Digital Transformation • August 25, 2020

COVID-19 Shows Remote Support Providing Unexpected Benefits

COVID-19 Shows Remote Support Providing Unexpected Benefits

As with most businesses, iBase-t has had to adapt in the face of COVID-19. Travel restrictions, social distancing limits, and work-from-home mandates are forcing new ways of delivering both implementation and ongoing support.  As iBase-t continues to place customer success at the top of our priorities, we discovered that some of these new accommodations are providing our customers with unexpected benefits.  As we all adapt to the ever-changing “new normal,” we are committed to carrying forward these new remote support best practices that have been adopted over the past six months.

Remote Consulting Support, Once an Option, Now the Norm

iBase-t has offered remote consulting for quite some time. But typically, customers opt to have on-site engineering support both for initial implementation and ongoing upgrade and enhancement projects.  

Before COVID-19, about two-thirds of iBase-t projects were delivered on-site.  During the initial lockdown phases of the coronavirus, travel was all but shut down. Even now, with the summer resurgence, travel remains low with only 5-10% of the projects utilizing on-site consulting.  Adding yet another challenge, many states and countries have instituted 14-day quarantine windows, adding further complexity for travelers.  

For today and the foreseeable future, iBase-t expects remote consulting and support to remain the best option for most of our customers.

New Benefits Revealed from Remote Consulting

While having iBase-t consultants and training staff on-site offered our clients the opportunity for hands-on training, the forced shift to remote consulting has unlocked many new benefits that have outweighed the perceived value of having an engineer on site.  

The first, and most easily measurable benefit, is the savings in travel expenses.  iBase-t customer projects have seen an 80-90% reduction in pass-through travel costs.  But in many respects, this is just the tip of the iceberg.  

Since support staff are not on airplanes or spending time commuting, the availability of professional services engineers and consultants is significantly higher.  For a consultant who traveled 60% to 80% of a month, a week or more of productive time was locked up while they were “in the air.”  Now they are available nearly every working day. 

Another benefit of moving to mostly a remote model is that it is easier to build a team of experts thanks to increased availability.  As iBase-t has strengthened its ability to deliver effective remote consulting support, this has allowed us to quickly augment teams with functional specialists as needed, on the fly. 

Similarly, our field staff also has greater availability today.  This has proven true for not just the internal iBase-t team, but with our service partners as well.  With daily team interactions between iBase-t, our customers, and our partners, project delivery is just as effective as it was pre-COVID-19.

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