As numerous AMCOM employees and Soldiers telework to help minimize the spread of COVID-19, information technology experts are trying to stay a step ahead of the strain on agency IT resources.
“With so many people trying to access the Army network remotely using Virtual Private Network connections all at the same time, it’s even more important than ever for everyone to practice network optimization, so the system experiences fewer problems,” said AMCOM G-6 Chief Information Officer Shirley Perkey.
Perkey pointed out that two of the biggest problems AMCOM teleworkers are having is logging into VPN and teleconferencing. She encourages the AMCOM workforce to check out the tutorials, “AMCOM VPN Connection Instructions” and “Defense Collaboration Services (teleconferencing) Quick Guide,” posted on the AMCOM Command Information Portal.
Perkey also said following the basic tips below can help optimize connectivity for everyone while teleworking:
• Log off of your VPN connection at the end of the work day
• If you’re having connectivity issues, verify your local internet connection before calling your IT service desk
• Use your organization-approved file sharing service/capability to share files with others
• Use your organization’s approved communication and collaboration methods for official business only
• Use DoD SAFE (Secure Access File Exchange) to share large files/videos (i.e., over 10 MB) with DoD and non-DoD recipients
• Limit all non-mission-essential activity on government-furnished equipment (e.g., social networking, audio and video streaming, and personal shopping)
• Sign government emails
• Study and follow the Acceptable Use Policy for government systems
• Request assistance from knowledgeable co-workers for tips before calling your IT help desk
• Consider providing alternate phone numbers – other than your office phone number – on email correspondence, out-of-office replies, and/or voicemail for contact while teleworking
• Work offline whenever possible
• Use government-furnished equipment for non-mission-essential activity (e.g., social networking, audio and video streaming, personal shopping)
• Use internet-based, unofficial audio and video on-demand and streaming services or websites
• Email large files or videos
• Leave video collaboration tools connected when not in use
• Auto-forward your office phone to an off-site number unless your organization specifies it
• Hesitate to call your IT help desk if network limitations impact your mission
• Dial into phone or video conferences unless you were invited
• Leave applications running that you’re not actively using (e.g., email, video, voice, etc.)
“We need everyone practicing network optimization, so the services AMCOM provides in support of Soldiers around the world aren’t affected by the temporary need for social distancing,” said Perkey.