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IT and security policies have become more pragmatic today: Sameer Nigam, CEO, Stratbeans

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Stratbeans, a company that drives digital transformation through AI-based online learning, shares some of the key innovations that the organisation has undertaken to motivate employees, and some of the key lessons learnt in this crisis. Sameer Nigam, CEO, Stratbeans shares his perspective

There are many experts in the organisations who were needed by the team for advice, we put them behind the ASK expert ring, it is a software that makes it possible for the teams to access the knowledge and advise of experts without overwhelming the recipient experts.

Remote supervision is a challenge while we are tapping on video calls for meetings which can last about an hour and when everyone can come together at once. But sharing small instructions remotely is becoming challenge, for that we have started using articulate peek which is a short video conversation creation software, we have given this to all supervisors.

To add redundancies, we speeded up our hiring, for first time 5 new resources were hired fully online, the interaction and screening happened all on video call and we were surprised that the candidates joined quickly as normally it takes a longer time and dropout rates

Key Challenges

Supervision was different hence we are closely monitoring if any stressors are coming up.
We have added online fun rooms, and actually had very good response to online IMPROV SESSIONS. In which on a video call people joined from different location and mini games were played. Ankur Mithal who is a senior leader in our team and is a creative person and a book writer, he volunteered to conduct this and we are happy with team engagement.

Data security required extra work, some of the pieces are not as per the best of the norms but we had to take a hard look at getting business back online vs taking maximum network security.

Role modification for some jobs is under consideration because in an extended online world the roles of sales team and business analysts will have to be modified to fit in pure work from home situation, we feel that work from home is going to be the new normal hence we are taking some organisation redesign steps. Also, with redesigned processes we will ensure that we will not need to shed any headcounts.

Key lessons learnt

People do work better when they have peace of mind at home; More creative ideas see light of day for cozy corner of your home; Organisation redesign was overlooked so far, similarly many low priority of earlier times have suddenly become our main agenda.

The grapevine has changed, employees are reporting their active involvement in household activities such as cooking and cleaning – and they are posting pictures of their latest dishes on our company message boards.

Technology tools used

All in one desktop, this is the best configuration hardware we could place quickly at home, where heavy processing tasks were involved; Articulate Peek for supervisors to share short instructions and video timeline feedbacks; Ask expert ring for making subject matter experts available online; Zoom for long calls; KMS for putting documents and quickly setting up work from home workflows and software tools such as SLACK, G SUITE and VPN

For us, we are like ” Why were we not working from home, already. It looks like a better way and we intend to continue this for 80% of our staff when the times are normal again”. Some organisations were not prepared and are adopting quickly, but we already had 25 % of our staff under flexi hour at any time

Many of large corporates we serve bought remote knowledge transfer tools from us, because they wanted to work around visa restrictions and cost of international travel and lodging, however not borders are sealed so they have started buying a large number of licenses for such tools and we feel that they will continue this method of work as a better alternative even in normal times.

Paranoia Vs Pragmatic
One of our BPO customers would have laughed at us if we said your agents should be serving customer using their mobile phones and at their home, now they are doing exactly the same, we have seen a big change in the IT and security policies which had many paranoia driven clauses, now they have become more pragmatic.

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