In response to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, a massive number of Hong Kong companies have asked their staff to work from home. In light of this, HKBN Group (HKBN) has announced that it will be offering its suite of Remote Office Solutions free for three months to existing HKBN Enterprise Solutions (HKBNES) customers.
HKBN has partnered with Microsoft to provide this service to customers - which includes free use of laptops, software licences and installation, system configuration, and deployment as well as mobile connectivity - allowing staff to work from anywhere while accessing their company's data and systems. This follows the online solutions provider’s previous three-month offer of free services, which offered audio conferencing and its business continuity service.
“More and more companies see remote working as the way to go to maintain business operations anywhere, anytime. The first step is to ensure a company has the necessary equipment and tools, so employees can collaborate and communicate productively and in a secured manner. Together with HKBN, we hope to empower more local businesses on their digital transformation journey, leverage technology to achieve more at their preferred time and location,” said Serena Cheung, director for one commercial partner and small, medium & corporate customers at Microsoft Hong Kong.
The free user equipment includes up to three Microsoft Surface Go laptops per customer preloaded with necessary applications such as a Microsoft 365 business license and Windows Virtual Desktop running on the Azure cloud platform. HKBN's IT team will set up all devices, user accounts, and IP addresses for all these machines. Furthermore, a 6GB mobile data SIM card will be included for added mobility.
“We are pleased to team up with Microsoft Hong Kong to provide businesses with free laptops and cloud-based software usage. With the support of our professional team in networking configuration and fine-tuning of endpoint devices, we ensure fast deployment of this end-to-end home-office solution so that our corporate customers can continue to function optimally in times of disruption," said Billy Yeung, co-Owner and CEO at HKBNES & JOS Group.
We’re not naive enough at Marketing to ignore mentioning that the obvious profit motive hidden behind this seemingly philanthropic announcement is to lure loyal customers to HKBN’s service. But one must admit that the sheer extent of freebies provided could be of great help to the thousands of staff trapped at home during this time.
HKBN has also announced that in the name of safety, it is advising its own staff to flexibly work from home until 15 March, an extension from its previous end-date of 1 March.