COVID 19 – SURVIVAL OF THE AGILIST

“It is not the strongest who will survive, but those who can best manage change” this quote resonated well with me when the COVID-19 crisis hit us. We were clear that to survive, we need to adapt, innovate and think out of the box.  

In the last 4 weeks, we executed on multiple fronts and are sharing some experiences that can help other privileged people like us, who can operate remotely. 

Clients: Living by one of our values– Client Centricity, we focused on our client’s core needs by creating a COVID-19 response portfolio – Connectivity, Productivity, End User Protections, Incident response, and End User Awareness.

ETEK’s team responded quickly to our client’s urgent remote working needs and deployed VPN solutions for 40+ clients. For clients with infrastructure constraints, we provided a cloud-based, zero-trust, #Netfoundry #SASE solution. We did 5+ POC and enabled 2000 users to work from home, across 2 large Conglomerates in 3 days. The cross-functional task force scaled to the client’s urgent requests. 

As the number of incidents and threats increased, it was important to help clients. Our Advisory team helped clients make informed decisions quickly, leveraging ETEK Security Labs. ETEK organized 7 webinars for clients on Connectivity, Productivity, End-User Protection, Incident Response, and End User Awareness. We touched 200+ clients in 4 weeks. ETEK continues to expand our “as a service ” offerings, launching WAF, IAM as a service and cloud migration service by May 2020.

ETEK issued essential service passes to all onsite engineers to attend to any client emergency, while they are working remotely. 

Employees: Once we saw the number of COVID 19 cases rising on March 13th, we decided to work from Home, a week before the government-mandated complete lockdown. The strikes in Colombia had prepared us better for this eventuality. 

The team experienced some issues in 1st week. However, most employees responded well. To my surprise the organization’s productivity went up, the team was focused and effective. We organized multiple all company meetings, connecting 240 employees across Colombia and Peru, discussing the situation, addressing fears and how we are responding to the crisis. 

HR team shifted gears launching new well-being programs such as Yoga and Meditation. Meanwhile, the focus continues to aggressively execute role-specific training and development programs in line with the organization’s new vision. 

Management Team: Initially, it was hard for me to not have boundaries between family and work. The entire management team stretched to working 14-16 hour days. We realigned our Portfolio, key verticals and addressed some client situations. Management decided not to terminate any employees and to take a voluntary pay cut. We also decided to implement work from Home as a policy and restructured our office space, reducing our operating expenses.Community: We all must stand together to fight this crisis. ETEK will donate 5% of the gross margin of connectivity and productivity solutions sold in Colombia to the Corona Foundation (Fundación Corona). 

By.  Praveen Sengar

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