Could Covid-19 end up strengthening your business?

December 11, 2020

An experience of 60+ people IT organisation during one of the biggest world’s pandemic

When the lockdown started, several projects were changed, and we expected a drop in business for the year. It is a little surprising that not only has the business grown and we have received our 3rd Gazelle award as a growth company, we have also implemented many of the strategic initiatives we had in mind.

We did not expect this, and we owe a lot to our partners that have fought heroically in this chaotic market. Mind you; it does raise the question as to whether we were lucky or managed the business well. There is no doubt that the ongoing pandemic has had a significant impact on our business, but looking back on the year we were a little surprised about how much of the impact is positive. And why is that you may ask?

Strong focus on customer needs

As our partners continued to work with digitalisation, we experienced a rapid move from NAV to Business Central – helped by a well-trained team, and this was a smooth process. What surprised us was the increase we saw in Dynamics Customer Engagement and Power Platform, delivering several projects during the year.

“We experienced a rapid move from NAV to Business Central – helped by a well-trained team, and this was a smooth process. What surprised us was the increase we saw in Dynamics Customer Engagement and Power Platform, delivering several projects during the year.”
– Nicolai Krarup, COO at Global Mediator

Our efforts to automate regression testing for more complex solutions that are being moved to MS Dynamics 365 Business Central has continued more or less as planned. We did lose a little momentum around Meta UI, but only because we prioritised fulfilling urgent individual customer needs over product development.

Still, on Meta UI, the product is now live with three elements in the portfolio (Grid, Time slider and Map) and has reached a level where they can be shipped as extensions. This, in turn, means that our services around Business Central with reliable QA and modified UI for ISV’s or complex installations had matured dramatically during a time when everybody focused on the pandemic.

Accelerated internal digitalisation

We still suffer the empathic consequences of not having people in the office, but then we all do. However, getting our ISO certification in June was just the right time to ensure that all our systems and processes were top-tuned by the time the lockdown hit – we could hardly have been better prepared.

Since then, we have been driving our own Business Central upgrade with integration to Customer Engagement and Office 365, especially to Teams. We are pushing ahead to ensure that we have a single truth in all we do moving forward making (we believe) the business easier to manage.

In August, with the change to Data Verse in Teams, we refocused our efforts on building our internal HR processes and company portal around Teams with PowerApps. This process has energised us more than could be expected. Would be nice if Microsoft could make a decent Wiki for Teams, but that is the only major drawback.

People focus, our ongoing struggle

We have onboarded more people this year than before despite working from home, and we have rejuvenated our mentoring program for young professionals. We have also launched a series of new initiatives to support our people-friendly culture, but this has to remain an area of innovation for next year.

2020 Summary blogpost - COVID-19 - Business Central and Power Platform
A series of new initiatives during Covid-19 to support people-friendly culture at Global Mediator

We conclude that when this is over, we will need people back in the office again – maybe not full time and perhaps not everybody. But the type of learning consulting organisation that we have become, we need to engage with each other more than has been possible during the past nine months. Also, we feel that some people miss the inspiration that face-to-face dialogue can give.

Good year, a bad year or just another year?

The year 2020 has been a transformative time for our business, with many challenges along the way. There have not been many areas where we can say it was business as usual and this has to make us grow as an organisation. We have accelerated almost every area that we wanted to develop in a year that has been otherwise pretty horrible.

“The year 2020 has been a transformative time for our business, with many challenges along the way. There have not been many areas where we can say it was business as usual and this has to make us grow as an organisation.”
– Nicolai Krarup, COO at Global Mediator

We are fortunate to be in software engineering, but we are also fortunate to have a team of people that have managed to both put their head down and do the work needed while stepping up a gear at the same time. In a sense, this makes them the unsung heroes of this year and working with such a team can only make this an exceptional year.

 

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