After a week when most of Atlanta was out of work and stuck at home due to a massive snow event —which will go down in history as "Snowmageddon 2010," —you’d think CSM Research President Frank Saunders would be anxious to get back to work. Thanks to the remote access DynaSis's ITility service provided during the storm, Saunders felt blissfully at ease.
“Actually, I hated to come back,” says Sanders. “Being able to use ITility by DynaSis was a great thing because we were able to complete all of our work from home. Except for not having access to the Post-it notes on our desks, it was just like being in the office.”
Saunders and his 50 Atlanta employees are now loyal fans of ITility by DynaSis, the hosted platform they use for secure access to their Microsoft Office and proprietary applications as well as Microsoft Exchange.
ITility by DynaSis has enabled CSM Research to take advantage of workshifting, an increasingly popular productivity builder for companies large and small. With workshifting, employees can work when and where they choose, because corporate data and applications are hosted in the cloud and accessible over any Internet connection. DynaSis's ITility by DynaSis offers precisely that solution, making it a perfect fit for firms that want to adopt workshifting.
“We have folks with young kids, and when they have a sick child they can stay home and work; when they need to be home from 12-4 to meet the repairman, we can accommodate that, too," continues Saunders. "ITility by DynaSis is great for allowing our people to work whenever and wherever they need to.”
During Snowmageddon 2010, when CSM Research and the rest of Atlanta were housebound for a week, ITility by DynaSis and workshifting helped Saunders' team not miss a beat. They were emailing and calling each other and conducting business as usual. That was important for CSM Research, a leading customized integrated surveys and focused data collection provider with a national client base.
"Most of our clients are located around the country and not in Atlanta," says Saunders." They didn’t know we were down or that Atlanta was snowed in. We continued work without interruption. Our clients didn't have to wonder if they might need another firm because we go down in bad weather."
Of course, his employees missed the interpersonal engagement aspects of physically being in the office, which he says helps them "manage a diverse set of clients with a lot of balls in air." Nevertheless, his team quickly made up the week of collaboration time they missed, and unless his clients happened to follow Atlanta weather, they never knew anything was amiss.
"One of our clients is large entertainment industry firm, and they wanted to know if we could facilitate surveys over a smartphone," says Saunders. "They sent an inquiry while we were all working from home, and our team was able to do research, collaborate and respond quickly to the client, even though no one was in the office."
Saunders says one IT employee—who doesn't like having a duplicate workstation at home—came into the office. He sent ongoing reports to his remote coworkers about how bad the ice was. "There is nothing worse than ruining your day by sliding down a hill in the ice, running into a tree and doing thousands of dollars worth of damage to your car," says Saunders. With DynaSis, ITility by DynaSis and workshifting on the scene, the only thing CMS Research employees were hitting was their weekly production goals.