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Enterprise IT Execs Swap COVID-19 Strategies

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Everybody has a story to share about their COVID-19 experience, especially the enterprise IT executives responsible for ensuring employees stayed connected and customer service operations up and running. Earlier this month in a customer panel hosted by UCaaS provider Fuze, four of these folks shared how they managed through the early days of the crisis, and beyond, thanks to their use of cloud communications and collaboration.
 
Here are some snippets from the conversation.
 

Fuze CMO Eric Hanson (top left), chats virtually with four customers (clockwise from top right): Stacie DePeau, CIO, Easterseals; Vimal Thomas, VP of IT, Yamaha; Michele Buschman, VP of IS, American Pacific Mortgage; and Jason Mahoney, principal telecommunications analyst, PTC

 
Carrying On in Service of Others — “Related to COVID, we had 24-hours’ notice with almost 60 sites that we had to shut down for providing care. It wasn’t an easy transition, but Fuze [UCaaS] made it more palatable because it didn’t matter where people were — they took their laptops with them. Now we’ve got a whole hybrid environment [with] some people that are getting teleservices, while others, with especially high need, are coming into offices. We created a technology lending library where we distributed over 500 devices to people who didn't have Internet or devices, to be able to stay connected while they were safe at home.” —Stacie DePeau, CIO, Easterseals
 
Never Missed a Beat — “We used to do business with on-premises PBX systems…. A lot of our representatives wouldn’t be able to work right because they were literally tied to the phone on their desk or the old-school softphones that couldn’t handle being off the network. By moving the majority of our pivotal offices and contact centers to [Fuze and its contact center partner Nice inContact, PTC] is able to maintain our relationships with customers, employees, and other partners throughout this whole time.” — Jason Mahoney, principal telecommunications analyst, PTC
 
An Eye on What’s Next — “After implementing Fuze three years ago to meet the goal of work from anywhere, anytime, from any device in a secure type of environment, we were able to continue business as usual. The next challenge is figuring out what the future looks like, how many come back to the office, and how we adjust infrastructure for that.” — Michele Buschman, VP of IS, American Pacific Mortgage (APM)
 
Messaging Bonanza — “We had launched our migration into cloud-based apps six years ago. When COVID hit, in about 24 hours or so, we were able to take all 600 employees with laptops and tech stacks and move them all to work from home. When we put Fuze into place, we made it a point to say that you’re no longer going to have a hard phone on your desk, you’ll be using a soft desktop phone with headsets. What we noticed was that chat messages between employees went up quite a bit — 30,000 to 40,000 on a monthly basis.” — Vimal Thomas, VP of IT, Yamaha

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