I believe massive congrats are in order to our resellers, for enabling many end users to work remotely. There are a lot of moving parts – especially if it hasn’t been a previous requirement. When it comes to remote work, it may be more effective having a deployable “virtual office” package. It’s a simple way for end users to get online remotely, if they haven’t done so prior.
For this blog, I’d like to focus on a couple of key aspects – connectivity and communications. Whether that’s a physical phone or enabling web conferencing using an endpoint.
The goal of this thought experiment is to build the simplest “plug and play” equipment list. It should not require high end user technical knowledge, to connect themselves on their home broadband connection. This also assumes that they already have a work or portable device, that they’ve taken home. So, without further ado, let’s tackle the networking bit first (obviously not the in-person kind).
Is your virtual office set up yet?
We ran a webinar in February on Grandstream’s set of Wi-Fi devices. We revealed the new Grandstream GWN7602. This fantastic little device is priced very disruptively. It’s a fully featured access point built to perform well in small high attenuation locations – such as homes, offices and hotels. This makes it a great fit for remote workers, as it can be set up ahead of time with a SSID to connect to. Then simply plug it into the remote office’s home router via ethernet cable and power on.
This allows a remote worker to set up a virtual office away from the home router (or potentially noisy living room) and still have decent throughput. These devices support 2×2:2 MIMO. Even a repurposed office access point could (in theory) be sent to the remote site, plugged in and work with devices that previously connected automatically.
It can support up to 80 clients within a 100 metre range. It’s also a dual band AC device – perfect for getting around interfering neighbours’ Wi-Fi bands. This extra speed (provided the home internet plan is sufficient) quickly gets endpoints up and running. Softphone clients are ready for phone calls, as well as web conferencing.
Speaking of phone calls on devices, end users fall into a couple of categories. Users happy to use a remote device with a headset are already fully equipped if they are using 3CX with a soft phone or web client. These phone clients intelligently route across the correct ports, which means not having to reach into a basic ISP-provided router to try and port forward. This greatly eases the need for extra RTP traffic routing. For users that do require a physical phone at their remote site, I strongly recommend reading a previous post on ways to achieve this.
Another notable mention from a hardware point of view would be Grandstream’s range of Wi-Fi portable phones. The phone itself has the intelligence to roam between different access points in an office. If this has already been set up, then it will work straight away with a remote worker’s Wi-Fi AP. Packaging these devices together can make remote communications an absolute breeze. Furthermore, the purpose-built battery in these devices has been built (typically the Achilles heel of Wi-Fi portables).
Want to know more about these devices? Click to email us. We have been open throughout lock-down and are always available to help.