We have moved most people out of the office to work at home and it all seems to be going very well. Teamviewer, Skype, Join.me, Splicecomm telephone system, VPN, brilliant products, thanks. Google Hangouts, Zoom, there is something for everyone.
AXLR8 clients may completely drop their office and, subject to their security policies, many have found no change in working at home so long as they have a reasonable internet connection.
Conference calls and screenshares between someone’s conservatory and a desk in a spareroom across town and the client’s mobile in a different country operate like a dream. Always a pleasure to hear a dog barking in the background at someone’s house.
Payback for when weekends spent pottering about in the server room getting all the technology working and maintained every few months for years. Helped a client out with his VPN today so one of his people could work at home.
Look around your office and decide if it is really useful or just a vanity structure. Do you have a disconnect between what different people believe can be achieved at home in back and front office functions? It seems from this netimperative article many do. Extending our practical WoH practices this month because of Corona Virus has gone very well for AXLR8.
In the last few weeks we have been reviewing plans for how AXLR8 deals with the evolving Corona virus threat to all our businesses. We have published information for different markets in which we operate, for example, AXLR8 staffing agency clients. Finance and public sector clients have very different challenges.
- Isolation: AXLR8 Staff will be working at home a great deal over the next few weeks (March April subject to review).
- Your Support Service: we have a great team of client facing sales and support consultants who have the expertise to deal with any queries. There may be absences (e.g. sickness or care of dependants). However, our sophisticated internal systems mean they can work from anywhere.
- Business meetings: kept to a minimum and mostly avoiding crowded transport. There will be an increase in online screensharing which is mostly accepted by clients with the exception of parts of the public sector.
- Security of cashflow: AXLR8 will maintain a portfolio of markets rather than consolidate into a few because it is not yet clear if our survival and future cashflow requirements will be better met by, say, public sector or finance clients.
- Supply chain security: AXLR8 have a portfolio of data centre suppliers with a wide geographical and commercial spread.
- External expert services are hugely valued and the loyalty is two way. However, neither our business nor their services are irreplaceable.
- Hiring has been temporarily frozen and budgets tightened “for a rainy day”.
- Training courses have been cancelled for the next few months.
- Key people: internal knowledge is shared and expertise overlaps. However, there would be delayed developments in the event that a key person was absent for any reason.
- Development resources We ask clients and partners to understand that any developments – especially bespoke designs – will be a little slower than normal. Software development normally follows the axiom: “More haste. Less speed”. We will use the right programmers for each change and resulting version control and testing. If experience is our guide, there are no short cuts. This is your mission critical software.
- Bug fixes should be attended to quickly and in the event of sever problems, as ever, other tasks are dropped to start disaster recovery immediately.
- Financial stability Frankly, our balance sheet will be adversely affected this FY (to March 31st, 2020). We have invested heavily in new functionality and the new look and feel of our systems. That would have been fine but for some unexpected recent client liquidations in one of our markets. However, AXLR8 has no debt except normal payroll and monthly service outgoings for our low overheads. We are in a strong position to come out of this period stronger than competitors. Many of those will be extending their funding lines and we believe that some of our rivals are already over-extended and will fail leaving the clients that rely upon their systems in a difficult position.
- A watching brief is being kept on competitors of our clients entering liquidation to alert our clients so they can pick up the clients and, hopefully, the business from those clients. The business health of our clients is always paramount for us but now is time where we need to add as much value as possible.
AXLR8 are a low risk, no debt company with a creative, hard-working team. (Boring is looking pretty cool right now). Our main duty to our clients is to be reliable, stay in business and keep your SaaS systems and support services running.
Our experienced management team have been through some rocky seas in the past including deep recessions. AXLR8 are determined to come out of this stronger. We also expect this is not the last pandemic we see as our connected planet becomes a village.