Create your COVID-19 Business Technology Action Plan

Let’s work together to create a tactical technology-driven Action Plan to protect your business, customers, and staff.

The dramatic spread of novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, is interrupting our lives, our communities, and our economy. In a time that Alberta-based businesses are already finding challenges with the shifting nature of our energy sector and evolving regulatory environments, the disruption caused by COVID-19 must be limited to strengthen our futures.

At Punchcard, we think that transformation will be our pathway to strength. We’ve developed our COVID-19 Technology Action Plan to prepare your organization for what the coming days, weeks, and months will bring, while at the same time, readying your business for the possibilities that the future will bring.

Business leaders should prepare technology and systems to handle a change in how your people will be working and how your customers will be engaging with your brand—and we’re here to help.

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At Punchcard, we create products and platforms that transform how people live and work. Like you, we’re concerned about the impact that COVID-19 will have on our business and the world around us, which is why we’ve developed this resource and our COVID-19 Transformation Workshop to support your organization in these challenging times.

Areas of Transformation Focus During the COVID-19 Outbreak

1

Focus on Remote Collaboration

Investing in digital channels and platforms are logical first steps for organizations shifting from daily operational needs to digital business.

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2

Focus on Digital Workplaces

Investing in cloud-based tools to store your structured documents and power your internal corporate communications to keep your people on the same page.

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3

Focus on Automation, Data, and Analytics

Investing in tools for business automation related to your standard processes can reduce risk, manage costs, and drive up productivity.

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4

Focus on Digital Customer Engagement

Investing in digital engagement platforms can support keeping your customer relationships strong, healthy, and focused on the future.

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Our Framework for Transformation Readiness

Alberta organizations can take proactive steps now to build business continuity. From our perspective, technology and operational leaders can look to enable, encourage, and manage capabilities in four core areas to address both internal and external requirements.

0. Encourage (and re-encourage) hand and personal hygiene.

Above all else, the first element in our framework is to reinforce the importance of handwashing. At Punchcard, we’re even automating reminders using Microsoft Teams and Power Automate for our team (even at home) to keep washing their hands. Like you, we want to keep our families safe.

1. Rapidly enable platforms for digital collaboration

As the virus spreads throughout communities, leaders are encouraging social distancing—reducing contact between people who could be potentially carrying the COVID-19 virus. Today, businesses will be migrating to work-from-home strategies to maintain productivity while keeping people safe.

The possibility of communication breakdown and challenges associated with your corporate culture are just the tip of the iceberg, so act quickly to build competency in working remotely.

Some opportunities for your business could include:

  • Deploy Microsoft Office 365 within your organization to take advantage of asynchronous communications through Microsoft Teams. The Teams platform, incorporating the video conferencing features of Skype for Business, enables chat, calling, and meetings at the click of a button. Coupled with a strategy for remote one-on-ones and coaching, your remote strategy needs to start with a platform.
  • Build a custom bot to share company updates via your Microsoft Teams (or Slack) installation. Leveraging the Microsoft Bot Framework, create conversational artificial intelligence experiences to manage virtual processes, facilitate collaboration, or encourage expanded hygiene practices.

Your people are one of your most valuable assets; digital transformation during the COVID-19 outbreak will enable your organization to continue to deliver value even when working remotely.

2. Unlock platforms for digital workplace resources

Maintaining the status quo can be challenging without platforms to seamlessly support your workforce, either in disruption within your office or remotely around the planet. By utilizing cloud services for documents and unstructured assets, you can allow your company to control company sources of truth, managing a single point of information dissemination by management, and facilitating information discovery.

Some opportunities for your business could include:

  • Ensure your employees are equipped with laptops or mobile devices to access documents and services from home. Test (and practice your tests) to ensure that your employees are properly equipped to get the documents they need to continue to be productive.
  • Develop a Crisis Communications portal or app to support your teams, either locally or globally. Taking advantage of your SharePoint installation, or using tools within Power Platform, build a user-friendly experience to connect your employees with information about the crisis.
  • Ensure proper security methods—and avoid shortcuts. If you expect your team to be mobile, ensure that you have explored keeping your data safe during mobile scenarios, by implementing techniques like multi-factor authentication for your network resources.

The advantages of document centralization through portals and intranets go beyond dealing with this particular crisis and support long-term productivity and flexibility gains.

3. Develop tools to automate the process and collect data for your employees

If you have not yet had the opportunity to explore solutions to automate your processes, now might be the time. If your employees can’t get to work, you’re likely going to start losing money. If you’re currently relying on paper processes to communicate within your organization, take this opportunity to plan, build, and integrate platforms to automate workflow, own your data, and understand the real-time key performance indicators of your organization.

Some opportunities for your business could include:

  • Leverage agile development and design thinking to quickly create new platforms to address permanent and temporary needs. Over the next several weeks and months, there will be many scenarios we have never seen before; we can leverage the power of agile software development to tackle complex issues while still delivering timely outcomes.
  • Explore no-code solutions for a workflow to empower data collection and dissemination within your organization. Leveraging Microsoft Power Automate to build workflows to automate repetitive, time-consuming tasks via robotic process automation and machine learning, while at the same time keeping your business’ security in mind.
  • Develop custom tools to support your field service or back-office operations while celebrating the unique value proposition behind your business. With the advent of COVID-19, your business does not have to diminish your unique value propositions; to the contrary, custom software can support the way you do work today, but with a higher degree of accuracy.

4. Engage with your customers, prospects, and partners using digital platforms

While it might seem unfair, in these moments of disruption, even your very best customers might react negatively if their experience suffers. Create trust and strength with your existing customers by investing in platforms that empower digital customer engagement—and control your customer service.

Some opportunities for your business could include:

  • Create capacity for digital sales. Roll out tools for eCommerce and business-to-business (B2B) engagement, and promote the ability to be stable for the sake of your customers.
  • Build a new capacity for self-service for your customers via online portals. If you’ve got questions, so do your customers. Prepare new content and drive new tools for your website and client portals, telephony and IVR systems, automated e-mail, smartphone apps, and chatbots to handle common scenarios, and free your staff up to deal with the most complex challenges.
  • Engage your customers via Microsoft Teams. If you’re already using it internally, leverage external users in Teams for partner and client collaboration.
  • Recognize when digital platforms aren’t the right fit, and plan accordingly. Technology platforms will be important to help deliver great experiences in some of the disruptions ahead, but will not be a replacement for face-to-face interactions. We’re all going to have to adapt to different processes for sales and operations.

“I don’t know where to start.”

Well, that seems perfectly normal. As Alberta-based businesses, we have yet to encounter this type of challenge, which is why we’ve developed the framework above and built some basic tools to support you, your employees, and our neighbours.

30-min COVID-19 Business Leader Consultation

For business owners and leaders who are looking to investigate the COVID-19 framework, understand current challenges, and discuss opportunities for transformation, schedule a free 30-minute conversation with Punchcard partners Sam Jenkins or Estyn Edwards.

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1- or 2-day Transformation Workshop

If you’re concerned about establishing a business continuity plan for your organization using technology, we’ve created our 1- or 2-day Agile Transformation Workshop to support Alberta-based businesses in developing an Action Plan in the wake of COVID-19 concerns.

Delivered remotely, our team works closely with your key decision-makers to build an Agile Roadmap that fits your business, your objectives, and the current state of the technology landscape.

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COVID-19 Discovery Sprint

If you have some solid ideas in terms of how you could approach transforming your business quickly and rationally, our discovery and development software sprints may be an ideal process to engage our team of product, design, and software specialists.

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We’re here to help.

If you’re interested in engaging our team on one of our Transformation Services, or are just interested in receiving more information that we’re gathering about the outbreak and technology thinking, please complete the following form.

Please note: over the next several months, our COVID-19 Transformation Services are delivered remotely, using teleconferencing and digital collaboration tools, for organizations in Edmonton, Calgary, across Alberta, and across Canada.