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Setting up home-based office solutions busy business for Cape Breton company

Michael McKinnon, senior technician with Devantec IT and Security, installs a firewall to allow a company's employees to work remotely from home. CONTRIBUTED
Michael McKinnon, senior technician with Devantec IT and Security, installs a firewall to allow a company's employees to work remotely from home. CONTRIBUTED
SYDNEY, N.S. —

An information technology department is a valuable tool these days for companies looking to set up work from home environments as efforts to limit face-to-face contact continue during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

A local internet security firm has found itself working night and day setting up home offices for Cape Breton companies that haven't budgeted for their own ongoing IT departments.

"They are pieces we have always done," said Mark Patterson, CEO of Devantec IT and Security Services, in references to in-demand services of his company. "They are just a little more relevant today than they may have been a couple of months ago to some businesses."

The most popular of a variety of technology solutions that are helping business owners transition their employers to a home office is a virtual private network.

"The VPN would allow their workers to securely remote into their server from home and access all of their files just as they would if they were sitting in their office," he said. "That is the main solution we are using to help businesses."

For security reasons, specific names of clients could not be made available, however, Patterson said they are from all areas of industry, including telecommunications, power utilities, home heating and government.

Another popular service these days is one geared at companies who want to limit the control of traffic into offices where employees are still working.

"We are installing a lot of the video door systems so that when somebody comes up to the door, they buzz in and the person inside the business can communicate back and forth through the video system, versus letting them into the office and talking to them face-to-face."

He said these alarm and camera systems can be tailored to any business where they don't have anybody to "keep an eye on" things.

"We are a technology company, essentially, although we break it down into IT, security and communications," he said. "We can basically implement any type of technology that limits face-to-face interaction and help people abide by the current government guidelines."

Patterson said the company currently has seven employees who are putting in long hours as area businesses and individuals seek out their services to deal with the expectations and realities of the current business and social climate.

Devantec was established in 2016 by Patterson and James MacKinnon and provides high quality on-site and remote services including computer services, network security, business phone systems and security systems for businesses and homes of any size.

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