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Technology Solutions to Avoid the Sandy Aftermath Commuting Nightmare

Employees can get more work done from home

If you are one of the millions in the North East lucky enough to escape the worst of Sandy but now need to get back to work, gassing up for a long commute is not the most productive way to catch up. Many employees already have email as a primary remote connection to work however that only gets so far. Most need access to apps and data that may only be available behind the company firewall. Beyond that there are the meetings and collaboration with colleagues that are essential to get work done. But does everyone really need to be in the office to get work done ? .. Now might be a good time to consider some of the options available from Citrix to get the organization back on track without adding hours of suffering commuting to employees schedules.

Access work PCs from home with RemotePC
For organizations with PC's in the office one option is to provide employees access from their home device ( PC, Mac, iPad, whatever ). This can be done safely under IT control with the XenDesktop RemotePC feature without the prerequisite VDI or server infrastructure. Companies with existing XenDesktop can extend virtual environments to employees with office PCs by installing a VDA ( Virtual Desktop Agent ) on the PC image and enrolling the new employees as designated. For companies without existing XenDesktop implementation, its possible to install a few Virtual Machines with the required XenDesktop broker and Gateway to get up an running rapidly. This RemotePC implementation provides managed access to employees work PCs but does not require a full VPN with the associated security risks from untrusted devices. Company data is not sent to the home PC or device only the User Interface so security is maintained. For more info on http://blogs.citrix.com/2012/08/09/remote-pc-faq/ http://deliver.citrix.com/xdexpressdl">RemotePC.

Remote PC and Mac access for small business with GoToMyPC
For small businesses another simple option is GoToMyPC. This service requires no server or office infrastructure. However it does require at least one trip to the office to set up the PC. After that connect from any PC, Mac or Tablet. GoToMyPC is Free for 30 days ( no Credit Card required ) and then $9.95 / month afterwards http://www.gotomypc.com/remote_access/remote_desktop .

Meet from home with GoToMeeting
Meet with your colleagues or clients over the Web instead of in the Office. If you haven't used it lately, the new HD Faces video feature significantly improves engagement and certainly beats missing meetings due to traffic. GoToMeeting is free for 30 days ( no Credit Card required ) and then $49 / month for all you can Meet. http://www.gotomeeting.com/fec/online_meeting .

Collaborate with colleagues using Podio
Business Social might sound like an optional luxury to consider in good times, but now may be the best time to give it a try. Instead of endless emails and reply-all's to assure communication to everyone. Services like Podio can make remote asynchronous collaboration easy and more productive. Sharing documents and  comments is as simple as Facebook photos.  Sharing company updates or enabling any team member to broadcast a question and get help can be completely self-serve saving IT support calls. Beyond that, office workflows can be easily created and turned into simple apps that anyone can build. Podio is free up to 5 users and then $ 8 / month per user. http://Podio.com

More Stories By Chris Fleck

Chris Fleck is Vice President of Mobility Solutions at Citrix Systems. Chris started his career at IBM working across multiple engineering and product organizations leading to Business Unit Exec of the IBM Industrial Computer Group. As a pioneer of new technologies, Chris founded an IBM spin-off to commercialize the initial Server Blade products as CEO of OmniCluster Technologies. At Citrix Chris is responsible for mobilty solutions and alliances. As part of the Citrix CTO Office he is also involved with or leading multiple strategic initiatives at the company. You can follow him on Twitter and his blog at TechInstigator.com