18 Mar

Office flipped? A remote IT response to COVID-19

SmartDeploy customers trust us to help them maintain IT efficiency and business continuity so that they can focus on more pressing challenges. In response to COVID-19 and the upheaval inflicted on all of our collective work, I want to update the SmartDeploy community on steps we’re taking to protect our employees and some challenges confronting our customers and how we’re positioned to help.

Ready to respond

Like many companies based in Washington state, we are following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local recommendations to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. We have taken steps, including:

  • Implementing Work From Home (WFH) policies
  • Eliminating non-essential work-related travel
  • Testing critical IT infrastructure and internal systems as part of our active business continuity plan.

The SmartDeploy technical support, sales, and customer service teams are all available and ready to help, Monday-Friday from 8:00 am PST to 5:00 pm PT. Due to unpredictable call volumes and increased support demand, please note that email communication is preferred. We are committed to continuing to support our customers, so please do not hesitate to reach out.

Remote rundown

Due to mandatory WFH policies for many of our customers, we’ve seen a recent increase in SmartDeploy utilization as IT provisions new laptops. If you’re in a situation where you are unexpectedly supporting more remote employees, we’re here to help. In some cases, discounts for additional licenses may be available. As your situation evolves, we will too.

Handle hardware

According to the WSJ, manufacturers are grappling with supply-chain bottlenecks as demand spikes to support WFH policies. Place your laptop order early and have a plan if your preferred hardware make and model is unavailable. If at all possible, we encourage you to continue purchasing business class models to ensure that a Platform Pack is available.

If you have unused laptops in a closet or server room, it might be time to refresh them with your current Windows image in preparation for any changes to your corporate policy. We have been delivering support, including Platform Pack creation, according to our SLAs. However, if you must purchase a consumer model as a last resort and a Platform Pack is not available, lead time for new requests may be longer than usual.

Reimage PCs with cloud services

If you’re managing remote endpoints that are not connected to your network/VPN, consider using SmartDeploy Cloud Services to remotely deploy your Windows image, Application Packs, and Platform Pack updates. This out-of-box SmartDeploy capability integrates with your existing Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, or OneDrive cloud storage.

If needed, you can even drop-ship a laptop from the OEM or reseller to an end user and reimage their system entirely remotely. Learn more about this scenario in this step-by-step video guide.

These are just a few of the challenges facing IT teams unfamiliar with supporting more remote employees. We are happy to talk through other difficulties you are having supporting your workers and their PC endpoints — especially as you battle the disruption COVID-19 placed on our personal and professional life. On behalf of SmartDeploy, thank you for coming to work today (physically or virtually) and accepting the challenge.

About the Author

Spencer Dunford
As General Manager at SmartDeploy, Spencer Dunford applies over 12 years of creative IT wisdom to find solutions that solve the most complex and unique challenges for customers. When he isn’t leading our stellar sales and support team, Spencer can be found exploring the mountains on skis or two wheels with his family, and finishing his day behind the grill in his never-ending pursuit of the perfect steak.