After four years in a wonderful company called Microsoft, in March 2020 I started my new mission as Head of Sales and Marketing at Elgon, highly skilled Microsoft Partner, well recognized by the Luxembourgian market. At the beginning of my third week, would you guess what happened?
The year 2019 was full of learnings for me as an individual working in a global organization where collaboration between colleagues from everywhere to support the Cloud Journey in Europe was “the norm”. In March 2020 I started my new mission as Head of Sales, Marketing and Communication at Elgon.
Despite my ability to work from everywhere, during my third week at Elgon I had to cope with several challenges: learn how to manage new teams in a new company 100 % remotely, search new talents and hire without shaking hands nor physical interviews, build sales strategy and marketing plans with our virtual teams, not to forget the most important, provide quality support to our customers.
One of the paradigms from the team management perspectives that this period has highlighted is the trust that organizations need to have towards their virtual teams. The most important paradigm is the definition of the success criteria that changed from legacy measurement units equal to the number of hours people spend at the office, versus a result-driven-organization where mission completion and deliverables quality, as well as sales results are new standards.
In order to acquire this type of collaboration maturity, you need to transform your organization while taking into consideration the three well-known layers: people, processes, and tools. I will try to address all of them through the lenses of a one-hundred-people agile organization used to rapidly adapt to systemic changes.
At Elgon we already implemented a remote working policy, and our employees could very quickly locate their primary office at “home”. All needed tools were in place and our commitment and growth mindset allowed us to plan the daily schedules based on the new worldwide landscape “Stay Home”.
Our business processes were already digitised and around 90% of the activities were executed remotely since March 16th 2020. A few activities like Hardware procurement were optimized but still needed physical presence in the office to support the urgent needs of our customers.
Elgon’s core business is the IT expertise, and therefore I will explain more in depth how our IT cloud-based application landscape empowered us to be productive despite the social distancing.
One of the missions we focused first was to add more Salespeople to our team. In a traditional set up we should have waited till the end of the COVID confinement before setting up physical meetings with potential candidates. At Elgon we are used to collaborate and communicate securely via Microsoft Teams and a new colleague will join our Sales team on May 15th. All interviews, exchanges and business processes related to his hire were 100% digital.
Elgon’s Training Center had to adapt our services and replace the physical courses with fully digital classrooms; keeping up the human connections with the “students” was very important, therefore our services offer the possibility to exchange with the trainers in a more personalized way. The Training center has shifted to fully Digital Training Catalog, order intake, services delivery, and electronic invoicing.
Customers’ needs are very important for us and we are proud to share that for a big number of them our engineers have continued their hard work remotely. The managed services team has successfully delivered the expected SLA’s to all our clients. For some customers’ environments adjustments were made in order to allow external access remotely, secure the connections, and mitigate risks. Because of the pandemic crisis, a lot of enterprise organizations had to anticipate or accelerate the deployments of mobility and collaboration Cloud-based solutions.
Security should be the foundation of all digital transformation initiatives and Cloud projects that organizations will deliver in the future.
The demand for the Cloud Officer Training to support the FSI customers has significantly increased.
Business continuity is one of the biggest challenges of IT leaders today and the openness of the organizations towards the public cloud will allow CxO’s to realize several business cases before investing too much upfront in technology; our mission as services providers is to help them making the right choices in terms of security, governance, consumption models and ROI. This is the right moment to challenge the way your organization invests in technology and uses the pay-as-you-go models for more flexibility and less risks.
In a McKinsey Global Survey around digital transformations, the success factors that might improve chances of a transformation fall into the following five categories:
1. Having the right, digital-savvy leaders in place
2. Building capabilities for the workforce of the future
3. Empowering people to work in new ways
4. Giving day-to-day tools a digital upgrade
5. Communicating frequently via traditional and digital methods
These categories suggest where and how companies can start to improve their chances of successfully making digital changes to their business. Would you share with us how your strategy will adapt to the new paradigms? Are you willing to simplify your current landscape? We will come back with ideas and recommendations to inspire your digital journey…