Collaboration solutions

Collaboration solutions
What's a greater concern for returning to the office? Comment how you are prioritizing...

Top Answer : The majority of our focus is definitely on the human factors as the technical factors are mostly related to things we had to solve as we went distributed.  We will need some additional technical stuff to support the human factors (eg. scheduling software to limit the # of people in the office at the same time) but solving the human factors of helping people to feel comfortable, ensuring that safety precautions are being followed, etc... are much harder and why it will be a while before we go back.

What are some tips for remote hiring success? For both vetting and courting candidates...

Top Answer : Whenever possible we try to have internal references. Or at least 2 degrees of Kevin Bacon. When you have 130k employees and probably 40k contractors it works and those employees usually turn out to fit better than placement service finds And for many roles we offer a referral bonus paying after 6 months of the new employees working out ok

Accelerating the move towards a cloud infrastructure - how do you decide / what applications go first? Which are top of the list for you currently?

Top Answer : First we try to stop the flow of new non-cloud. Then we prioritize for those apps overdue for an upgrade that we will be retaining 4+ years. Apps with security risks can also be a priority if we can’t shut it down or migrate to a different solution

How permanent are some of the pandemic-induced changes going to be?

Top Answer : It's been a huge “forced march” experiment. It has forced people to embrace some virtual technologies they might not have in the past. If you've worked for a large enterprise tech company and managed teams around the world, you're used to doing virtual teaming. But it was not the mainstay of how people interact. It was more isolated. I think the pandemic has forced everybody to learn how to interact in those environments. I feel I've seen a lot of innovations around keeping people engaged in those environments. How do you stay in touch with people? How do you meet new people that you haven't met before? This has truly forced people out of their comfort zone and it's skills building that is going to be here for a long time. I think it is going to disrupt a lot of the ways people think about how they run their businesses as well. I don't know that it's a disruption, as much as it's an opportunity to really do things differently. It's a strengthening exercise for how people build viable, sustainable business models. It's going to make organizations and businesses stronger over the long haul.

How did Covid impact IT in higher-ed?

Top Answer : I don't think our business really knew how much they depended upon us and how much value we really added until we had to do what we did back in March. We took a hundred-year-old institution and digitally transformed it in about a business week (that's a little oversell, but it's not entirely untrue). We had a small footprint of students (Fully Employed MBA's, Executive MBA's) who were taking classes in a hybrid format and employees that were working remotely, but if the pandemic hadn't hit, there would've been no incentive or impetus to change how we do business. What we found out was kind of fascinating. It's opened some doors while it's closed others.  One of my proudest moments was when Zoom went out for a couple hours on a Monday. It was out for a couple hours, and my business actually said, "Hey, wait a minute. We're using Zoom for teaching. What happens if we can't use Zoom? What are we going to do?", and I'm like, "Oh, this is great. This is Business Continuity 101. Thank you! I was waiting for somebody to get there.” Then they would say, “Can we use teams? How do we set up teams? Can we test that?" and I’m like "Wait, you want to do a tabletop? Really? Okay, cool!" It's all these great check marks along the way, because they're thinking this way now, and that's great for us. The narrative has entirely shifted, and in some cases we got lucky, or we were able to predict some things, but in many cases we already had the technology, just nobody wanted to, was prepared to, or thought they needed to use it.

What IT solutions for the pandemic will persist in a post-Covid world?

Top Answer : There are some components of our current technology posture that we'll probably keep if we ever go back to “normal,” because there have been some good learnings from it. In higher ed, student satisfaction was actually higher in some cases while we've been teaching all classes remotely. The students still complained about not being able to be with each other, but satisfaction with education delivery was higher. We'll probably have more people working from home. We in higher ed are very traditional. We have leaders who want to see people onsite and we have a lot of staff who want to come to campus and work, yet people are enjoying the fact that they don't have a hellacious LA commute and that they have a better quality of life. So I think we will see some loosening up around having to physically be here everyday 9-5. Previously it was harder to get a particular speaker for an event because they wouldn't or couldn’t come to LA. Now you can get them because you can put them through remotely. Now that we've proven to everybody that it can work, there will be future opportunities there. Almost 100% of the students wanted to come back at first, now it is closer to 40% or 50% that want to be on campus. Our students who had to travel from other locations to come in on weekends are just saying, "I'm not going to do that now." So even in some of our hybrid scenarios, it may be a class full of students and the faculty member is still remote. We're trying to work through all the iterations of what that's going to look and feel like. It may not be the core education experience, but other derivatives of it that can be done or that are served well using this type of technology may flesh themselves out as new business opportunities.

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