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.
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.
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.
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.