From medical equipment to groceries, technology is helping businesses make new ways of working a reality.
The spread and severity of COVID-19 has forced businesses and public institutions to find ways to carry out their essential missions while keeping their customers, employees and citizens safe.
That means large-scale transitions to remote work. For many, those transitions have had to be seamless. Lives and livelihoods are on the line, both in the workplace and in communities around the world.
For many, the pressure is intense. Failure to develop and implement secure remote work capabilities makes it more difficult to provide the public with vital information on health and safety. Without these capabilities, health care professionals and first responders would not be able to do their jobs safely and efficiently. Vulnerable citizens would not be able to get the supplies and prescriptions they need.
Businesses and government agencies have turned to tech not only for the innovation that makes these new remote work arrangements possible, but for guidance on how to best implement these new arrangements, often on extraordinarily tight deadlines.
“Business continuity is about more than just keeping the lights on. It’s about serving others when it matters most,” said Jen Felch, Chief Digital Officer and CIO, Dell Technologies. “We have more than a decade of experience in enabling our own remote workforce. Before we announced a global work-from-home policy due to COVID-19, 65 percent of our team members were leveraging our flexible work policies, and we had approximately 30 percent of team members working remotely on any given day. Our connected workplace experience set us up well for the unexpected, and we’ve been applying this experience to our work with customers and partners, some of whom are making the transition to a remote workforce for the first time.”
“In addition, our global supply chain is leveraging their flexibility and working diligently to get customers around the globe the technology they need to serve their own businesses, customers, students and communities,” Felch said. “Similarly, our Dell Financial Services can help find the appropriate resources for our customers in a timely matter, furthering our end-to-end customer enablement.”
Dell Technologies is helping businesses around the world establish, expand or refine remote work capabilities. Here are just a few examples:
- Idaho-based grocery chain Albertsons Cos Inc. knew it had to act quickly to keep critical operations up and running while providing for thousands of employees to work from home. This included enabling remote support for over 1,000 Albertsons call center and retail support employees, who play a vital role in solving technical problems for Albertsons check-out systems and pharmacies. Any delay in setting up remote work systems, any failure that could not be solved remotely would directly impact customers and employees by straining strict social distancing policies in-store. Dell Technologies helped Albertsons make the jump to remote work for call center and retail support employees with a variety of PCs, monitors and peripherals along with configuration, deployment and support services. All of this was done within an extremely short timeframe.
- When COVID-19 hit, France-based Air Liquide was already on the front lines as a world leader in gases and services for Industry and Health. Its role in producing medical oxygen, ventilators and supplying other home health care solutions has become critical in combating the virus. Still, the company was faced with responding to the health crisis while ensuring many of its employees could work from home effectively. The company successfully rolled out its business continuity plans that included the streamlined deployment of thousands of pre-configured Dell laptops, enabling remote workers to continue serving clients, medical institutions and patients all over the world.
- Grupo Boticario, a retailer with 4,000 locations across Brazil and a presence in eight other countries, faced a dual challenge as COVID-19 spread: How to enable thousands of employees to work remotely while continuing to serve customers online. The solution was technology, and it would have to be in place quickly. Armed with Dell EMC servers, more than 1,000 laptops and configuration, deployment and support services, Grupo Boticario was able to help 3,000 employees work remotely. Now, the company will be able to maintain the performance and stability it needs even during peak demand.
- Abu Dhabi Terminals (ADT), a busy shipping port in the Middle East, has not only survived but actually thrived during the COVID-19 pandemic due to a Business Continuity Plan (BCP), remote work infrastructure, and most importantly, automation solutions. ADT’s operation is a critical link in the region’s supply chain, moving as many as 250,000 20-foot containers through its terminal each month. When the COVID-19 pandemic emerged in early 2020, ADT was already using an automation solution powered by Dell Technologies and VMware which allowed ADT to fast-track the rollout of a remote work program and meant there was no reduction in productivity. Excluding operators, mechanics, and security personnel, ADT has nearly 100 percent of its employees working remotely. These remote workers include Management, Information Technology, Finance, Commercial, Human Resources, and Operations Control Center personnel.