- Internal Collaboration Tool
- Video Conferencing
- File sharing
- Phone System
- People Receiving Notifications After Work
- Password Manager
- Business VPN
- Payroll / HR Solution
- Identity Management
- Device Management
Internal Collaboration Tool
- It's integrated with all Office 365 apps
- It's already included in the Office 365 subscription we're paying for
- It includes video conferencing
- It includes personal phone line, aka Microsoft gives me a personal dedicated number so that I can make and receive calls on any device
When you don't get to see each other every day you need a way to connect to people, lest you get stircrazy (and crazy unproductive). At BEMO, video conferencing is how we satisfy the drive to connect. Video conferencing isn't even new, but it's adoption has exploded during COVID-19, so I'm sure you've used Zoom, Webex, or GoToMeeting. Once again, we use Microsoft Teams for video conferencing because it comes automatically with all the other Microsoft 365 apps and it's included in the price, so why go and try to find another tool? Especially since Microsoft has video conferencing features far beyond what the others have to offer, and while Microsoft isn't in the news as much, they have incredible growth rates for Teams.
People Receiving Notifications After Work
Here's how to set Quite Hours in Microsoft Teams:
Honestly everyone needs a password manager, not just remote companies. This solution comes to mind because remote companies have a 'digital-first' mindset, which also means they have credentials to many different SaaS solutions and online accounts that need to be shared across team members. We use Keeper Security as our password manager because
- It's easy and simply to use
- It's simple to securely share passwords across the team
- It integrates with Microsoft 365, meaning you get Single Sign-On with Keeper
If you're a remote company then you need to think about cybersecurity. You have people logging in from all over the USA and potentially all over the world, working from coffee shops, airports, hotel rooms, and just about anywhere with free WiFi. Statistically speaking, that means it's only a matter of time before someone who is using free unsecured WiFi is going to get hacked.
We really like using perimeter81 because:
- It integrates with Microsoft 365 for Single Sign-on (SSO) and Azure Conditional Access
What does that mean? It means that Microsoft 365 can detect that you're trying to connect to Starbucks' unsecured WiFi and won't let you access any data until you flip the VPN switch on! How cool is that?!
- When you turn on the VPN you and all of the other employees get the same IP address, which is SO nice if you're in IT or software development and need a fixed IP.
- One of the annoyances of other VPNs is that every time you connect you always get a different IP address. With perimeter81 all of your team members connect to the same network and have the same IP. This makes it really convenient to whitelist certain IP addresses or use a fixed IP in your code or IT systems.
- It's about the same price as all the other VPN solutions out there.
Payroll / HR Solution
To give you a heads up, remote.com is the only solution in this blog post that we haven't used (up until now) because it's so new that it just came out but we are piloting it with our international team members.
Currently we us Gusto to manage all of our United States team members and we absolutely love it. From both the admin side and end-user side it takes out all of the stress that comes with payroll and benefits. I see my salary, taxes (it integrates with Turbo Tax), my PTO, 401k, and all other benefits in one place, and Gusto makes it easy to actually understand the healthcare benefits.
Much in the same vein as using a password manager and a business VPN, when running a remote company it's so easy for your company to get hacked. You have a ton of different cloud solutions, you need to manage the credentials for each one, and even if you manage to create strong passwords, someone can still steal it and get into one of your many accounts. This is why we have Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) enabled on all of our accounts and use Single-Sign On (SSO) for eligible apps.