Microsoft Azure: Companies Work Remotely During COVID-19

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Do Your Employees Need to Work Remotely? We Did It in One Weekend with Microsoft Azure: A Fast, Cost-Effective Solution

Last week, one of our longstanding clients reached out to us with an urgent need. Just like countless other organizations worldwide during the COVID-19 pandemic, they needed to get their employees working from home -- and fast.


Shifting from an office-based to a home-based workforce isn’t just a cultural challenge for large companies: it also brings technical challenges. As a national media company, this client needed to transition roughly five hundred market managers to full work-from-home capacity.


It’s not just a matter of numbers. In addition to the challenge of setting up hundreds of employees with home office capabilities simultaneously, this company was also in the midst of transitioning to Microsoft Dynamics 365 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S. full force.


The company’s existing server systems are outdated, making the prospect of providing hundreds of market managers with at-home access extremely daunting. And, of course, security is a major concern in the media industry.


Microsoft Azure: A Clear Solution 

AKA was already hosting this company’s Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains (GP) system using Microsoft Azure. As Great Plains is already running in the cloud, the company asked whether we could help them do the same with other essential applications. This would give their market managers at-home access to important software.


We responded with a resounding ‘yes’. Azure is extremely flexible and powerful, giving us the ability to make any application -- including third-party software -- available remotely via the cloud. In this case, the solution was to set up a virtual desktop using remote-to-desktop software, adding extra servers as needed to provide additional capacity. Market managers could then access whatever software they needed from home via a secure browser.


The result? The whole project took less than 48 hours, including time for a soft launch and testing phase. We got the call from our client on Friday afternoon, and by Tuesday their entire team of market managers was working comfortably from home.


Speed, Scalability, and Reliability with Microsoft Azure

With Microsoft Azure, we have the ability to scale up the whole processing environment with just a couple of clicks. Even better, we haven’t encountered a single glitch: everything’s been running smoothly.


Best of all, though, this project was extremely affordable for our client. We didn’t have to bill for many hours, and the client didn’t need to purchase laptops or servers. Plus, since Azure is pay-as-you-use, the company won’t have to pay for 24/7 server access that they don’t actually need.


Custom Solutions for Individual Businesses

Every business is unique, and so is every solution AKA provides. If your company is in the midst of transitioning employees from an office-based to a home-based setup, you’re likely dealing with your own software and security concerns.


Your needs might be very different from those of the company outlined above. The takeaway from this client’s success story, however, isn’t about the specifics: it’s about the fact that we were able to help this company transition hundreds of employees to a home office environment in less than 48 hours, without racking up huge project costs.


At AKA, our goal is to work side by side with our partners to meet their needs—particularly in challenging times such as these. We’re here to help. Contact us now and let us know what we can do for your organization.


AKA specializes in making it easier to do business, simplifying processes and reducing risks. With agility, expertise, and original industry solutions, we embrace projects other technology firms avoid—regardless of their complexity. As a true strategic partner, we help organizations slay the dragons that are keeping them from innovating their way to greatness. Call us at 212-502-3900!

Article by: Greg Inks | 212-502-3900

With two decades specializing in Microsoft and Azure platforms, Greg leads AKA's Cloud practice. He is a Cloud evangelist offering deep expertise in Cloud architectures and adoption strategy. Greg has developed subject-matter expertise and wide-ranging business acumen by working with some of the largest, most successful technology providers and client companies on the planet.

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