If the last two years have taught IT professionals, the public sector and business leaders anything, it’s that organizations must be prepared with a voice and video infrastructure capable of providing continuity in the face of rapid, and often, disruptive change. The global pandemic has been a catalyst for digital acceleration across all industries, as companies have been forced to rapidly deploy new technologies to keep their teams connected and performing at their best, no matter where they are getting their work done.
Whether it is health-related, like the current Omicron surge, or a natural disaster, no one knows what the next major disruption will be or when it may show up, but the recent past has taught us all how important it is to have readiness and flexibility built into an organization’s communication infrastructure.
Here are a few examples of Poly customers from different verticals who were ahead of the curve in terms of having the right collaboration tools in place to set their organizations up for success as they navigated the challenges of quickly pivoting to support remote and hybrid teams:
The pandemic turned the education landscape upside down seemingly overnight, challenging learning institutions of all types to implement distance learning and remote administration in record time. Deciding what gear to roll-out, which features to deploy and how to ensure network readiness were major challenges for administrators and IT departments to navigate.
Issues such as their phone systems not allowing for off-prem use, needing to provide reliable professional quality headsets and roll out VaaS platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams left many schools struggling and scrambling in the transition to remote education.
When Chapman University needed a flexible solution that facilitated reliable communication and collaboration between staff and students, they turned to Poly as their trusted partner. Chapman moved quickly in the early days of the pandemic to support its nearly 10,000 students and staff with Poly gear, preparing them with the necessary tools to tackle remote learning and administration. The use of video cameras with features like speaker tracking, headsets that block out distracting background noise and speakerphones with acoustic fence technology made a huge difference for teachers working from home or in remote classrooms. The transition to support remote learning helped the university create a safe environment, support diverse needs and better prepare for whatever the future may hold.
Pennsylvania Public Schools is another success story. The Poly technology the Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13 (IU 13) implemented years before to connect the 22 schools in their district made their pandemic-induced transition to distance learning far more seamless. Roy Hoover, IU 13’s Network and Telecommunications Coordinator, pointed out that the decision to move from traditional desk phones to softphones and Poly headsets in the years prior to the pandemic made for a relatively seamless transition when staff were forced to work from home. Roy’s experience demonstrates how equipping a workforce with flexible, agile technology makes it possible to transition between traditional and remote working environments with relative ease.
State and Federal governments faced massive challenges when transitioning to supporting a virtual workforce due to the scale of operations, privacy/security concerns and need to integrate with outdated, complex legacy infrastructure.
Because the Virginia State Supreme Court had a Poly-powered voice and video network in place, the pandemic did not incite the chaos it might have otherwise. Bob Kelley, Sr. Video Applications Engineer for the Supreme Court of Virginia, recommends that if states haven’t already begun, they should start planning their video infrastructure immediately so that they can launch something that will work for them in the long run – the next five to seven years.
The medical field has been ahead of the game relative to many other industries. Healthcare institutions have been taking strides toward improving telemedicine for years to make quality care more accessible. There was an increasing demand for telehealth options, even before the pandemic, and now that increase has accelerated significantly. Administrators and IT professionals in the medical field have been leading the charge and taking on this challenge bravely, and Poly has been happy to be an ally.
Avera eCARE has supported patients and clinicians with their team of medical experts for more than 25 years. As true pioneers in telehealth, they use Poly solutions across their network to provide remote emergency care to rural emergency rooms, behavioral health clinics, critical access needs, correctional health needs and senior care.
On an average month, Avera eCARE supports 1,400 emergency video consults calls and 1,000 specialist consults, receiving patients from their 380+ Poly Group Series 500 units deployed to emergency rooms, state correction facilities and long-term care facilities. In addition to video, nearly 90 percent of Avera’s clinical administration and clinical staff use a Poly headset at their desk every day. In the early days of the lockdown, they were well-equipped to send staff home with the gear they needed to continue providing exceptional service to patients.
The Road to Readiness
At this point, we know change is inevitable. It’s something the workforce is going to navigate day-by-day, and we know the back and forth is exhausting for everyone. However, ensuring your business has readiness and flexibility built in ahead of time can make a huge difference. Those who suffered fewer obstacles and less stress were those who already had flexible, reliable voice and video technology in place.
Poly is here to assist with a variety of consulting services that help you plan ahead and future-proof your organization, including the Poly Grant Assistance Program, which is a free resource focused on aligning available funding with your organization’s communication needs.
The road to readiness is paved with professional-grade voice and video solutions capable of adapting quickly as collaboration dynamics evolve. Being prepared is the key to business continuity – and, when it comes to keeping your teams connected, Poly’s got you covered.