How we survived Snowpocalypse by transforming into a virtual company

  • February 13, 2019
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  • Posted by Kevin Gemeroy

If you’re reading this, then we all survived. Despite the dire predictions, Seattle did not implode and the Columbia Tower did not come crashing down. We finally made it through Snowpocalypse 2019 and lived to tell about it!

At Dynamic Computing, we pride ourselves in being available to support our clients whenever they need us. We open early (7:30 am) and have extended support until 6 pm every night. And we’ve got a team of technicians that are on-call 24/7 in case of emergency (or if you’re a subscriber to our Advanced Infrastructure package that includes 24/7 monitoring and on-call response if anything goes down).

So how did we handle Snowpocalypse? By working in our pajamas, of course! All from the comfort of our home offices, using RingCentral, Dropbox Business, our Private Cloud, and secure VPN access (just for good measure).

As you all probably know, Deavonnie is our first line of defense. She does an amazing job of taking requests from our clients, opening tickets, and making sure their IT support needs are met promptly by the right DC personnel.

What you probably didn’t know, is that she’s been answering the phones from home for the better part of a week now. With her 4 year old son’s daycare closed, she’s also got a full-time personal “assistant” and a fan club (her two cats). 

Image result for ring central logoDynamic uses RingCentral as our phone system, which is a “unified communications” platform. It allows us to take a call via a phone, computer, or mobile device as if we’re right in the office. While you might have thought she somehow miraculously made it into downtown Seattle every day, in reality, she was wearing yoga pants and taking calls on her computer from her home in Shoreline. No physical phones involved. 

Once she’s created a ticket, she assigns one of our Service Technicians to work on your issue. Deavonnie transfers calls directly from her computer to our team members who can answer via a headset on their home PC or using the RingCentral app on their mobile phone. Our Service Team members hail from Lake Forest Park, Renton, Everett, and Uptown (Lower Queen Anne), so only one of them was able to quickly and easily get to our office during the snow event. Using RingCentral, they were able to ensure all of your IT support needs were met no matter where they were working from! (PS thanks to Brendan for being the one guy to make it to the office just about every day!)

Isaac and Matt-01

 Brendan and Nick-01

Meanwhile our Solutions & Ops teams (who handle sales & marketing among other things) tend to be very collaborative. When we’re not meeting with clients, we often meet in a conference room around a computer, speakerphone, or whiteboard and work through to-dos, issues, and projects. That’s tough to do when two of us live in West Seattle (both on big hills), one in Wallingford, one in Bothell, and another in Shoreline.

The solution? RingCentral Meetings! We had our first “virtual” solutions meeting during Snowpocalypse and were able to get through our full agenda and list of to-dos (in the hour allotted!) all via a video chat with screen sharing. The highlight of the meeting? Chris with a pink headset on. He claims it’s his wife’s. We’re not sure that we believe him.

 

At Dynamic Computing, we use Dropbox Business as our primary file storage platform. That allows us to access pretty much everything from any device in a secure and centrally managed fashion. Among the Solutions + Ops Teams members, we’ve got nearly a dozen PCs, two Macs (including one that's perpetually in the shop - just ask Noelle), five iPhones, at least as many iPads, and even an Android device or two for good measure. From every one of them we can access proposals, client files, marketing content, or just about anything else we need. Best of all? Every one of these devices is encrypted to prevent unauthorized access (and so we stay HIPAA compliant for the non-profits and medical practices we serve). 😊

Our Engineering and Project Teams are always working away on new and challenging things and trying to automate or migrate. Most of that work requires access to our centralized systems management software and/or internal IT systems. When we moved into Downtown Seattle a few years ago, we decided to bite the bullet and move all of our IT systems to the cloud. But not just any cloud. Our Private Cloud! With redundant power, multiple redundant internet connections, and a physical location that’s only a few blocks from our office, our IT systems are safe and secure and accessible from anywhere. Better yet, if we need to make changes, upgrades or download big files, we can “roll a truck” (aka send someone over on foot) to pull the data onto an external hard drive or other form of media. And we don’t get nickeled and dimed for things like processor and memory usage, bandwidth charges, etc. All of our costs are included for a single monthly fee.

In fairness, we always try to have one or two people in the office to accept packages, grab the mail, and make sure that we’re there if our clients need something. But I’ve gotta say, I’m really starting to wonder why we spend a bajillion dollars per month to drive/Uber/bus/train to and from downtown every day when I could be sitting on my couch getting twice as much done at home instead!

 

How did your team handle Snowpocalypse?

Drop us a line at hello@dyncomputing.com to start a conversation about how we can help your team get more done remotely.

 

A little about us:  Dynamic Computing provides managed IT services, IT support, IT consulting, & cyber security services to top performing small to mid-sized businesses in the greater Seattle area.  We're focused on being the premier managed IT services firm in the Pacific Northwest, and we act as a complete IT solution for companies who don't have internal IT departments.  Our clients typically range from 10 to 200 employees and we work primarily with professional services firms in the Puget Sound Region.

About the author:  Kevin Gemeroy is the President & CEO of Dynamic Computing, a company he founded while in Business School at the University of Washington.  He's was recognized as a 40 under 40 honoree by the Puget Sound Business Journal in 2018 and as Washington State's Mr. Future Business Leader by FBLA in 1998.  He resides in Seattle, Washington.