IT consultancy Syplex offers support to Cambridge businesses struggling with working from home
Syplex Ltd has opened its (virtual) doors for Cambridge enterprise - providing free IT consultancy to guide businesses working from home.
While plenty of businesses in Cambridgeshire are rising to the challenges presented by the Covid-19 outbreak by building new ventilators, or speed-manufacturing test equipment, there are others which are struggling to cope with the shift to working remotely.
The unprecedented restrictions of lockdown, with the associated difficulties of maintaining contact with colleagues, accessing company systems or operating equipment present a huge challenge for many organisations. But could more of our local firms successfully transition to working from home than are already doing so?
Cambridge-based IT consultancy of 20 years Syplex Ltd are determined to do their part to ensure Cambridge’s rich tapestry of businesses come through intact. Having mobilised to help their client base adapt to working from home, they’ve made consultant time available to help other firms struggling to know how to transition their current way of working.
Syplex technical director Carl Tedman commented: “All of our clients already had core business systems accessible remotely, such as email through Office 365 (secured with multi-factor authentication), but many had to adapt to having more home-workers than they had ever been accustomed to before. The first week of lockdown, with everyone adjusting to working from home was a bit of a shock, but really it's been possible for almost everyone to transition and continue their work uninterrupted.”
What kinds of difficulties could businesses be facing due to the need to work from home? Most companies will have systems or data operating on in-house servers which are normally used by office-based staff with desktop computers. Even though some staff may have laptops and remote access to the office, moving everyone to some form of remote working is a challenge.
Similarly, office phone systems may not be usable remotely, so even if calls are re-directed to mobiles how can they be transferred to colleagues or outbound calls made? Many companies in this region are heavily dependent on labs or other scientific equipment, how can these systems be managed and monitored remotely? We’re all used to an office environment where we can quickly speak to each other or get together for meetings, but when we’re all separated how can that collaboration be maintained?
Director of the company, Simon Foote, gave the following recommendations for firms currently adopting remote-working solutions: “We are generally recommending the collaboration and communication product Microsoft Teams, which is working well for our clients. It’s very quick to set up and start benefitting from the ability to message colleagues, share files, call each other and attend meetings.
“It’s included with Office 365 subscriptions so many organisations will have access to it already, but if they’re not using Office 365 it’s currently possible to get a free six-month trial so they can get started without any commitment. It’s a great way for the whole team to stay in touch and achieve the collaboration they need to work effectively remotely.”
Syplex works with many businesses doing lab-based research, for whom the biggest challenge is to facilitate remote working for their lab technicians.
“For the lab work, they are needing to be in the building, but they're working in shifts so people don’t come into contact. Most of the staff are working from home at any one time, so we’ve set up remote access to their office systems to allow them to continue relatively normally”, says Neil Francis, Syplex operations director.
This pandemic has hit small businesses who lack in-house IT expertise hard, which is why Cambridge firm of 20 years Syplex has decided to help during the lockdown by offering free consulting sessions to businesses in/around Cambridge. Syplex’s free IT advice can cover the above topics, or other business challenges requiring IT solutions during this testing time.
If your business is struggling or needs help with your IT in the time of coronavirus, please contact email@example.com with a brief introduction to your business and where we can help.