Back in November 2019, a frantic enquiry came from a new customer based in the APAC region. A employee had tested positive for what became COVID-19 and the entire operation was being forced into an unplanned quarantine. This was our first encounter with COVID-19 and our first exposure to the business impact the virus would have on the world.
What followed was a wave of customers reacting to the early stages of the pandemic. Companies that had previously resisted calls for flexible working were being forced to implement Working From Home (WFH) capabilities. Organisations had to move fast to ensure that employees could continue to be productive, work from home and juggle the work-life balance (and home schooling). Entire countries went into quarantine and for a while, everything stopped.
Over the first 6 months of this year, here at Conversant we saw a lot of reactionary change. Both employers and employees had to rapidly adjust, IT departments had to implement systems that would facilitate the change needed, all at an unprecedented pace. Lots of our customers adopted Microsoft Teams to allow for communication between employees. Conversant lit up several thousand users globally with external communications solutions to ensure that business kept going and phones kept ringing. What was very clear to us was that customers were reacting to the COVID-19 Pandemic, none of this was planned.
It is now almost 1 year on. Those companies that had previously refused to offer flexible working are embracing the new norm. Big savings on travel, accommodation, office space are being realised by employers. Employees spend more time on what is important and less time travelling to and from offices. The biggest and most noticeable change is that our customers are now planning for what looks like Microsoft Teams “Stage 2”. Employers and Employees are happy with the basic installations of Microsoft Teams and the additions that Conversant bring. It’s now time to plan for the next stages off the back of the realisation that things will never be the same. Customers are starting to ask more “what is possible” and how can we really embrace Microsoft Teams. Conversant have been adding our Contact Centre, Recording and BI solutions to systems we installed back in Q1 of 2020. Global rollouts are now planned where previously the solutions were thought to be localised. We are displacing legacy, out-of-date systems from the likes of Mitel, Avaya and Cisco and offering even greater flexibility to remote users.
Looking back at the first customer we dealt with due to COVID-19. They are going strong. In the first 48 hours, the APAC region was up and running on Microsoft Teams with Conversant Direct Routing. Their manufacturing plant rotates on shifts allowing for social distancing, with office, sales, project managers, developers and designers all working from home. Since that initial reactive move, they have systematically rolled out Microsoft Teams and Conversant to over 3,000 users globally. Including internationally compliant call recording, 24/7 follow the sun contact centre, employee productivity reporting and soon to add Microsoft Teams usage BI.
The need to be agile has never been so important to both companies and employees, Conversant brings that agility.
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