This time last year, IT consultancy IComm had to change its strategy “big-time” after finding itself “run off its feet” due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The unified communications specialist and Microsoft partner was inundated by customers who were unequipped to deal with the influx of remote workers accessing their systems.
Now, as Australia looks set to embark on a ‘post-COVID’ 2021, the conversation is centred on “technology that can assist a safer and smarter return to work”.
Speaking to ARN, managing director Rob Dell explained: “Our strategy changed big-time. When COVID started we were run off our feet with customers needing to send staff home and have functioning communications, and ways they could collaborate, such as Microsoft Teams.
“We found a lot of customers had VPNs that were not equipped to deal with the influx of remote workers accessing the systems, so there was a lot of work to do, and not just around voice and video,” he said.
A Microsoft Gold Partner and part of the Cloud Collective alongside Antares Solutions and Quorum, IComm was able to work with other members to help with network and infrastructure issues that were being exacerbated by the sudden shift.
However, now these rapid-fire migrations are underway, Dell believes customers are largely concerned with their own “survivability” amid an uncertain global outlook for the pandemic.
“Who knows if we will be in another lockdown? No one does. Customers are wanting to make sure they are prepared for anything,” he said.
As a result, the company's customers are now focused on making sure the required technology is geared up for any potential future lockdowns.
In the small-to-medium term future, this means a hybrid work-enabled safe and smart return to the office, claimed Dell, even going so far as to call “true flexible working” a silver lining of the pandemic.
“Allowing staff to ‘hybrid work’ means that the meeting spaces need to be up to date and working well and ensuring that everyone has the tools they need to work remotely when they need to and work in the office when they need to,” he explained.
This will naturally translate into customers’ requirements from their channel partners and service providers.
“Customers will want partners who know what works and what doesn’t,” said Dell. “They will want partners to help them quickly change or pivot if they need to. And the big one is they will require that their partners are prepared to listen to them and give them the truth back, even if that means bowing out from a potential deal.”
In addition to this, relationships with vendors have become ever more critical, Dell added. “As we have evolved over the years, we have seen how imperative solid relationships are, not only with our customers but with our vendors and others in the industry,” he said.
“Our people, both our staff and external partners, are the core of our business. Trust is huge, and that’s why those three points above are so pivotal for us.”