively and Safely Engage Your Audience Without Spreading Germs
Even without a pandemic, flu season is still an annual occurrence. Broadnet offers several pieces of advice on how to share information, close deals, and offer customer service without physically meeting your audience. Social media, virtual town halls, and video streaming events are useful tools that can be used to engage groups without spreading germs.
Source: Broadnet, March 2, 2020

Technology News

A curated list of articles containing technology news relating to the latest developments on the Coronavirus front.

How the Coronavirus is Already Rewriting the Future of Business
Harvard Business School experts were asked to speculate how COVID-19 will impact business in a post-pandemic world. This article by Dina Gerdeman details these predictions, such as how organizations will develop trust-based cultures, how remote work will become strategic, and how leadership will be forced to engage their people to work together creatively. Eleven strategic forecasts to set your own business at the tip of the sword for upcoming changes.
Source: Harvard Business School, March 16, 2020

Coronavirus Is a Preview of Our Self-Isolating Future
The experiment into moving work from corporate offices to home offices represents a glimpse into a future that we can achieve, even if everyone is not on board yet. Will Oremus of OneZero lays out the ways that working from home could reshape society with this well-sourced and comprehensive article. He also lets us know that the change is not really as radical as some may believe it to be.
Source: OneZero, March 11, 2020

NAB and Gartner cancel events due to coronavirus pandemic: 2020 tech conference cancellations and travel bans list
Events are being canceled or postponed in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. In this article, ZDNet gives details about the disruptions, including a listing of tech conferences that are canceled, postponed, or going virtual.
Source: ZDNet, March 11, 2020

YC's Demo Day and SXSW Make Plans to Go Online
South by Southwest and Y Combinator's annual demo day are going virtual instead of live sessions. PitchBook discusses how this may change business going forward, and tests the value of in-person meetings.
Source: PitchBook, March 6, 2020

Virtual Events Thrive Amid Coronavirus Outbreak
The number of virtual meetings is sky-rocketing, starting in China but going abroad. As the cautious cancel or postpone the traditional in-person events, virtual events are being taken more seriously than ever. PR Week explores some of the uses for virtual gatherings, from shareholder meetings to educational summits, as well as what it will mean for the future of industry shows and other physical events.
Source: PR Week, March 6, 2020

Working From Home, Video Job Interviews And No In-Person Meetings Will Be The New Post-COVID-19 Standard
How will the reactions to the Coronavirus pandemic shape the future of business? Forbes reports how the temporary changes to work from home, travel, and meeting policies may become permanent going forward, and what impacts these changes can have on the work-world.
Source: Forbes, March 6, 2020

JPMorgan Asked Thousands Of Employees To Work From Home: This May Start A New Trend
Major companies like JPMorgan, Amazon, and Twitter are reacting to COVID-19 by permitting tens of thousands of their employees to work from home. Forbes reports in this article about some of the unintended positive consequences of such programs, including impacts to child care expenses, pollution, and work-life balance.
Source: Forbes, March 4, 2020

Microsoft’s new coronavirus plan: Seattle-area employees to work from home for next 3 weeks
Microsoft has reacted to the Coronavirus pandemic by recommending all 54,000 of its Seattle-based employees work from home for the next few weeks. They have also updated their travel guidelines, all based on guidance from health officials.
Source: GeekWire, March 4, 2020

Companies Are Cancelling U.S. Domestic Travel Over Coronavirus Fears
Facebook and Amazon are among the companies rethinking employee travel as the outbreak intensifies. The Washington Post, in this article, explores some of the impacts to the hospitality and transportation industries, as well as how major tech companies are adapting to the disruption through their employee policies.
Source: Washington Post, February 28, 2020

 


 

Topics: Industry News, UCaaS, Implementation, Telephony, Customer Journey, BC/DR

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