Business Continuity & COVID-19 Resource Portal

Mytech Partners Business Continuity Communications

This is a quick email update about changes to Mytech processes as we adjust to COVID-19 developmentsAs some of our clients transition back to office workwe’re altering our on-site visit criteria to maximize safety for both your team and ours. Please see below for more details: 

  • Based on our COVID-19 Response Planwe are currently at “Threat Level 3. This means most onsite visits are conducted remotely wherever possibleand approval is needed for any actual client visits.Project visits have also been evaluated on a case-by-case basis, contingent on approval from both our team and the client.  
  • For our safety and yours, any staff on site visits will be wearing appropriate PPE. Please let us know if you have specific safety protocols or requirements, and we will instruct our staff to follow them as well. 
  • We are on track to move to “Threat Level 2” in the near future, though we are constantly watching for changes and will adjust that timeline if necessary. At that time, our next wave of staff will return to the office following our “two week lag” schedule (see the above link for more info). 

We’ll keep you updateon any changes, to ensure you know what to expect from us. We ask that you do the same, or notify us of your plans for staff return dates, so we can prepare for any sudden changes in your service needs. 

As always, please reach out to your account manager with any questions. We want to be available and informed of your individual business situation, and any potential issues that may resurface in this changing landscape 

As our state governments begin the careful process of dialing back restrictions, we all face uncertainty on how to proceed. This is a quick email update on Mytech’s actions to ensure our clients experience no interruption of service as they return to the office.

  • Mytech employees will return to our offices on a staggered schedule, available here as a template This is an updated version of COVID-19 Response Plan, revised to address the complexity of returning to working onsite. Please feel free to use this schedule or the definitions in your own onsite-return policy documents.
  • Mytech’s onsite-return schedule will delay 2 weeks behind state guidelines. This will ensure we aren’t affected by transition hiccups at the same time as our clients.
  • If state guidelines change for any reason, we will adapt our schedule to maintain this 2-week buffer.

For more information check out this quick video:

COVID-19 UPDATE

We’ll continue to update you on any changes to our process or policies, to ensure you know what to expect from us.  

As always, please reach out with any questions.  We want to be available and informed of your individual situation, and any potential issues that could resurface as you transition back to on-site work.

We want to give you a quick update on the status of Mytech’s operations in both Colorado and Minnesota regarding the shelter at home state orders.

Please take a moment to watch the video below as we touch on two key points. 

1) A financial/credit update since we first began our shelter at home. 
2) Our preliminary plans for our team’s transition back into our office.

Watch Video

If you have any additional questions, please contact your account manager.

Thank you,
Your Mytech Team

With the announcement of the various “Shelter at Home / Stay at Home” orders that went in effect this week, we wanted to take moment to reassure you that Mytech Partners will continue to be of service to you and your organization.

As a technology infrastructure business, which is considered a Critical Infrastructure Segment, we support the information technology infrastructure of numerous public and private organizations who are also designated as Critical Infrastructure Segments.  Therefore, we are considered exempt from local restrictions such as curfews, shelter-in-place orders, and other mobility restrictions when reporting to, returning from, or performing his or her work-related duties.  Our exemptions are based on federal guidance from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security with some Minnesota-specific  and Colorado-specific additions.

All non-essential client visits will continue to be temporarily suspended, and projects and emergency on-site support will be assessed on a per request basis, to ensure the safety of both your employees and the Mytech team. We will send more detailed information about this next week.

While most of our team members are currently working remote, we want you to know that we are here to support you and to work with you as you face any challenges while optimizing these unconventional work environments.

Lastly, we encourage you and your friends, family, and colleagues to check out our upcoming virtual events.  We will be hosting virtual sessions each Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday through April to help you more efficiently operate virtually within Microsoft O365.

Have a safe and healthy weekend.

Your Mytech Team

We wanted to share with you some of the challenges we are experiencing and trying to navigate through as concerns to procuring physical technology devices and some remote connection licenses. 

With the significant increase of staff moving to a work-from-home setting, many organizations are realizing they are not fully equipped to have the majority of their staff working remotely.  As a result, the rapid increase in demand for computers, especially laptops and remote access licensing, has taken a significant toll on our suppliers contributing to significant and unknown lead times.  

  • Lead-Times & Shipping – As you might expect, inventory is limited, therefore producing longer lead-times than usual, combined with delays in the supply chain and manufacturing. We have also received notice that fulfillment of existing orders is delayed due to warehouse staff decreasing associated with ‘social distancing’. Shipping carriers are struggling with increased requests, combined with staffing challenges causing delays.  

  • Remote Access Licensing – Vendors have been inundated with quotes and purchase requests for Virtual Private Network (VPN) or Remote Access licenses.  As you can imagine, this is causing delays in the procurement process.  We are working with our vendors to purchase licenses in bulk where we can, to be able to fulfill user requests in a timely fashion. 

  • Credit & Finance – Most of our vendors have restricted or eliminated the ability to purchase equipment on credit.  As a result, we have made the decision to temporarily suspended credit for purchases until further notice.  See the notice that was sent earlier this week for more details.  We strongly encourage that you consider this initiative within your own organization to protect your future financial stability. 

 

Let’s Chat Before You Buy 

As a small business ourselves, we understand that it is imperative to keep our staff working and productive as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves. Many organizations naturally reacted by ordering an abundant number of laptops for their users. We strongly recommend that before purchasing a significant number of new devices to send home with your staff, consult with your Mytech account manager to explore other possible solutions.  Purchasing new devices may not only take longer to receive and set up but when the dust settles, these ‘extra’ devices may end up being a financial liability you wish you wouldn’t have taken on. 

In holding to our value of setting the next person up for success, we are committed to pursuing practices that provide you and your organization the most value and productivity out of your IT investments.  Therefore, we will continue to innovate through creativity and do our part to recommend appropriate solutions to help you through this challenging time.  If you have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Adhering to one of our values, communicate directly and openly, we wanted to share with you, that as of 5pm today, March 18th, 2020, Mytech Partners is moving to Threat Level 4 as part of our COVID-19 Action Plan.  While we started shifting our team into working from home earlier this week, as we declare Level 4, we are now strategically moving additional staff to a remote setting. In addition, all non-essential client visits are temporarily suspended.  If you feel you require onsite assistance, please submit a ticket, and we will work with you on a per-case basis.

How Will This Impact Support? 

Although we are receiving significantly more support requests for setting up remote access solutions, our entire support team is prepared to work from home just as efficiently as from the office.  However, from a call routing perspective, all service coordinators are answering calls as usual, but then working with the support engineers to call you back from their cell phones or personal landlines.  For this reason, we strongly encourage you to submit requests for support either through the Mytech H.E.L.P application or by emailing help@mytech.com.

Understanding YOUR COVID-19 Plan.

If they haven’t already, your account manager will be reaching out to you to obtain information regarding YOUR organization’s COVID-19 plan.  Our objective is to understand the state at which your organization is currently operating, and any future plans that may change as the threat level increases.

Understanding these details will help our team continue to support your users efficiently.  We recognize that there is a lot of uncertainty about the future and that things can change from day to day.  We ask that if the business operational status of your organization and/or the location of your employees change, please try to keep us up-to-date.  As a reminder, we have a COVID-19 Action Plan Template on the Business Continuity / COVID-19 Resource Portal.

Additionally, we will be sure to review and discuss:

  • Any Open Remote Access Requests – Which of your staff members have active requests for remote access, and what options are the most secure for their particular technical set up.
  • VPN on Personal Devices – Do any of your users currently have VPN set up on their personal devices. Is that approved, and are you aware of the significant security risks to your network?
  • Pending Orders – review any pending orders you may have along with any vendor procurement challenges – and ensure you received the communication in regards to our temporary restriction of credit terms.

As we continue to adapt to the new challenges that each day brings, Mytech Partners does not expect any significant disruption in services during and/or after the COVID-19 pandemic. We remain committed to supporting the long-term success of your business or organization.

Temporary Restriction of Credit Terms due to COVID-19 Risks.

We are committed to helping our clients, our employees, and our communities. Therefore we have been working on plans that not only help us at Mytech, but also our clients, navigate the changing landscape that is emerging in the face of COVID-19. Our objective is to set up our business, as well as our clients’ organizations, for success in both the long and short term.

We wanted to reach out to you in regards to an interim policy change that will help Mytech ensure we can operate effectively and maintain financial viability within the current and near-term future financial landscape, with the end goal of continuity of service to our clients.  We will continue to fulfill order requests and work with our vendor partners to procure hardware and software; however, effective immediately, all product – hardware and software – purchases will require prepayment.

Our distributors are shortening up, or even eliminating, existing credit terms. Additionally, temporary business closures and the financial uncertainty many organizations are facing in the coming months, make credit all the riskier. We have made this policy change, and suggest you consider this initiative within your own organization, to ensure that we all maintain healthy businesses, continue to provide jobs for our respective teams, and continue to provide the best possible experience for our clients, customers and the community.

For more information please watch this short video:

Thank you for your continued patience and grace as we work diligently to come up with alternate secure solutions to help you and your staff work remotely.  We have had a significant increase in requests for remote connectivity solutions.  We realize that many of you do not have Virtual Private Network (VPN) set up or the necessary licenses to support your entire workforce telecommuting. Additionally, there are some circumstances that will require a different approach other than VPN. 

In an effort to provide you and your staff the capability to continue business operations in a remote setting, while also maintaining a secure working environment, we have developed the following solution sets.  While some of these solutions are not ideal, we feel that they balance the need to implement quickly, while maintaining your network’s security. 

Option 1 – User’s Company Issued Computer is a Laptop  

Many company laptops are already designed to have remote access abilities.  If your staff have company issued and Mytech managed laptops, AND you already have VPN or a Remote Desktop Server (RDS) configured, you may just need to assess licenses and resources to support your team. Whether or not you need to make any further investments will vary depending on the solution. 

Option 2 – User’s Company Issued Computer is a Workstation/Desktop 

If you have users who have a workstation or desktop computer, we have developed and tested a solution to allow your users to remotely control a workstation at the office.  Using this secure, remote access solution, the user’s workstation/desktop can be accessed via a personal computer they may have at home.   The only requirements include: 

  • remote access solution connection license from Mytech ($10/workstation/year) 
  • A separate device at home to access the office computer 
  • A stable internet at home and office 

Either of these options will provide you with a quick AND secure solution to allow your staff to work remotely. If you feel that there is a user with more complex requirements, please read through Evaluating Applications for Remote Work.  We understand the that the current extraordinary circumstances require extraordinary actions, and Mytech is working to do our part to keep you, our client, safe. 

Risk of Using VPN Remote Access with Personal Devices

We have had numerous requests over the past week to set up VPN on users personal devices.  Non-managed devices present a significant and very real security risk when connected to a corporate network.  It is our recommendation that you employ one of the two identify solutions above. If we have already set up a VPN on a user’s personal device, a Mytech representative will be reaching out to ensure you understand the risks associated with choosing to allow remote access to corporate resources from personal devices 

For more information watch this short video:

Your account manager will be reaching out shortly to discuss the various remote access options.  We look forward to working with you to enact a plan that will support you and your business. As a reminder all communication and resources can be found on our Business Continuity & COVID-19 Resource Portal.

Mytech Client Resource Portal for COVID-19 Remote Work & Continuity Planning

“To Grow, Help, and Make a Difference” in the communities in which we live, work and thrive. Today we all find ourselves in an extraordinary situation where our community, friends, co-workers, and businesses are at risk. The speed at which this threat has progressed has put us all in a position where there has been little time to build, let alone execute a plan. Together we can all do our part to keep our community, our respective teams and their families safe.

Over the last couple days, Mytech has put together a COVID-19 Remote Work & Business Continuity Portal that has content, planning templates, work from home recommendations, and video training. As a small business ourselves, we hope that the information we have used to build and execute our Remote Work & Business Continuity Plan can help accelerate how your business can address these issues to keep your team and our community safe through the COVID-19 pandemic. In the portal you will find information on the following:

Mytech has moved to “Phase 3” of our COVID-19 Continuity Plan and there are three key items we want to communicate to our clients relative to continuing services.

  • Mytech’s Support Team is transitioning to working remotely. For those who call our Help Desk directly, they will most likely have our engineers call back for support tickets vs. live transfer to a support technician. Please continue to leverage the Mytech HELP Center or email help@mytech.com to submit tickets.
  • Regular Onsite Visits are suspended as of tomorrow. The onsite visit work will still be completed, however, we will not be sending our team onsite until further notice.
  • Ongoing Onsite Project Work will be handled on a case by case basis.  If/when onsite execution will be required, a project manager will reach out to  individual clients evaluate safety risks for safety prior to completion.

We will be updating information on this portal throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. As we add and update information, we will communicate those changes and additions with you via email.  We hope these resources are helpful in keeping our community, our respective teams, and their families safe.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please reach out to your account manager.

Stay healthy!

How Mytech Is Preparing

Given the emerging threat of COVID-19 and the impact the virus may have on our communities, clients’, employees and families, we would like to share what preparations we are making to ensure the safety and health of our employees while maintaining the ability to serve and fully support our client’s needs.

As part of our business continuity plan, our current structure allows most employees to work remotely. However, there are many roles in our organization that mainly work and collaborate at one of our physical offices. Therefore we are conducting work from home tests with these teams specifically to identify any gaps or inefficiencies that could arise.  We can then make any necessary changes in advance of a mandated quarantine. We do not anticipate any service interruptions for our clients, and we are taking every preemptive measure necessary to ensure our team can deliver the same level of service excellence over the coming weeks.

Additionally, we understand that our clients are experiencing the same growing concern in regards to their ability to have their staff work remotely.  We are here to help!   Early next week, we will have a number of resources that will help you assess your current business continuity situation, and provide our recommendations to ensure you can continue to conduct business safely and securely.  We recommend that you start to identify roles in your organization that may need the ability to work from home and use this weekend to test this capability. We can then work together next week to ensure your identified team can be fully productive in a remote capacity.  

Our top priority is the health and well-being of our clients, employees, and communities.  Rest assured, we are taking every precaution necessary and fully encourage open communication over the next several days.  If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to your account manager.

Thank you for entrusting your business with Mytech Partners. We are very grateful for the role we play, and we remain as committed as ever to ensuring your success. We wish you, your colleagues, and your family, safety, wellness, and positivity during these challenging times.

Business Continuity Resources

Over the few months, Mytech has put together educational content, planning templates, work from home recommendations, and video training to address the business challenges we’ve all faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  As a small business ourselves, we hope that the information we have used to build and execute our Remote Work & Business Continuity Plan can help accelerate how your business can address these issues to keep your team and our community safe through this unprecedented time. 

Virtual Sessions | How to Operate Virtually within Microsoft O365

In a matter of days, the way most of us do business significantly changed.  Whether you are used to working remotely or not, the challenges of having your entire team working remotely for a significant amount of time is probably a scenario for which you weren’t prepared. During these virtual sessions we will demonstrate how to successfully run your department meetings, collaborate effectivity, and keep your team productive in a virtual setting within Microsoft O365. 

Did you miss a session?  Have no fear!  Recordings of previous sessions can be found on the Operating Virtually within Microsoft 365 resource page. 

Mytech Partners Internal Policies and Protocols

Our team is hard at work developing and revising internal policies and protocols to address how we will continue to do business as the COVID-19 virus continues evolve. Feel free to download any of the documents as templates (located above under Business Continuity Resources) to use in your organization.