You can’t stay still on a moving train



At a leadership team meeting last week I was asked about key achievements of the SalesSense Technology Team over the past year. Last summer we embarked on a 9-month change programme to completely overhaul every aspect of our IT infrastructure, delivering a world class platform to enable our business to develop and grow. And yet the seamless failover when we invoked BCP in March was the achievement that jumped to mind above all others. So why did this stand out as my landmark moment?

The story began at a company away day in Tralee in early 2019 when each manager was asked for a wish list to take SalesSense to the next level. By August what I thought was a brainstorm moved from Design to Transition. In October we moved to our new omnichannel communication partner 8×8, to benefit from their technological innovations. From November we began moving completely away from a remote desktop/thin client environment that was creaking under the weight of our business growth to an agile laptop/desktop infrastructure. By January we were installing state of the art firewalls and implementing Azure to mirror the on-prem security systems, greatly strengthening our mobile environments. Meanwhile, as the Systems team was implementing all this change, the Data team was building a new data warehouse. As we notched up success after success you can understand our sense of achievement in early 2020. Then March 12th arrived.

As the educational institutions began to close, the realisation kicked in that COVID-19 was not some other country’s problem. Our way of life was changing for the foreseeable future. One small positive was that it quickly became clear that all the hard work the team had gone through had put us in a position of strength. By March 20th, a week before the nationwide lockdown had commenced, we had ensured that 100% of our employees were working securely from home. Our partnerships with Microsoft 365 and 8×8 ensured we were in constant communication (even though some were stranded out in the sticks of Monaghan – up the Farney army!). Thanks to Azure and our new IT environment our employees could work away, including recruiting candidates, training new staff and interacting with each other and clients over MS Teams. In some respects, while others slowed down, we quickened our stride.

In hindsight the diligence everyone showed in completing the technology migration over the past year is no more than what I’ve become accustomed to at SalesSense. Being fluid and staying ahead of the curve is just what we do. This particular time showed how my team and technology worked seamlessly together to deliver the best possible customer experience for our clients, and the best levels of security and safety for our staff during a worrying time. And I guess that was why it was my landmark moment at the leadership team meeting. Most of all perhaps it showed me that you can’t stay still on a moving train, you must always seek progress. As Rocky once said its “how much you can take and keep moving forward. That\’s how winning is done!”