Posts Tagged ‘remote access’

Effective Remote Worker Programs

Posted on: March 30th, 2020 by jiml | No Comments

First and foremost, we hope everyone is safe and coping with the current state of affairs. Colden Company is a service-based organization and we are here to help in any way we can.

One of the most common requests we have received recently, to no one’s surprise, is to assist in setting up remote worker plans as stay-at-home directives have come down from various state and local governments. If your organization doesn’t have a policy in place, don’t worry, you are not alone. Most businesses are in a position of developing their plan on the fly as circumstances have changed. Those that did have plans in place, did not envision the scale and scope of this COVID-19 challenge and were forced to modify their plans anyway. Let us share what we have learned from our time helping many businesses around the United States set up their remote worker programs.

  1. Start with developing your policy.  Appoint someone or a team to oversee this process and determine who will need remote access, what resources these users will need access to, and how will they get that remote access.  Will they use personal computers? Will they be taking company computers offsite? If you are a business that has compliance requirements, security cannot be an afterthought.  Do you have data exfiltration policies in place to protect sensitive data? If you are allowing personal computer to connect to your network remotely, can you ensure:
    • Supported operating system that is patched to current levels.
    • Reputable anti-virus with active scanning
    • Hardware or software firewall enabled
    • Secure wireless
    • Strong passwords
  2. Determine the right technology. Most people assume setting up a VPN will suffice for remote access.  That is not always the case. It is important that you understand your application requirements.  Some applications do not perform under the limited bandwidth conditions that VPN provides.  A different solution may be necessary for those situations, such as Remote Desktop.
  3. Determine communications methods. How flexible is your phone system? Most VoIP systems offer flexibility to move phones or use FindMe, FollowMe technology to route calls as you need. There are also software solutions like Microsoft Teams that can provide video conferencing and computer-based phone calls to facilitate communications.

Communication will be a primary key to success. Let employees know what the expectations will be, follow through and assist those that need reassurance.  Have regular meetings with team members and keep it positive.  Challenging times can bring out the best in us all.  We can do this!

If you have any questions about this or want to get started on your policies, please feel free to reach out to us at (888) 600-4560 by phone, or info@coldencompany.com via email.

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Did LogMeIn Just Log You Off?

Posted on: January 29th, 2014 by billp | No Comments

LogMeIn has been a standard-bearer for simple remote access to Windows-based PCs and Macs, from just about any device you can imagine, for many years. Users all over the world have benefited from their free remote access tools. On January 21, 2014, LogMeIn announced via a blog post that after ten years, LogMeIn’s free remote access service, LogMeIn Free, is going away. Their goal is to move more users to their paid offering, LogMeIn Pro.

So-called “freemium” service offerings are nothing new, particularly from web services companies. Freemium is a pricing strategy by which a product or service is provided free of charge, but a fee (premium) is charged for advanced features. Some companies such as Evernote, Dropbox, Pandora, and MailChimp have been extremely successful with freemium models. LogMeIn grew from a startup to a publicly-traded company (LOGM) with a market capitalization of about $818 million on the back of a successful freemium model.

Why did LogMeIn drop their free service? You might be surprised to learn that the budget for supporting a freemium service like LogMeIn Free typically comes out of marketing – not infrastructure, support, etc. Like any marketing campaign, your conversion rate is a key metric. If the cost of support the free users is excessive when compared against the number of conversions to paid customers, then the free service is weighing down a company. Freemium clearly worked for LogMeIn by getting them on the map with a large base of happy customers, but I would guess that they weren’t seeing the conversion of free-to-paid customers that made continuing support of the free version a good business decision.

If you were using LogMeIn Free for your business, you found yourself having to make a decision about whether to move to LogMeIn Pro or find an alternative to LogMeIn. This should underscore the fact that business IT decision-makers need to use caution when using freemium services to support business functions. With freemium services, you have no direct support, no uptime or availability guarantees, and no promise from the company that the service will continue to exist long-term.

There are also free or freemium software products that are attractive to many businesses. Software products such as PDF printers, anti-malware tools, etc. commonly have free or freemium components. Businesses need to be very careful when using such products because, in many cases, these products are not licensed for free commercial use – only for private/home use. Using these products in your business would be a violation of the license agreement.

Colden Company can help you navigate the overwhelming array of product and service options available. In general, depending on a freemium services for key business functions is not recommended, and the recent LogMeIn change should emphasize why. Whether you need remote access, anti-malware, backup, or any other IT product or service, Colden Company will take the time to review your business requirements and help you select a product or service you can trust will be there when you need it. Colden Company maintains a carefully-curated selection of products for key business functions that we stand behind and support 100%.

Do you need help finding an alternative to LogMeIn Free for remote access?  Are you using a freemium product or service for any business function and want to move to something you know will be there when you need it? Call Colden Company today at (888) 600-4560 or at info@coldencompany.com.  Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter (@coldenco) as well.