As we continue to push through the pandemic and continue to help companies move to a remote working environment, we will also continue publishing regarding remote collaboration tools that can be integrated with Salesforce, such as Zoom.
While the workers in the world are coming to grips with working and educating their children from home, spare a thought for those IT companies who continue to support them in this extraordinary time. The following article gives some interesting insights and lessons learned from the experience of Salesforce and Dell who transfSalesforce and Dellormed their entire support teams to work from home in just two weeks.
The existing Business Continuity Plans (BCP) for these companies were never meant for a world-wide shutdown of all corporate facilities; they were more focussed on a single facility outage, a data center failure, a power or network service failure. Shutting down a worldwide network of facilities was never considered.
General Stanley McChrystal, retired United States Army General recently said:
"Crises will arrive. And therefore, we’re going to deal with the speed and complexity of the modern world by building the ability to respond to crisis, not just trying to avoid them."
Salesforce and Dell were well placed to respond to this crisis as they both had well-advanced systems that supported their mobile workforces. There was no avoiding the problem, they had to move and move fast to ensure customer services were not impacted. These services are under even more demand now as more customers are moving to work from home and need extra support.
Salesforce, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in February 2020, had 2,584 support employees located in contact centers around the world and only 216 remote workers. In 16 days, (March 7 – 23) Salesforce transitioned all these support employees to work from home.
Don't forget to check out: Fight Against COVID-19: How is Salesforce Helping?
Lessons learned by Salesforce:
- Having everything already hosted in the clouds (Salesforce/Google) helped get agents up to speed quickly and enable a single view of the customer
- Self-service and digital channels are invaluable; voice from home is technically difficult, but chat, email and messaging are easy to configure and use from home
- Fast and secure connections are critical; high-speed internet and VPN connections
- Laptops are better than desktops; power outages are a problem in some countries, laptops have a battery for power outages, are more portable and have wireless capability
- Great headsets are required; especially noise-canceling to silence background noise
Dell Technology Services with 35,000 team members and an equal number of partners across 165 countries (37 global sites) including14,000 support agents and 6,000 support partners moved 99% of their workforce to remote working in just two weeks. 12,000 are Salesforce Service Cloud users and having a single view of the customer has made the agent experience more efficient (previously 15 different tools). Social media channels are in high demand with 25% more traffic, Dell website support inquiries are up 32% and chatbots are providing significant benefits.
Dell Corporate has 150,000 staff worldwide providing a wide range of IT services. They were well advanced with their preparation, having started their “Connected workplace” project 10 years ago. Dell had already dealt with how to manage remote workers, including HR processes to enable remote workers. They have accelerated this process over the past 3-4 years. Today, Dell has over 90,000 concurrent VPN users accessing their network and good planning ensured their VPN could scale up quickly.
- Ensuring team members have the right environment to do their work remotely
- Expanding infrastructure to support remote workers, connectivity and technology
- Accelerating the digital transformation process
- Configuring and distributing over 4,000 laptops in 10 days
Lessons Learned by Dell:
- Modern network infrastructure is needed which involves a significant investment
- Security requirements foundation needs to be well established
- Enable remote device management for both on and off-network devices
- Allow direct messaging to devices to keep staff informed of company activities
- Provide email and conferencing available anywhere, securely
- Ensure the VPN services can scale up quickly
- Video is critical for connecting with team members, taking into account family members, pets and other household activities
- Draw on the experience of previous national disasters Dell has dealt with
- Close cooperation with customers, partners and government is critical
As Michael Dell said recently via Twitter:
"The world has digitally transformed overnight"
Creating a successful remote working environment takes more than just the right technology, organizations also need the right leadership, HR policies, and guidelines to support remote workers.
Transparent and frequent communication with your leadership team is critical during a crisis. Leaders need to keep checking in with their team and ensure they are ok and scheduling some family and break times.
Digital flexibility is key – the further along the transformation path you are, the better you will fare. If you are in retail and you have digital purchasing, mobile ordering, click and collect, and home delivery then you are well on the way. Digital processes allow you to not only operate remotely but also allow you to cross-train/upskill and move resources to where the demand currently is.
Check out another amazing blog by KeyNode here: Time for Your Salesforce Checkup
Companies are learning that many tasks can be run remotely with team members working from home. Some staff may continue to work from home in the future, they may not all return to office environments. Some staff are missing the office experience and are keen to return, others are concerned about their safety when returning to office facilities.
We still need to measure performance and output and need to make sure these KPI measures are still relevant to remote workers. Dell’s experience showed that some agent teams were able to work longer hours as they were no longer commuting. Loyalty and productivity also showed improvement.
Digital transformation plans will accelerate to support remote workers with tools that help to collaborate and support customers, partners, and teams. These plans must include changes to the corporate policies and procedures to enable remote workers.
Transparent and frequent communication with your team is critical during a crisis.
If you are interested in learning more about the Salesforce Service Cloud or other Salesforce features, drop us a line at [email protected] or call us at 1-833-539-6633.
Source: KeyNodeSolutions Blog