Thinking ahead in times of a crisis: Going live during Corona shutdown

Thinking ahead in times of a crisis: Going live during Corona shutdown

3 min read May 05, 2020

During the peak time of Corona disease and restrictions on most businesses in Central Europe, many of BE-terna‘s customers decided to finalize their transformation projects and to go live. One could have expected companies to postpone their projects to reduce risks and cut costs. But to the contrary these companies have exhibited great business instincts and demonstrated the ability to rapidly adapt to completely new circumstances within a few days while showing great trust in an economic future after this pandemic.    

One might think these companies were not touched by lockdowns, reduced business hours or restrictions on operational staff. No, these companies come from various industries: manufacturing, services, retail, utilities and pharmaceuticals. The technologies they use vary as well: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance & Supply Chain Management, Business Central, Customer Engagement as well as Infor M3.

Also, many of our newly acquired customers decided to go ahead with their implementation stages. Launching projects in the middle of a crisis working 100% remotely is, of course, something we could not have imagined before the crisis. COVID-19 didn’t stop digital transformation, instead it accelerated the process. These customers are aware that the new solutions will put them in a much better position for the times ahead.

However, this was only possible through highly focused and thorough preparation in such uncertain circumstances: We needed to switch to a model of work without travelling, without meeting our teams in person and without visiting our customers. This was not only a new experience for our customers but also completely uncharted territory for our consultants who are known for close customer contact especially in the critical times around go-live dates. Thanks to excellent connectivity, cloud computing, Microsoft Teams and the strongest will to stand out in this situation and contribute to business continuity all our customers’ and BE-terna’s teams handled these situations with flying colours. They are the real champions of digital transformations!

More than that, these experiences will lead to sustainable change in delivering business software projects. We will significantly reduce business travel obligations for our employees because our customers and we learned to love the efficiency of online workshops and online collaboration. Travel expenses are cut and consultants can act with much more flexibility for multiple customers instead of spending much of their time on the road or in the air. We named this methodology “Micro-Workshops”: High-frequency online workshops for just a few hours per day instead of multi-day workshop blocks which often prevented the highly skilled project teams of our customers to contribute to their ongoing business operations. Of course, these workshops need to follow strict rules to be effective.

Nevertheless, all the online work will not replace personal relationships and in-person on-site cooperation on projects that involve a lot of organizational change for customers. We are convinced that this exceptional situation caused by the pandemic will also have some long-term positive effects and as stated many times these days - this challenging time is accelerating the evolution of digital transformation project delivery.

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About the Author

Gerald Pichler

Managing Director