Case Study: Reacting to COVID-19
Friday, the 13th of March, 2020, marked a turning point for one 55-person B2B sales organization in Nashville. Information on growing COVID-19 positivity and transmission rates, especially in young adults in Metro Nashville, was undeniable. This organization, which supported Google Cloud’s software, platform, and infrastructure as a service product offering had a decision to make– the same decision that played out in so many companies across the globe: not if, but how, to go remote.
The COVID-19 pandemic struck at a time when hosted business applications had matured enough for a globalized and remote workforce. Ten years ago, before the proliferation of cloud technology and collaboration and productivity tools like Zoom, Microsoft, Google, and so many others, business would have ground to a halt.
Fortunately, this company was able to come up with a business continuity plan. Within days, this team, primarily comprised of Millennial and Gen-Z professionals, went from working on a typical inside sales floor in a downtown Nashville office, to working out of their homes. It was a heavy lift from a logistical standpoint and from a personal one, with employees asked to set up shop in their homes for an indeterminate amount of time.
The limiting factor for business continuity was the ability to get work done from anywhere. Could the company pull this off away from the office? Daily scrums and conference room collaboration, supervisors walking the sales floors coaching the reps, technical training on new updates, thousands of secure phone and VOIP calls, analyzing daily output, and communicating that data in real time through end-of-day dashboards… how would all of this happen from spare bedrooms and dining room tables?
What was at stake?
The company faced consequences if output was negatively impacted, but, more importantly, the clients did. It would mean that small businesses, schools, universities, and corporations were not getting valuable information, support service, sales service, and a single-point-of-contact for their video conferencing tools and hosted software and data. While the team adjusted to working remote, they were providing critical support servicing cloud technology that enabled client teams to work remotely. This fact gave the organization a great deal of empathy, purpose, and urgency to reimagine the onsite sales floor, and move remote.
The key to continuity was leveraging cloud products and solutions that were flexible and scalable, and integrated with each other for a reliable user experience from anywhere.
The leadership team, as well as the IT supervisors, did not take for granted that this was a cloud-enabled organization. Teams were impacted for 48 hours during the implementation of the remote move, but once they were at home with acceptable internet bandwidth, business resumed as usual. Thanks to cloud-based enterprise communications, content storage, collaboration and document management solutions, access management tools, identity security, face-to-face meetings, and CRM, they didn’t miss a beat after those two days.
The native hosted services are interoperable, secure, and flexible enough to serve business continuity plans no matter where the work happens. They had been designed in such a way to be trustworthy, with built-in safeguards.
The business continuity plan worked. The organization quickly proved that employees can work anywhere and be productive enough to serve customers as well as they had on the inside sales floor.
A Look at Your Future
Work life changed forever with main work applications that are seamlessly integrated with each other. It has never been easier, no matter where you work, to be efficient, productive, personalized, and secure. It has also never been more important. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the hand of most businesses to implement cloud applications and use new platforms. All organizations, not just IT companies, need to determine what technology solutions they need to ensure their business can survive and thrive in turbulent times.
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