The pandemic affected us in the same way that it did many of our clients; we immediately moved to a hybrid working approach, with essential staff remaining on-site and the rest of the team working from home. A year and a half on, we’ve adopted this approach permanently, finding that a flexible approach benefits our team and allows us to work safely, while continuing to meet our pre-pandemic performance targets. Our performance data demonstrates this best: our customer facing statistics stayed consistent from the beginning of 2020 right through several lockdowns.
We can attribute this smooth transition to several things: firstly, we had a detailed disaster recovery plan in place, which we implemented as soon as lockdown was announced. Looking after our team and continuing to provide excellent service for our clients were top of our list of priorities, and having a DR plan in place meant that we were able to make changes immediately with minimal disruption. The team were well-versed in the procedures our DR plan laid out, which meant everyone knew ahead of time how the changes would affect them, minimising stress during a globally challenging time.
Secondly, our systems are virtually all cloud-based, which made it easy for our team to continue with normal service from home. We’ve been working in the cloud since 2010, when we began gradually transitioning services over to the cloud. With everything from our phone system and email, to file sharing and storage and video conferencing hosted in the cloud, our team were able to stay in touch with clients and each other, collaborate on ongoing projects, and deliver a consistently high level of service using the same tools as when they worked onsite.
Our Service Desk Manager Sam says of the move to hybrid working:
"When the unexpected happened, we were ready for it: because of the planning we had in place, our service stats were not affected and we were able to continue our normal operations."
One of the biggest changes was the move to video conferencing instead of communicating face-to-face. Like many of our clients, Teams instantly became an integral part of our daily operations. As a Microsoft Gold Partner, we were already using the Microsoft 365 suite of products, so our staff were familiar with Teams – but as we moved into lockdown Teams became our primary method of communication alongside our cloud-based 3CX phone system, allowing us to hold internal meetings and communicate with clients in the same way we did pre-pandemic.
Similarly, SharePoint became an essential tool. SharePoint is a cloud-based collaborative platform for file sharing and storage, offering comprehensive user permissions including permission groups and levels, essential good practice for data security.
Strong IT security is built into everything we do here at Piran, so we didn’t need to make any additional changes when we moved to hybrid working. In our own operations, and when working with clients, we ensure that IT security is considered at every level, so that we and our client’s systems are protected even when the unexpected happens.
If you’d like to chat to us about how we can help you prepare your business for the future, ensure your IT security is watertight or optimise your operations for hybrid working, get in touch.