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How Crestron and QSC are Working From Home

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The AV industry is unique among businesses that are being forced to adapt to the new realities of remote work during the COVID-19 quarantine. That’s because the tools that our business provides are the ones keeping the world at work.

Related: Industry Leaders Share Their New Roadmaps (opens in new tab)

We caught up with Crestron and QSC to learn how they’re using the tools of the trade to keep on top of their own business.

Dan Jackson

(Image credit: Crestron)

Senior Director, Product Management, Digital Workplace, Crestron

Crestron, given the nature of our business, was an early adopter of collaboration systems such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom. Our extensive experience in collaboration technologies made the sudden transition to an almost entirely remote workforce relatively easy, as our workforce is already accustomed to collaborating, connecting, and working with customers, colleagues, and integrators all over the world.

Our first and foremost priority was the safety of our employees. After that, we wanted to see how our teams could be as productive as possible while away from their desks and offices. This proved simple because our employees had access to the same collaboration tools that were being used in the office. By harnessing these collaboration systems, we were able to provide our employees with the same resources, tools, and work streams that they were accustomed to, effectively from home. Looking at other areas of our business, we were able to move all our training classes online—many of which are led by an interactive instructor. Plus, we even offer virtual tours of our showrooms and experience centers. Thanks to this, we can say we’re as close to “business as usual” as possible. 

By being prepared with the right technologies and having a workforce that was comfortable with those technologies, we were able to embrace organizational change and reimagine the future of Crestron and how our employees can work and collaborate effectively.

Jason Moss

(Image credit: QSC)

Vice president, Alliances and Market Development, QSC

QSC has over 600 employees globally with more than 500 currently working from home. QSC is an essential business that supplies technology to governments and other essential infrastructure such as healthcare and transportation, so we continue to have people in shipping and manufacturing with a very scaled-down headcount.

The goal was creating a seamless transition for employees shifting to their homes and eventually back to the office again. The QSC IT strategy involved working with each employee, helping them take their work computer home and their desk chair as an option—we know ergonomics and a proper workspace at home is vital to safety and health. We have also provided employees cameras and headsets for video conversations over Microsoft Teams. With a little bit of training and the ability to keep the same computer desktop experience, our employee community has done a great job making the shift.

We also set up a new Microsoft Teams structure called QSC@Home with multiple channels (Staying Productive, Technology and Support, Wellness and Well-being) to help employees with this new mode of working. It’s been extremely successful, and we have added a weekly newsletter and small “snackable” tips and tricks content to keep employees engaged.

We have made an amazingly fast transition from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams. We had planned to make the switch by the end of calendar 2020, but our IT organization did a tremendous job pulling this in and within one week, the whole company was effectively conducting internal communications on Microsoft Teams. We also have been doing a series of live Town Halls from our CEO and executive team on the Zoom Webinar platform.

During chaotic times, cyber criminals tend to increase their attacks. Creating awareness and providing information is important. We encourage our employees to always be on the lookout for suspicious looking e-mails, mobile texts, robocalls, and websites. Always know with whom you are communicating and don’t reply to them and delete any messages or texts from senders whose identity you cannot. If in doubt, pick up the phone and call someone. For any computer or mobile device, always make sure they are updated with operating system patches and have antivirus or anti-malware software running when possible.

Cindy Davis is the brand and content director of AV Technology. Davis enjoys exploring the ethos of experiential spaces as well as diving deep into the complex topics that shape the AV/IT industry. In 2012, the TechDecisions brand of content sites she developed for EH Publishing was named one of “10 Great Business Media Websites” by B2B Media Business magazine. For more than 20 years, Davis has developed and delivered multiplatform content for AV/IT B2B and consumer electronics B2C publications, associations, and companies. From 2000 to 2008, Davis was the publisher and editor-in-chief of Electronic House. From 2009 to present, as the principal of CustomMedia.Co, Davis developed content plans and delivered content for associations such as IEEE Standards Association and AVIXA, content marketing for Future Plc, and numerous AV/IT companies. Davis was a critical member of the AVT editorial team when the title won the “Best Media Brand” laurel in the 2018 SIIA Jesse H. Neal Awards. A lifelong New Englander, Davis makes time for coastal hikes with her husband, Gary, and their Vizsla rescue, Dixie, sailing on one of Gloucester’s great schooners, and sampling local IPAs.