Since my husband is in the IT field, I persuaded him to help me work out the details of a remote office.
First, we would need good high-speed Internet, on both ends. This was a great opportunity for PRIER as well, since at the time they had dial-up service. The only high-speed Sterling had was satellite and unfortunately, the satellite service they had at the time was not fast enough to work for a remote office. After a little research I discovered the local cable company was putting in high-speed Internet, but it was a few months away. I called and spoke to a manager in the office and he offered to get me set up in a few weeks as a trial run. One problem solved.
The next challenge was getting a phone that wouldn’t interrupt service. We didn’t want our customers to have to call one number for PRIER in Grandview and another for PRIER in Colorado. We wanted it all to be seamless, so we found a phone that runs over the Internet, VOIP, and treats me as another extension. I can see the calls come in, calls can be transferred to me and I can transfer calls to the office.
For the computer, I run over a VPN (virtual private network) and login to the server directly. The VPN was very easy to set up. Once we configured our routers with the correct static IP addresses, we were up and running.
It’s almost like I’m at the office, they just can’t see me. Some bad hair days, this is a good thing. Plus, my coworkers are a little furrier here in Colorado.
Sounds easy, right? To be honest, it was rather challenging at first. There were days when nothing seemed to work right. The phone would be down, or customers would only hear parts of what I was saying due to the slow internet speeds. If the phone worked perfectly, the VPN wouldn’t work perfectly. It took a few months to work the kinks out and Nick was really patient.
So, here I am in beautiful Sterling, Colorado. Sterling is in the Northeastern corner and on the plains. Flat, no mountains. However, the mountains are only 2 hours away and we do go there quite often for relaxation.
Do I miss seeing people in Grandview? Yes, but I do make it a point to go back a few times a year. I get to meet any new employees, catch up with current employees and see old friends.
A little about Cheryl: I enjoy cooking and baking, which makes my husband extremely happy. I relax by reading a good book or throwing the ball over and over for my two dogs. When we’re not at home we are hiking in the Colorado Rockies.