IT Monitoring: Top Services to Monitor Now That Everyone is WFH

My Post (11)One of the practices being thrust into action right now is social distancing. As you would expect, this means millions of people around the world are working from home and this migration in the workforce is going to have a massive impact on the services IT practitioners must monitor and maintain in a virtual-first environment. We are already seeing reports of massive usage surges across tools like Zoom and outages in Microsoft Teams just as the COVID-19 pandemic pushes people to work from home.

This shift to many workers doing their jobs remotely means there is a real and urgent need to get better visibility into remote access operations without the luxury of time to make sweeping changes to existing environments. With your existing data already in Splunk, it can be simple to create useful dashboards for administrators to check capacity and health of these solutions that may not have had to handle these kinds of loads or capacities before.

IT practitioners have a responsibility to make sure the services that connect our workforce stay online and continue running smoothly. Our goal in these posts is to give you a guide to some of the key services we are monitoring and ways you can get started doing the same. Over the next few weeks we will be creating deeper dives into best practices you can adopt now as our work lives are altered by this pandemic state of emergency. – Read more

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Top Self-Storage Company Enables Thousands of Employees to Work from Home through COVID-19

My Post (17).pngReady for a positive business story in the era of COVID-19? One of the world’s top self-storage companies has found a way to maintain operations across its thousands of facilities—and keep its large staff employed—through this pandemic.

The company’s strategy: Leverage their cloud-based, work-from-anywhere communications solution to enable everyone in the organization to collaborate, communicate, and serve customers from home.

A Different Type of Disaster Leads to Cloud Communications

The organization actually switched to RingCentral’s all-in-one cloud-communications solution long before the coronavirus outbreak. Senior management decided to move off its legacy phone system, and do so as quickly as possible, when a series of rolling outages took down phone service to many of its locations over the course of a week and a half.

In researching their telephony options, several factors led the IT team to the unified communications solution from RingCentral—including the company’s reputation for platform stability, RingCentral’s ability to implement solutions rapidly for new customers, the wide range of integrated communication features available, and the solution’s future capabilities.

Of course, as it was rolling out RingCentral’s cloud-communications solution to all of its locations and employees, the company had no idea that one of those “future capabilities” would be its ability to respond to a worldwide viral pandemic by transitioning immediately to a 100% remote staff.

A Rollout So Quick and Smooth it Shocked the Company

With contracts signed, the IT team prepared itself and the rest of the organization for what it assumed would be a slow and frustrating migration to their new communications solution—but it turns out the transition period was neither slow nor frustrating. – Read more

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How a Coffee Shop Continues Serving Customers From Home

My PostAmy and Ben Wright recently temporarily shut down their five coffee shops in Wilmington, North Carolina, laying off over 120 employees, and moving their entire business online, all in one week. For the Wrights, it was a painful decision, especially because many of their employees who have intellectual developmental disabilities had difficulty understanding that the layoffs were not their fault. But despite all the changes, they are staying connected to customers and their mission, while keeping their eyes on the light at the end of the tunnel.

Four years ago, the Wrights founded Bitty & Beau’s Coffee with a unique staffing mission: “a human rights movement disguised as a coffee shop.” They are advocates of the value, inclusion, and acceptance of people with intellectual developmental disabilities, including their two children, whom the coffee shop is named for. In 2017, Amy was honored with CNN’s Hero of the Year award. The business expanded quickly, opening its fifth location in Annapolis, Maryland earlier this year. But that was before COVID-19.

“I think the whole world is going through this time of figuring it out,” Ben Wright told me on today’s ‘Leading Through Change’ live show. “It’s what we do on a daily basis. When we started the coffee shop, we just had to figure it out. With this COVID-19 pandemic, everyone is just having to figure it out.”

He went on to say that Salesforce tools have enabled them to respond and pivot from being a “within-six-feet-of-one-another retail business” to primarily online.

Here are three tips they offered to fellow business owners on how to chart uncertain territory and keep moving forward:

Tip 1: Be true to your purpose

In order to adapt to the changing demands, you need to support your team and meet them on a personal level. “I look through the eyes of being a mother when I have conversations with my employees,” said Amy Wright. “I think about them as family members and treat them as such. It really does make a big difference.” As such, the Wrights are continuing to make accommodations for employees with disabilities and without disabilities, knowing this approach will bring out the best in employees, as it always has.

Tip 2: Communicate often

You don’t need all the answers to communicate with your employees or customers. Start by communicating with honesty and the appreciation that we are all in this together.

“Everybody is in the same boat, just trying to figure this out,” said Ben Wright. “[You’re] not always going to have the right answer or even a good answer. Let people know what you’re trying to do.” – Read more

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