Moving mountains to make it through: how we responded to COVID-19

Converga has helped businesses across Australia and New Zealand maintain business continuity throughout COVID-19. Here's how we achieved it.

Moving mountains to make it through: How we responded to COVID-19

21st July 2020

A challenge like no other

“Challenges are solved by rising to a level higher than the challenge.” - Deepak Chopra

The threat and impact of COVID-19 will undoubtedly go down as one of the most significant events in modern history.

Countless organisations across the globe faced significant and completely unanticipated challenges that impacted their operations at every level.

But among the fear, uncertainty and volatility there have also been many stories of triumph – with people collaborating and helping each other in ways they may never have imagined possible.  

We too, experienced the highs and lows of the associated restrictions; both at a local level and in managing hundreds of staff in the Philippines who were given just 4 hours’ warning of a total lockdown in mid-March.

With our sister company Harbour IT by our side, we were fortunate to have strong systems in place that enabled a complete shift to remote work as we needed it. But it wasn’t without challenges – and keeping our clients’ business processes functioning normally during a highly abnormal time was our key focus from the very beginning.

Our ANZ staff went above and beyond

They say a business is the sum of its people, and our people truly went above and beyond during the crisis.

With our account and service delivery teams working closely with customers, we ended up recruiting 55 new full time staff members to assist with the workload.

This involved setting them up with PCs and user access quickly and ensuring they were equipped for remote work. All our staff were encouraged to work from home wherever possible, and we were grateful to have the systems in place to facilitate it.

Many of our staff also worked weekends to assist with moving tasks through the queue, and for this we are very appreciative.

We were acutely aware of the impact the situation and rapid change may have on staff wellbeing, so we delivered mental health awareness training remotely which we believe was very valuable.

“I'm so proud and humbled to see the dedication you personally have given to helping.” - CEO

Despite the challenges, our Filipino staff pivoted quickly to meet demands
When we learned that all of our staffin the Philippines would be impacted by some of the strictest lockdown restrictions in the world, we had to act swiftly.

These teams service more than 180 customers, and business continuity was critical.

We also had 160 team members on night shift who we had to send home after being told public transport would cease almost immediately. 

To counter the threat and help our people, we:

  • Deployed and remotely set up around 800 computers assets into workers' homes
  • Advanced staff leave credits for the year
  • Created a financial assistance program for those who could no work at home and wouldn't receive an income
  • Focussed heavily on communications and engagement to keep everyone informed and connected

Luke Clark, CEO for Converga, says “Our people were impacted at every level by the pandemic; fear of an unknown new virus, lockdowns, isolation and adjusting to working from home, all while having to move mountains to help customers facing the same challenges in their own companies.

“It’s been very confronting but so much of our business recovery comes down to how quickly our teams were able to pivot and find creative new ways to share, connect and collaborate throughout the crisis.”

Enabling customers shaped our pandemic response

"Things have settled down faster than expected - with the great effort from HIT we have our full call centre working from home.” - IT Manager

Our most affected clients were in the offshore managed services area. To keep their businesses operating as usual, we had to develop very specific and often highly innovative solutions to solve their unique challenges.

“The very core of our purpose is enabling customers to focus on what’s important to their business, and that is what shaped our pandemic response,” says Luke.

“As the COVID-19 crisis has escalated around the globe, I’m so proud of the positive impact our teams had on our customers, and the opportunities people took to step up and innovate, mitigating service disruptions and recovering delivery within days.”

Here are 2 examples of how we responded to our offshore managed services clients as the crisis unfolded in the Philippines…

Offshore Managed Services - 33 employees 


 

Transaction Services - 90 employees 

 

Ken Hickey, Head of Business Process Solutions at Converga, says “COVID-19 has presented us all with a unique and unprecedented set of challenges to navigate. At Canon Business Services, we have seen an acceleration to an automation and digital first mindset from customers to both remain operational through COVID-19 and also to future proof and innovate as we return to normality.

I have been really proud of our ability to swiftly react to assist our customers through this period, and continue to be an important part of their automation journey as they recover.”

"I can't stress just how phenomenal it has been to have a partner that stands up and does whatever it takes when necessary; even when facing similar challenges in their own company."” - IT Manager

To talk to us about your business recovery needs and find out how we can help you successfully adapt to this vastly different business landscape, please contact us.