Local business aiding homebound employees

Nine phones wait to be sent out to employees who have begun to work at home in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. Tim McClain invented the system in 2018, and it has been rolling out in droves for the past week due to businesses sending home non-essential employees.

A city resident with a platform aiding employees forced to work from home due to the COVID-19 outbreak has stepped up to supply the service to businesses across the country.

“I love working, so I built this platform solely based so I could work, and now it’s blown up,” said Tim McClain, owner of Preferred IT Solutions in New Castle. “It’s quite astonishing.”

According to McClain, employees could be sitting in their bedroom in their pajamas, take a call, schedule an appointment for customer and transfer the call to another department all from their home computer with his platform because it relies entirely on the cloud, which in basic terms means it is hosted on the Internet.

One of the driving forces for McClain to create the platform was the effects he’s endured from a stage three autoimmune disease.

“I was devastated at being so young that, I felt like I was coven in my house,” said McClain, 33. “So over the past year I’ve been — at night — developing a platform of ‘work from home,’ so I could still do IT work, still have customers and still contribute.”

Companies who were utilizing his platform before the outbreak hit were using it simply as a phone provider, but those who had the system swiftly put the work-from-home feature in place for their nonessential employees.

In the past two weeks, Solutions has received almost 10 new clients totaling thousands of users.

McClain said the businesses using their service are anyone from medical facilities, call centers and even government offices.

“It’s been pretty cool,” said McClain. “I mean it’s been unexpected.”

Even though employees can join the platform, which utilizes 3CX technology, with no additional equipment, some companies want employees to have their own office phones. Solutions provides phones that can plugged into an outlet and be up and running on their home computers.

“I hate using a pandemic as a good thing, but for our business, it is good for our business, unfortunately,” said McClain.



Maria Basileo is a news reporter. She covers Laurel and Shenango school boards and municipal government.

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