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On the Frontlines
For most of Verrex’s corporate clients, work from home is not a new concept—but now, the platforms needed to be scaled. “What we are finding is that clients do not have the equipment, such as high-quality cameras and headsets, which can be utilized with their new virtual rooms,” said Charmaine Torruella, Global Managed Services account manager at Verrex. “Being able to source these items and other critical spares are key to support their WFH ramp-up. Having access to additional supply should other devices and equipment fail will be important for continued support of their new business operations.”
Internally, Verrex has transitioned its live product demos and meetings to virtual to support
its customers’ business continuity. “We conduct virtual updates for clients to help educate and navigate them through the impact of COVID-19 on supply chain and recalibration of AV standards and applications,” Torruella said. “This will help better outfit and manage their collaboration requirements once the coronavirus pandemic has subsided.”
Verrex has two major NYC Critical Care customers that are at the frontline of the COVID-19 crisis. “We are providing essential ground support to assist with decommissioning of AV spaces to enable turnaround into critical care rooms, to support the ramp-up of patient bed capacity as ordered by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo,” Torruella said. “Verrex is packing, securing, and storing the decommissioned equipment at our facilities so they can make the most of their real estate for PPE and critical care equipment housing.”
As the stay-at-home mandates are gradually lifted, Bill Chamberlin, vice president of global sales at Verrex, said, “We feel that this end date will not be a set milestone time, but will be a lessening of field and travel restrictions with new safety and social distance requirements.”
To support the return of field integration activities, Verrex implemented a structured training plan for its employees that includes OSHA, AVIXA, and manufacturer training and increases the technical capabilities.
“Verrex continues to focus on our communications, both internally within the organization and externally with our clients,” Chamberlin said. “Internally, our project management, operations, and sales teams continue to support client requests and deliver professional services as available under current regulations.” The teams have also developed new implementation plans and priorities of field-based projects to ensure there are no inefficiencies once various field operations resume. “There will be resource challenges, and Verrex is using this time to proactively plan our reentry in order to mitigate those as much as possible for our clients,” Chamberlin said.
Verrex continues to update its clients on what the company is doing to proactively support the safety of its employees and its clients’ employees, “and all our families while continuing business operations,” Chamberlin said. “Verrex and our clients collaborate and strategize on best practices to continue forward with projects that can be supported in our WFH business environment (professional services, procurement, etc.). Our collective goal is to emerge out of the current environment in a strong position to support the return of field-based operations and not just ‘pick up where we left off.’”
The New Normal?
Nearly everyone agrees that once the COVID-19 crisis is in our rearview mirror, that “normal,” will look and feel very different than at the beginning of 2020.
When the workforce “returns,” it’s unlikely that people will touch surfaces without wiping them clean or conduct remote calls with colleagues and clients using just a telephone. For those thousands of workers who had not yet embraced digital collaboration tools, a whole new world will have been introduced. Managers who were reluctant to trust that workers could be efficient and get the job done from a remote location will be delighted by sustained productivity.
When we return, it will be impossible to go back to the what was considered normal. Consultants and integrators are already planning how to help clients take full advantage of digital communication and collaboration tools and reshape the way we work.
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