Remote Tools in a Work From Home World 


We apply our mission statement, “productivity enhanced”, to our internal operations as well.

With this in mind, we have been choosing business tools that provide flexibility and efficiency for years.

With the COVID-19 precautions moving businesses to a work from home model, these tools proved to be a crucial element in our team’s transition.

We did some quick test runs for key functions (support team), ensured that employees had the hardware they needed, and within a week and half 95 % of our team was working remotely.

Had we not had these tools in place and had our team not been adapted to using them, the transition would not have been as efficient and the adjustment period would have been much longer.



As businesses settle into this work from home model, they will discover key functions of daily business that need to be optimized for remote functionality.

Key next steps:

      1. Identify which business functions you need to address
      2. Choose tools to enable these functions remotely
      3. Implement these tools

Were “water cooler conversations” and office drop ins a major communication element that you’re now missing? Consider Instant Messaging or video conferencing.

Do you need to share files securely and obtain signatures?  Consider a file sharing tool

To help with this, CIO Solutions will be hosting a series of webinars to review the numerous new WFH tools that you are likely evaluating. Our goal is to share with other businesses which tools we use, the gotcha’s and pitfalls and some things to think about in implementation.


Business Operations

Cloud Desktops

Desktop: CIO Private Cloud

We use cloud desktops for all our applications and security. The CIO Private Cloud enables employees to log into their desktop from anywhere and on any device.

Multi-Factor Authentication: DUO

We use the desktop in conjunction with a Multi Factor Authentication software called Duo

This allows secure access to your corporate desktop anytime, anywhere from any device.


We use a combination of:

ShoreTel IP Phones

Cell phones

Live Chat Support

Companies that offer customer support for their services may benefit from another support channel when working remotely.

Live Chat: Social Intents

We implemented a live chat feature on our website that integrates with Slack (implemented on 3/20). This gives our customer another channel to contact us of us outside phone and email.

Modern Communication Tools

Instant Messaging

Real time collaboration and communication is key to productivity. We have found that instant messaging is very effective for this. 

Instant Messaging: Slack

With multiple offices, Slack has been a key tool that we have been using for years for effective company communication. This is a very commonly used tool, so the 3rd party ecosystem is large which is an added benefit.

Instant Messaging: Microsoft Teams 

Many of our partners and clients also use Microsoft teams as their real-time communication tool. 

Video Conferencing

Video Conferencing: Zoom 

We picked the Zoom solution a few months ago for room to room video conferencing. In the past couple of days our use of this tool has evolved from room to room to person to person.

Our monthly staff meeting this month held over 70 participants.

The special thing about this tool for us is that it can be run directly in the cloud with its cloud optimization packs.

File Sharing

File Sharing: ShareFile

We use ShareFile for secure sharing of documents. File sharing solutions such as ShareFileBox, and Dropbox are common tools. It’s worth noting as well that Microsoft Teams also allows sharing of files.

HR & Back Office

Document Signing

Document Signing: RightSignature

We use RightSignature to handle document and agreement signing.

This integrates directly with Sharefile for a secure and integrated ecosystem for sharing files with external parties.

Expense Management

Expense Management: Expensify

We use Expensify for tracking and approving of employee expenses (company card, mileage etc).


Payroll & TimeCards:  Paylocity

We use Paylocity which which has all the web and mobile tools you need to handle payroll in a WFH environment.

We have been using this tool for over 3 years. 

Accounts Receivable/Payable

Accounts Receivable/Payable: ConnectBooster

We use a niche solution for AHC and Payments that connects to our ERP system. The system is called ConnectBooster.

This allows viewing, paying and approving bills online which prevents visits to PO boxes and check scanning.