This time last year, the core Walpole Partnership team went to Oracle OpenWorld Europe at the Excel Centre in London, UK. That was the last time we all saw each other in person. A little over seven weeks later, the Excel Centre became home to the first of the National Health Service’s Nightingale Hospitals (temporary hospitals to help with the pandemic).
As a result of Covid-19, overnight, companies around the world had to change how they did business. Almost a year on, everything that possibly can be done virtually or remotely is still being done that way. We were very fortunate that Walpole Partnership was set up to operate remotely, so as a business we didn’t have to make many changes due to the pandemic, although we do miss meeting our clients and seeing each other in person at our quarterly team meetings. So what are some of the results of the changes in the way that so many did business so quickly?
Firstly, there has been an accelerated uptake of organisations moving to the cloud. It really has surpassed what anyone could have anticipated, and at an extraordinary pace. Companies that had not moved their business already are now realising the huge benefits of cloud-based technology, including its flexibility and functionality.
Secondly, organisations have had to adapt and learn to do business both strategically and operationally, all remotely and virtually and have realised that it is possible to do this with success! Here at Walpole Partnership, we are able to do everything from discovery sessions to implementations as well as supporting with the ongoing care of a system from a distance. Our systems were already in place to accommodate all of this, but some businesses have had to learn, and with speed.
Finally, and as a result of so much moving online, those precious moments of catching up around the water cooler have been lost for huge numbers of people and teams across the globe. In normal times, although the Walpole Partnership team only got together four or five times a year, we were able to spend time developing good working relationships as well as friendships. We’re not quite sure how other businesses have approached this on a regular basis, but we have three ‘chatty’ catchup calls scheduled throughout the working week, which are all enabled by cloud technology. Anyone in the business can join for a chat where we’re allowed talk about anything but work, and consequently, we’ve discussed some of the most random topics imaginable!
I have hope that we will see our clients in person, attend industry events and have our quarterly team meetings again soon, but for the moment, we are grateful to have the tools to be able to do this online. As many companies and industries around the world continue to work in hugely challenging circumstances, we feel incredibly lucky that our business has grown and thrived over the last year, whilst respecting that it’s not been the same for everyone.
‘One Year On’ was written by Walpole Partnership’s MD, Andy Pieroux.