It's safe to say that we're currently dealing with the biggest challenge of any of our lifetimes and will continue doing so for the foreseeable future...
We took the decision to move towards a fully remote operation roughly a week before the instructions from Boris to do so, that's 19 days at the time of writing this.
During the week preceding restricted movement, we were inundated with requests for people to provide a short-term easing of the situation. Our telephony solutions enable remote working and the initial rush was, in all honesty, very welcome.
Decisions to move to new systems were forced through and our sales team were flat out. Our Service Delivery team went above and beyond to support customers, both existing and new, to enable various kinds of remote working solutions.
For many customers, this was a great chance to test disaster recovery plans and remote working strategies already in place. Others, wary of change and cautious about upsetting users, hit the COVID-19 "just do it" button and got on with it.
With all that and a bulging pipeline running into March, we managed to close the month out on a high, and that put us in an excellent finish closing the best quarter we've ever had.
But what would be next?
We knew the initial rush would calm. So we began to look at what can be done to diversify and ensure that Boxx stays relevant and stays here for the long haul. Uniquely positioned as a technology business to feel the effects later than most, we have some time to evolve and adapt.
All businesses will need to reduce costs during these restrictive times. Wherever possible it is pertinent to diversify and supply services which can help provide solutions, so that it softens the blow when making it to the other side.
While we do have an incredible team of determined and expert salespeople, our normal sales strategy relies on project fees and upfront sales revenue for equipment sales. Many businesses will not be making decisions on new infrastructure during this period and keeping the current sales strategy in play would simply be foolhardy. Any new products we consider will likely need short contracts, to be remotely configured and have low set up costs - all necessary to reflect the uncertainty of the current times.
So it is with that in mind that we have decided to engage in the Government's Employee Retention Scheme, to protect our employees and customers for the uncertain times ahead.
We offered 'Furlough' to those involved in frontline sales and marketing, whose day to day roles are, in practical terms, limited under this restriction. We are offering 100% of usual salaries and asking all participants to consider if possible, to volunteer and we'll be offering training, both for key skills and personal development throughout the period.
But just to be clear...
Boxx will be keeping a fully operational support team, available 24/7 for all our existing customers, who now more than ever are our priority.
As a business with a high percentage of recurring revenues, we can hold out while the economy starts up again, and we will be ready when it does.
In the meantime, Boxx is still open for business. New customers wanting to work with us are welcome to get in touch. We (Dean & James) will pick up ongoing discussions where our Account Managers left off and will hand back to them on return from Furlough.
Our aim is to embrace these strange and uncertain times, on a mission to evolve and adapt while facing our responsibility;
Stay Home. Protect the NHS. Saves Lives.
We (Dean and James) will be hosting regular webinars and training on products for both existing customers and those wanting to work with us. We want to see as many businesses pull through the situation as we can.
We are all in this together, we will all get through this together.
Dean Burgin & James Green
*Image credit - All Things Business