Agile ICT shows the value of preparedness in a crisis
For a business who deals exclusively with the education sector, you might suspect that school closures would spell disaster. However, through a combination of clever structuring and quick thinking, Agile ICT are largely managing to weather the Covid-19 storm.
Speaking to The Parliamentary Review, Managing Director Richard G Jones explained that he has always been ‘very mindful of foreseeable and unforeseeable events delivering a body blow’ and the company has been developed with this in mind.
The fact that Jones and Agile ICT have prepared in advance for any short-term difficulties means that you’d probably forgive them for being slightly frustrated that the government’s interventionist policies might benefit some of the company’s less well-prepared rivals.
However, as Mr Jones acknowledged, ‘the impact is so big that very few organisations will be able to navigate their way through, without massive Government assistance.’
As well as preparing in advance for a crisis, Agile ICT also acted quickly when they noticed how quickly the situation was developing.
From the moment the coronavirus crisis began to escalate in Italy, Mr Jones formulated a plan to allow 95% of his workforce to work from home.
‘We bought in more laptops and VoIP telephones so we could equip all our staff with full home working capability,’ Mr Jones said, ‘We have been operating like this for 3 weeks now which is probably a factor in helping us avoid any Agile ICT employee catching the virus.’
And although schools have officially closed, most of the schools with whom Agile ICT work are still relying heavily on the firm’s technology.
‘We already provided a full Remote Working capability so these measures were already in place for Agile ICT schools and we are seeing a major ramp up of users,’ Mr Jones explained, ‘this in turn can have hardware implications so we are managing this process for our schools too including physically attending site and installing the RAM for them.
‘Our inhouse Installation Engineering function, where we fit the big physical things, has taken a hit but we are using the drop off in demand as an opportunity to cross train our Installation Engineers to perform basic tech support tasks and other functions.
‘We will definitely take a major hit by not getting any of the usual day to day sales and the school holiday installs of new networks, when we are usually fully booked, will be a write off.
As a small company, everyone on the team matters. My focus is protecting Agile ICT to ensure we emerge strong out the other side and protecting my employees' jobs. We have far too much invested in them to lose them. The whole team are fully committed to making sure we continue to give the market leading service for which we are known.’
Early signs that this approach is working have come in the form of glowing feedback from clients, who have described Agile ICT’s service during this difficult period as ‘awesome as usual.’