Bondgate IT has experienced a huge rise in demand for its services in the week that thousands of North East employees began working from home as stricter measures were introduced to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The Darlington-based IT experts – whose own staff are themselves working remotely or from home – have been busy advising and supporting local businesses and organisations to ensure they can continue to function as normal during the lockdown period.
During the week, the Bondgate IT team installed over 450 remote working tools and dealt with a 54 per cent increase in telephone calls completing 84 per cent of requests that same day.
Managing director Garry Brown said: “I am incredibly proud of the huge effort that our team have made to enable numerous businesses to be able to work from home at very short notice. The IT industry as a whole, from small companies like ours to global giants such as Microsoft and Google, are working together to help businesses achieve office working from home, keeping staff, customers and clients connected.”
The two most popular requests from the region’s businesses involved the installation of VPN connections, which allows employees to connect remotely to their business networks, and the cloud-based communication platform, Microsoft Teams.
He added: “They are the two major tools that make working from home and staying connected a reality. In fact, many of our clients were surprised at just how simple and effective they are.
“It’s important to highlight the tremendous amount of support being made available to help keep businesses working through these unprecedented times.
- Microsoft is offering its Teams platform free for six months to support remote working. Features include unlimited chat, video calls and 10GB of team file storage
- BT has removed all caps on home broadband, so customers have unlimited data
- Google is allowing free access to Google Hangouts until July 1. As well as connecting employees via video calls, it has also unlocked premium features
- Cisco is extending the capabilities of its free integrated audio, video and content sharing platform Webex, including unlimited usage
- Intermedia is offering free Intermedia AnyMeeting pro video conferencing licences for customers and partners for the rest of 2020
Garry added: “There is no doubt that IT is playing a pivotal role in helping businesses overcome the challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic in an accessible and affordable manner, which will offer huge advantages going forward.
“I’d urge any business in the region experiencing IT difficulties to seek specialist advice or support. After all, it’s in everyone’s interest to work together to ensure the North East’s business community emerges unscathed from this crisis.”