The novel coronavirus presents many challenges to all businesses. At Ness, we have taken proactive steps to protect our employees and their families, and our customers and their families. Health and safety are, of course, our top priority, but we are also committed to meeting the needs of our customers. To do that, we have had to make adjustments to our working practices as we follow guidelines around social distancing. In the spirit of transparency and openness, we have outlined below the key actions we have taken to rapidly mobilize our Business Continuity Plans (BCP).
Launching a Rapid Response Team
Ness quickly setup a rapid response team (the appositely named, War Room) made up of Ness’s executive leaders: CEO, HR, Delivery, Sales, Operations, IT, Finance, Legal and Marketing, to address the changing needs of our business and anticipate those of our customers. Everyone instinctively adopted an “always on and ready to help” attitude. The immediate list of jobs to be done, read as follows:
- Enhance health and safety procedures in our offices to support the health, safety and welfare of our 4,000 employees.
- Cancel travel and enact our BCP to be ready for any eventuality
- Encourage work from home and then transition into an entirely virtual company where remote collaboration is ubiquitous
Embracing the New Normal
Ness has always deployed a finely tuned mix of physical face-to-face and virtual meetings. As of 10 days ago, it became apparent that the balance was tipping towards 100% digital.
We provide design and technology services from locations in North America, Europe and India. For 20 years we have been perfecting a form of globally distributed agile we call Flexshoring, and we are all used to daily communications and meetings with cross-functional team members across three continents.
Our team’s digital interactivity is so innate that the channels through which we do it have become instinctual; working across multiple time zones is part of the company’s DNA.
We believe that our technological infrastructure and universal adoption of tools like Microsoft Teams is the glue to hold productive interactions using video chat, screen share, voting, white boarding and more. The concept of remote collaboration and agile co-development is not new at Ness and we are treating this challenging time as the chance to further enhance productivity and creativity in a world of no commuting.
Communicating with Customers
Knowing that our people were safe was crucial; making sure they continue to be productive was the logical next step. We are striving for uninterrupted service provision with situation specific updates to the way we track and report on productivity and quality. This is an ongoing conversation between our sales, account and delivery teams and their customers.
The rapid response team members are actively contributing creative ideas across Ness and reaching out at a senior level to offer additional support to customers we know are facing their own challenges. This has been conducted in a spirit of friendly and essential co-operation, made easier by the trusted relationships we have built over many years.
Additionally, to create a “Ness-eye-view” of common questions from the field, we setup a direct internal BCP line of communication to a dedicated senior manager, ensuring expedited communication happens with the necessary speed. In practice, this has meant all queries receive a unified and appropriately personalized response from a Ness team member who sees the broader picture emerging.
Practicing Good Corporate Citizenship
Ness is built on technological innovation and we are seeking new ways to help our customers mitigate challenges and adapt to this new reality. We will share updates on work we are doing to help customers adopt either Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) or Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS).
We are communicating with all our customers to discuss ideas for co-operation and advancement (through technology) that could benefit both companies and others. We want to be good corporate citizens and are thinking with open minds about how we can best help our wider ecosystem. Ness believes we can implement improvements in productivity, efficiency and automation that can benefit society by putting our skills to work where they can deliver the most value to the most people.
We will continue to provide updates as needed and wish you good health and safety in these trying times.