Charlie Bogart, Founder and CEO of RealCom Solutions, shares how the telecommunications technology company has put the needs of its clients first amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and forecasts the future of work in the face of rapid technological change and work-from-home arrangements.
This Q&A is part of an ongoing series of DRC interviews with representatives from our member organizations about how they are facing the COVID-19 pandemic.
Q: How has RealCom Solutions helped its clients navigate the difficult transition to remote work amid the COVID-19 pandemic?
A: RealCom Solutions is unique in the services we provide our clients. We are vendor-neutral client advocates. This means that we are committed to best serving our clients’ needs and helping keep them afloat during these challenging times, rather than promoting one specific product or solution. Instead, we offer complete project management with a wide variety of tools in areas such as virtual collaboration, cloud migration, network deployment, unified communications, cybersecurity, and more based on an organization’s unique needs.
We do this by leveraging our strong relationships with the carriers and solution providers. We are very familiar with their products and are able to negotiate best-price contracts on behalf of our clients. Importantly, this comes at no cost to those we serve. Our clients enter into contracts with carriers and providers who then pay RealCom for facilitating the agreement. Then, we project manage and deploy the solution for them.
Both our expert-knowledge of the telecommunications industry and our no-cost services are especially important now as companies have been forced to transition quickly to remote work. For companies struggling with payroll, knowledgeable staff members may be among the first to be let go, leaving many companies without crucial insight of their technology needs and existing infrastructure.
Q: What have been your clients’ most pressing needs and challenges as they have worked to implement and maintain remote work arrangements?
A: There has been a broad increase in demand for all of the services RealCom offers. Unsurprisingly, we have seen especially high demand for unified communications, video collaboration, and meeting tools, a space we were very familiar with as RealCom has leveraged those tools internally for years. Many companies have new cybersecurity needs due to the remote work environment. At the office, employees were subject to a company’s various firewalls and encryption technology, but those protections didn’t necessarily follow employees to the home office. Identifying new cybersecurity solutions to protect employees and company information in a remote workspace has been a high priority for our clients.
In addition, clients have needed support equipping employee home offices with the necessary technology to ensure that staff have the same remote functional capabilities as in the workplace. This has been a particular challenge for clients with very equipment-reliant workplaces, such as call centers. Relatedly, another crucial challenge in facilitating remote work has been enabling virtual access to private data networks. We have assisted clients in migrating their premise-based data networks to the cloud.
Q: In your view, how has COVID-19 altered the future of work?
A: My opinion is that the workplace has changed for the duration. With social distancing measures likely to stay for the foreseeable future – if not indefinitely – companies will either need to occupy a larger real estate footprint or permit some degree of work from home permanently. Now equipped with the technology, tools, and security to make remote work effective and safe, I believe many employers will assess which of their employees need to be in the office and which can work remotely, either partially or fully. In addition to the safety benefits associated with having fewer employees in the physical office, employers are learning that staff is equally or even more productive at home than in the office.