Fidel Pandemic Transition Story

Fidel Pandemic Transition Story

Probably the Shortest Transition from a Full-Fledged Onsite Work System to Work from Home! Big Thanks to the IT Support Team during the Covid19 Impact.

Work from Home isn’t a new concept to the IT industry. A considerable chunk of the IT space operates remotely and contributes its efforts through the online medium. But, the impact of Covid-19 has rendered everyone almost helpless. The ongoing lockdown compelled companies to make Work from Home arrangement for nearly all their employees.

Managing the regular WFH headcount may not pose a challenge in the current situation. But, getting almost 100 per cent of the employees under the WFH system is undoubtedly one. The IT teams encounter several challenges, right from following up with the management for approvals, to making infrastructural arrangements, and many other technical complexities.

But, amidst these challenges, and stories, FidelTech, one of the leading global IT, localization, and translation companies, has put forth an example. It has set an example that exhibits the company’s approach towards business continuity, and the capabilities of its IT team that created a seamless WFH environment in almost no time!

Sunil Kulkarni, CEO FidelTech, recently applauded the efforts of his IT team that worked relentlessly towards making things possible. We thought of sharing the entire story as an inspiration for companies that consider arranging WFH as a herculean task and paving the way out of adversities to mitigate risks and minimize the pandemic’s impact on the business.

The story is a set of some questions answered by one of the IT higher-ups of FidelTech. He shares his experience with the management, his own support team, administration and mainly the employees of the company, who have cooperated and made the seemingly time-consuming and challenging task possible.

Here is the gist of the conversation


1. Countering Covid19 Situation - How much time did you have in hand when you got a signal from the management to move the system to WHF form?

Well, considering the situation we were in back then, and also looking at factors such as the employee strength of the company, the IT infrastructure, along with the compliance part, I’d say we really did not have much time at hand. We were around three days away from the lockdown when the management signalled us about the WFH arrangements. Initially, I thought of it as an almost impossible task. But then, we all planned it out, and we were already on our way to transiting to a WFH work system.

2. What were your challenges while preparing for setting up the WFH network and how did you prepare and overcame them?

There were many. But, planning and preparing for them was necessary. Delaying the project could have cost us our business, and which is why we did not have the time to crib about the challenges. The only way I saw was to overcome them in every situation, and regardless of every intricacy that we may encounter in due course.

So, speaking about the challenges, one of the first and also the most significant challenge was to work out a VPN setup, and guiding people on how to access the servers remotely. The team had to train the non-technical staff on giving remote access, deleting temp files, and checking the antivirus update, and so many others.

Another challenge was with managing the network-based licenses. I had to educate my team on the process of activating licenses via SSL VPN. But we did it. I mean, the team did it comprehensively, without any hiccups whatsoever!

3. Transit into Work From Home - Now, as you had only three days in hand, what was your approach, and how did you spread awareness about this necessity among the project teams?

Well, the approach had to be focused and result-oriented. We had to do it, and so our transition plan had to be comprehensive and effective across various verticals of the organization.

We had Skype and phone calls with project managers to brief them on the transition plan, the WHF policy, and setup. Further, we also had to ensure that the message trickles down to the other team members through their project managers.

Besides, we had to plan the shift hours of the IT support team to ensure seamless operations throughout the WFH phase. It was to facilitate round-the-clock IT support and therefore ensure that technical problems don’t impede the company’s production and projects.

4. Handling Common Factors - Most of them have laptops with them, but what about those who don’t have laptops, and those that rely entirely on the company’s desktop to fulfill their responsibilities?

Although there aren’t many such cases in our company, we still had to look at them as an individual requirement. We’ve got 2-3 people who work entirely from the office’s desktop. We discussed these cases with the management, and the admin team, and came up with an individual plan for each one.

We asked the concerned employees to apply for a travel pass from home to the office to pick up the system from the office. These employees will then share their time slot to the administration team, and us. Once they do it, we will have a security guard assisting them under a CCTV camera.

5. Technical Challenges in Shifting Employees to #WorkFromHome Mode - How did you manage complex factors like network accessibility, asset management, and access control across the company's hierarchies?

Yes, managing all these factors, I’d now say, was another opportunity for us that put our capabilities to test. All these factors demanded individual attention, and a customized approach to ensure results.

We have set up an SSL VPN, which refers to secure access to FidelTech’s infrastructure for all the employees working WFH. Besides, according to the company’s IT policy, we managed the software and hardware assets inventory and implemented role-based user access policy rights. Speaking of the health of the IT assets, we follow the routine IT policy on review and checkups.

6. Control Your IT Network in WFH Scenario - With systems spread across various locations, how did you exercise control over network security?

Deploying the IT policy on every system was a part of our WFH project. We did so by blocking USBs, and removable devices, implementing users/ group permissions, and by giving SSL VPN access. Of course, our users are responsible professionals. But, compliance too is necessary, and which is what we’ve diligently fulfilled.

7. Moving Your Company to Cloud - How did you move the system to the cloud, whenever and wherever required?

We’ve followed the common migration model to execute the transfer of data and applications from local to the cloud instance.

8. Managing IT Network Configurations - What types of servers, networks, and systems are you handling during the WFH period?

We are managing the staging/ production application server, web servers, FTP, and invoicing systems.

9. Preparing IT Support for Long Term WFH - What happens if the lockdown extends? How is the IT team, and how is your IT infrastructure prepared to sail through the situation?

The IT team of FidelTech and its users are prepared for the lockdown extension. We will continue working in the same pattern as we’ve been doing for the past six weeks. We understand that challenges in the IT environment may affect production, and therefore the company’s projects. So, we’ve ensured a sustainable WFH plan for the entire company.

10. Takeaways for Companies Planning to Move to #WorkFromHome - Will you please share some dos and don’ts with FidelTech’s members to follow during the WFH phase to ensure optimal efficiency and absolute security?

Yes, of course. We’ve already done that, and the list is exhaustive. Let us do it once again. The more you are aware, the better you comply with the company’s IT security policy. So, here you go with the most basics dos and don’ts of the IT security system of FidelTech while working from home.

Dos,

  1. Stay careful about emails and phishing attacks.
  2. Check the email address before responding to it.
  3. Update the antivirus regularly.
  4. Use VPN to access servers
  5. Lock your system before moving away from it.
  6. Report every suspicious activity and cyber incidents to the IT team.

Don’ts,

  1. Do not open/ access unofficial links/ attachments from a non-trusted source.
  2. Do not install unauthorized programs on your work computer.
  3. Do not leave your system unattended.
  4. Do not leave wireless or Bluetooth turned on when the system is not in use.

11. Any other thing that you may want to share with us regarding this WFH transition?

Yes, of course. I’d like to share something interesting with you. It is the management’s support across the entire transition and its support for blocking items. I’ll come to the blocking items thing later.

At the outset, I thank the management for quick approvals and guiding us whenever required throughout the transitional phase. I’ve been in the IT business for over 12 years. But, believe me, I never enjoyed the freedom of work and the liberty to make informed decisions as much before.

I really appreciate the management’s dynamic decisions and the pace of sharing key approvals. We got some approvals within a minute of requesting them. Unbelievable, isn’t it?

The project wouldn’t have been as successful without the management’s continual support and guidance. The key management approval came in almost no time! Our management has exemplified the approach for business continuity and encouraged us at every point of the project. We thank the management for inspiring and keeping us energized at all times.

Besides, we also thank the management’s support for blocking items. Yes, the team was stuck in a critical task for over two days. But, the unmatched support from our management team’s guidance helped us accomplish every task on time.

Our management team attended the Support Call Status Meeting and helped us in handling the situation. I remember a situation wherein I proactively got into a call with Mr. Sunil Kulkarni, our CEO. We discussed an issue that was turning out to be a significant and time-consuming challenge.

Our CEO gave me some key tips that worked well, and we resolved the concern on the same day. The call and the resolution of the issue contributed to my confidence and comfort throughout the project. Our management was supportive and responded to every email and message we sent.

About FidelTech

FidelTech is one of the leading IT, localization, and translation companies around the globe. It holds the reputation of working as the preferred remote IT Support Company for enterprises across multiple business domains and operating in various geographies.

FidelTech also helps you penetrate the local market through prompt and accurate translations for over 100 Indian and foreign languages. For more information or remote IT support services, connect with FidelTech at 03-6261-3309 or write into salesfidel@fideltech.com for a quote, and the company would love to be associated as the remote IT support services provider of your company.

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