Doing Our Part

Written by Matthew Metelsky

April 9, 2020

By April, Third Octet has helped 39,643 direct people across the globe effectively detach from a physical office due to the global pandemic.

At the start of 2020, we all went about our regular routines – here in Canada and, for the most part, the rest of the world.  We watched from afar as the events in China unfolded – events most of us never thought could impact us.  For Third Octet, the health crisis in China was close to home as one of our Solution Engineers, Stephen Xia, was visiting family in Tianjin over the Chinese New Year.

Stephen kept in constant communication with the team, suggesting a potential return to Canada on February 6th, and signing off with a “wish me luck.”  Fortunately, Stephen and his family were able to return to Canada and remain healthy to this day, as does his family in China.

Workforce Entropy

As we moved through February, it was becoming evident that this looming crisis was impacting significantly more than just China and neighbouring countries, with increased cases across Italy and Iran.  Workforce Entropy has always been top of mind for Third Octet, especially around the impacts of micro events on businesses and employees, such as school strikes, affordable housing, and increasing commute times.  As a matter of fact, on February 19th, we published an article entitled Modern Workforce Entropy, but it’s importance and relevance today is greater than it’s ever been.

Taking Action

Entering March, vigilance impacted optimism, sparking cancellations of in-person events for the remainder of the month.

On March 5th, we drafted an internal brief entitled Project SWIFT – a strategy to provide expeditious services to aid clients in implementing remote work functionality.  On March 6th, without care for overly creative naming, SWIFT Services went live on our website and was broadcasted across social media platforms and to clients.

By March 8th, we had halted all work-related travel.  By March 12th, we had closed the office, implemented mandatory work-from-home protocol, and advised all staff to avoid all non-essential travel.  Our focus had shifted, within weeks, to the health and wellbeing of staff, their families and, as important, the needs of our clients.

We understood the severity and acted quickly.

The all too familiar words soon followed.  Stay at home.  Shelter in place.  Avoid all non-essential travel.  Flatten the curve.

Need it Now

Businesses reacted.  March became a blur.  Third Octet was inundated with requests.  “We need X and we need X now.”

As experts in building platforms to support remote work, we became an absolute necessity to a world impacted by this pandemic.  With our strong belief in Bettering the World through Technology, we became uniquely qualified to assist, both quickly and empathetically.

We stood ready for the challenge.

Our team delivered.  By the start of April, 39,643 direct people across the globe were able to effectively detach from a physical office and function in a remote capacity thanks to the expertise of our entire team – from architecture, engineering, support, to sales and even administration.  We acted swiftly and as a team to pull off some of the greatest achievements in the history of Third Octet, even offering complimentary services to guide businesses through this turmoil.

We’re extremely proud of our capabilities and expertise to assist clients through these unprecedented times.

However, at the end of the day, this is and has been our job for the past thirteen years.  We are just doing our part, like we always have.

Talented Team

Without our talented team, and solutions and support from our partners including Ingram Micro, Citrix, IGEL and Microsoft, we would not have been able to touch as many lives as we did.  And, if you think beyond the immediate people who were able to detach because of our expertise, the number is much greater – to the tune of 120,000 individuals.  A small number in a global perspective, but one that Third Octet is proud of, and a great contribution to flattening the curve and, potentially, saving lives. In addition to providing work from home capabilities to so many new and existing clients, we touched lives by:

  • Scaling infrastructure services to aid front-line mental health workers, transitioning from in-person to telemedicine approach
  • Donating (hardware, software and services) to less fortunate individuals and/or massively impacted verticals to aid remote work, skilling, retooling and educational needs
  • Optimizing service costs and providing flexible payment options to mitigate financial impact to businesses
  • Implementing remote work capabilities across hospital and long-term care facilities
  • Minimizing productivity gaps across professional, legal, and financial services to ensure uninterrupted spread of pertinent information and expertise
  • Expediting time-to-value through Microsoft Azure, leveraging six different global regions to deliver Desktop workloads for workforces across EMEA, APAC, and Americas for major manufacturing.

The Future

As we move towards a highly uncertain future, we remain optimistic that our expertise around Workspace Craft, Collaboration, and Platform Evolution will continue to provide immense value to businesses of all sizes.  The Modern Workforce, as we had envisioned at the start of the year, took a dramatic turn; however, for us, the foundation remains nearly the same.

Today’s workforce world is evolving; demanding requiring more of business in accommodating flexibility in how, why, where, and when work happens. Without the appropriate technology strategy, your business will suffer from lack of workforce productivity, ineffective collaboration, and low morale.

We believe successful businesses are built on happy, engaged, and collaborative employees – employees who are able to focus on high-value and deeply meaningful work. Our technology solutions focus on removing physical place and technology as a barrier to productivity and engagement, allowing employees to work when, where, and however they choose, minimizing “time to productive”, and allowing for a personalized definition of their own work-life balance.

This is how we better the world through technology.
Be proactive.

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