New Orleans IT Support Professional Kevin Launey Opens Up Regarding COVID-19 In NOLA
Everyone around the country is doing their part to stay safe and prevent the spread of the coronavirus. At a time when over 163 million Americans are under stay-at-home or shelter in place orders, there are many stories from the frontlines of COVID-19 that impacted the way we look at essential services. Grocery store workers and the supply chain keeping grocery stores stocked so we all have access to food and basic necessities during this crisis, we applaud you. All the nurses, doctors, and other health care workers performing heroic feats in combating COVID-19 who risk their lives every day, we applaud you. There is another group of unsung heroes — MSPs — that are keeping the lifeblood of many businesses safe and secure by providing access to data and securing internet access so these businesses can continue to operate and keep people employed. We also applaud you.
Business Continuity is Paramount to Success
Since COVID-19 began to spread throughout the US, 11% of all workers had already lost their jobs due to COVID-19 and 40% of all those still working can expect job losses by August. People expect to earn 39% less in the next four months than usual. Workers earning under $20,000 can do 42% of the tasks in their main job from home compared to 57% for those earning more than $50,000. Forbes reports “The impact of COVID-19 will be far-reaching, requiring employers to access new levels of ingenuity, agility, and compassion in order to underpin the resilience of their organizations now and into the future. During this period of crisis, it is more important than ever for employers to remain committed to protecting and supporting their employees.”
Business continuity is at the forefront of MSP providers as they quickly worked with businesses to quickly deploy their workforce so they could work remotely from home. This has not been without its challenges. MSPs are extremely busy as a vital resource during this pandemic. Here’s a story from the frontlines of COVID-19 about how Kevin Launey from BIOS Technologies is coping with COVID-19 in New Orleans.
There has not been a pandemic like this in over 100 years. The economic effect for some is devastating. New Orleans has a ton of bars and restaurants and depends on tourism to keep its economy afloat. The pandemic obviously has a trickle-down effect on the economy with many businesses having to shut down putting many out of work. This is the not first disaster New Orleans has had to cope with. When hurricane Katrina hit, only New Orleans and the Gulf Coast region were affected. At the time, support poured in from the rest of the country. This is not the case with COVID-19, the entire country and world are fighting COVID-19 therefore the same resources are not there for the region. The region has responded to the idea that IT MSPs are a valuable resource. For instance, a company had to move out of their office due to a mandatory order by the governor to make room for hospital space. Although the company was a national entity, they had to find another space and needed feet on the ground to help them move ASAP. BIOS Technologies was able to deploy its own workforce and get this company up and running again within a 24 hour period.
Kevin Launey and David Williams knew they could deliver the resources to help this company move and get their business up and running, but the bigger question was, how they could keep everyone safe and healthy? They followed the CDC guidelines and provided gloves and masks for their workers and kept the social distancing guidelines as best as they could throughout the move.
Although Katrina is not the same as COVID-19, Kevin Launey learned from Katrina how important it is for businesses to have a business continuity plan in the event of a disaster. Those businesses that came through this crisis better than others were positioned well with cloud and web applications which meant they could transition to a remote working environment very quickly. This is not just about being nimble during COVID-19, working remotely gives businesses greater flexibility. For instance, if an employee had to let the cable man in at home, previously they would need to take the day off. With remote working capability, it means no loss of workflow as the employee could continue to work from home. From a technical perspective, Kevin found not all employees have reliable internet at home. This is an issue that needs to be addressed from a long term perspective.
Changing The Culture
One of the biggest lessons Kevin learned from the COVID-19 crisis, is the need to change the culture of an organization. He could no longer hear conversations in the office, nor could he coach and mentor his people as he did before. This forced him to think differently and learn ways to manage and connect with his employees and clients. He created morning and evening huddles every day using Teams video chat. He kept up the routine of showering, shaving at the same time to ensure he was in the right frame of mind to start work and encouraged his employees to do the same.
Kevin’s advice to young MSP providers is to become very familiar with every expense and keep tabs on what money going out the door. His second piece of advice is the ensure you keep communicating with your clients regularly and let them know what is happening. You learn more about your clients during a time like this which enables you to secure the longevity of your relationship and the continuity of your own business.
As we all recover from COVID-19, there are exceptional opportunities out there for MSPs. Whether you need to reinforce your brand awareness, educate your community, or differentiate yourself from your competitors, we are here to help you succeed with your customers. Contact the team at Ulistic at (716) 263-6961 or fill out our quick online form. If you are concerned about cash flow, we work with MSPs to find (and close!) more leads and generate new business.
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Stuart Crawford serves as Creative Director and CEO with Sebring, FL Ulistic, a specialty MSP Marketing firm focused on information technology marketing and business development. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience pertaining to how technology business owners and IT firms can use marketing as a vehicle to obtain success.
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