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How To Continue Business During the Coronavirus Pandemic

By Al Strain, Senior Web Marketer

Undoubtedly, you have been consumed by anything and everything relating to COVID-19 and the  Coronavirus. You try to focus on running your business, but the impacts of COVID-19 are far-reaching. No business is immune to its effects. At VGM Forbin, we’re here to help with solutions that allow you to continue to operate as well as streamline processes, keeping your employees safe and productive as they practice social distancing. 

Health officials around the world agree that social distancing is critical to slowing the spread of COVID-19. But how can you ensure your business stays operational if you don’t have the ability to work from home? Forbin can equip your business to allow your employees to work remotely, continue to serve your customers, and maintain HIPAA compliance. Let’s look at some of the options available to you that we use ourselves, and that we are setting up for many of our customers in the wake of this pandemic, from our remote home offices!

VGM Forbin team working remote during COVID-19 pandemic.

How to Remote into Your Work Computer

Continuum – LogMeIn Pro Remote Software

This is a HIPAA-compliant remote work solution that operates without the need to use a VPN (virtual private network), therefore preventing any slowing of your network and allowing you to easily work off your home computer. This is typically the first step for many of our customers looking to go remote. It creates a virtual connection between your work desktop and your remote computer such as a personal laptop or desktop. This solution also does not require as much bandwidth as a VPN solution, and therefore, it will not affect your system’s network.  

Ask about COVID-19 savings. Continuum is offering a discount for all customers during this unusual circumstance, which we pass along to our clients in addition to a discount we are offering on our setup of this program.  

Before you dive in, here are some important things for you to consider with Continuum: 

  • The user who is working from home must be a local administrator on their work computer. 

  • Employees will need to install the software on their work computers before heading home.  

  • Employees will need to know their computer USERNAME and PASSWORD to utilize the software. 

  • If you require two-factor authentication, Forbin can set up Duo, an app that will allow your employees to get notifications on their phones. It’s available for iPhone and Android. 

  • We can allow employees to access multiple computers remotely. 

  • If you need to be able to log in to servers or other systems, the IT experts at Forbin can assist with setup! 

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How to Answer, Transfer and Conference Office Phone to Home

RingCentral – Premium Phone/Video Conferencing SoftwareRingCentral on womans phone

This is a premium phone and video conferencing plan that can serve as a great telehealth or telebanking solution among other great business purposes. It offers the following benefits: 

  • Unlimited national phone calls 

  • Unlimited audio meetings 

  • Unlimited video conferencing 

  • Unlimited internet fax 

  • Automatic call recording 

  • Voicemail to text 

  • Access to all these options from anywhere 

  • Completely secure end-to-end encryption for your team

  • HIPAA-compliant telehealth solution

Our team, as well as our customers, love RingCentral because there are many options that you can customize easily to your unique needs, such as sending office calls straight to your computer if you’d prefer to answer through your computer, sending calls to your cell phone after a few rings on the desktop, listening to voicemail and forwarding voicemails or calls from your desktop, or downloading a voicemail to email to a co-worker – the possibilities really are endless.  

Ask about COVID-19 Savings – RingCentral is offering 3 months free for all qualified healthcare companies. No contract required. We are working with RingCentral to qualify our customers for these savings and are also offering our setup and migration time at a discounted rate to help our customers get up and running quickly and affordably!

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How to Access Microsoft Office Suite, Share with Team from Home

Office 365 – Cloud-based Email, Teams Collaboration, all other Microsoft Office AppsOffice 365 on womans computer

This system is cloud-based and allows your staff to access all updated versions of the Microsoft Office suite from anywhere, with all business files securely stored and shared with only your staff through your company’s Office 365 account. Most businesses are switching to Office 365 right now and for good reason. This solution makes collaboration with your team extremely easy while remaining secure, in addition to giving you access to the latest versions of the Microsoft Office suite via the cloud. This means your team doesn’t have to hassle with downloading new versions of these programs to their computer to have the latest and greatest. AND it’s surprisingly affordable.  

Ask about COVID-19 savings – Microsoft is offering an additional 5% off their licensing on top of what we already have contracted with them. Of course, we pass along these savings in addition to our own discount on our setup and migration services. We can have your team up and running with emails migrated over in a matter of days! 

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How to Alert My Customers of Updates in My Service

Keeping Your Customers Informed

Making sure your employees can continue their work is one thing, but it’s also important to make sure your customers know about any changes to your business caused by COVID-19. Forbin offers several options so your customers can be notified of any changes or disruptions to your business. Each option includes the creation of a page on your website using templated content supplied by Forbin that you can customize to match your business’s updated practices. 

1-Time Email to Your Customers

This option involves Forbin sending out an email to your customer list with your company’s message on how services may have changed and recommendations for the COVID-19 crisis. This has been a tremendous help for customers who did not have a system set up previously to mass email out to their entire customer database.  

Pop-up Modal MessageCOVID-19 pop-up modal

This option allows a pop-up message to be displayed on your website’s home page. Your customers would then have the option of being taken to the landing page previously mentioned or to continue to the main website. This functionality will be removed when you decide it is no longer necessary.  

Alert BannerCOVID-19 Alert Banner Website Enhancement

If you are looking for a reusable solution that will allow you to alert your customers of events or situations in the future, you can choose Forbin’s Alert Banner Enhancement. This enhancement allows you to announce things on your website with a banner that appears at the top of your website. Your customers have the option of clicking through to the page you’ve set up or to close out the alert banner.

Other Ways to Alert Your Customers

During the confusion, we recommend alerting your customers in every way possible to be sure they see your business and know how to work with you.  

  1. If your business has social media profiles set up, make sure you are placing updates there. We certainly have spread the word for any of our customers that utilize our social media management service.  

  1. We are also updating our customers’ Google My Business directories and other online directories with updated hours of operation as well as new services such as delivery, pick-up and gift card purchases.  

  1. If there are community resources set up, make sure your business is listed. In some cases, this looks like the Chamber of Commerce website or social media. In other cases, this looks like a new resource that has popped up because of this crisis. One in our local community is www.cedarvalleystrong.com.  

Overall, we understand that your business is facing uncertainty in the coming weeks and months, but you’re not alone. Forbin is here to continue to “Do Web Stuff” for your business so you can continue to effectively serve your customers while keeping your employees safe and healthy. If you’d like to speak to any of our account executives about how we can help your business during this time, just complete this form and we'll reach out shortly to schedule a call.

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