The COVID-19 crisis continues to place undue strain on businesses, economies, and individuals alike. It’s now more important than ever that organizations put in place the necessary frameworks for secure, efficient distributed work. This includes not only enabling staff to work remotely, but ensuring leadership can keep in touch with employees for both matters of collaboration and personal wellness.
Novalink, a Swiss managed service provider with over two decades of experience in the industry, understands this well. Based near Zürich, Switzerland, the company works with approximately 250 businesses in the Swiss market, providing IT infrastructure, business administration, and enterprise mobility to clients across multiple sectors. It is also one of BlackBerry’s oldest partners.
“Novalink was founded in 1996, and we’ve been working with BlackBerry since around 2002,” says Zekeria Oezdemir, CTO of Novalink. “In that time, BlackBerry has established itself as one of the strategic cores of our portfolio. Its products have, in many ways, been instrumental to our business – especially during the pandemic.”
In the first weeks of the pandemic, as organizations began to realize its severity, professional services firms like Novalink were, says Oezdemir, especially busy. Companies were scrambling to find a way to give employees secure access to corporate data and resources, struggling to embrace a distributed workforce they never saw coming. Amidst this chaos, Novalink worked tirelessly to help customers stay connected and operational, while also bringing in several new clients.
“People aren’t in the office anymore,” explains Oezdemir. “They’re working from home, and they need to be able to do that securely.”
The transition was more difficult for some of Novalink’s clients than it was for others. Those that already had a large distributed workforce supported by solutions like BlackBerry® Access or BlackBerry® Desktop only needed to purchase a few additional licenses. They otherwise already had the infrastructure in place.
One of Novalink’s major clients, for instance, has now ordered a thousand more licenses for BlackBerry Access to better enable remote work. Another client was previously unfamiliar with distributed work and was introduced to BlackBerry Access by Novalink. It has now issued an internal mandate that every new product and service must be web-based so that it can be used through BlackBerry Access.
“In addition to changing how we work, the pandemic has changed the decision-making process,” Oezdemir notes. “Before COVID-19, every single use case and deployment needed to be painstakingly discussed, requiring as many as a hundred approvals internally. Now, however, things are happening much faster – people are starting to understand how quickly things can change, and that they must be more agile where software is concerned.”
“I think this is something a lot of people have learned in the past few months – that working from everywhere is not a bad thing,” he concludes. “I think we’re going to see a change in mindset in the coming years.”