In our new format “Sales Blog” we will share objectives, observations and developments from the areas of presales and sales at ScriptRunner Software GmbH in regular field reports.
We would like to give our customers an insight into our daily work and give interested parties the opportunity to get to know ScriptRunner. Of course, we are also happy about any kind of exchange and reports of experience from others.
We will start to look at and work through the Coronacrisis from mid-March 2020.
Effects of the Corona crisis on working life at ScriptRunner
As early as 13.03.2020, all employees were working from their home offices – following the recommendations of the federal and state governments. The upcoming lockdown was only a question of time.
Thanks to modern working equipment and the use of cloud services, we had no obstacles whatsoever in the Sales and Marketing teams in the transition to work-from-home.
In our development and support teams, some Fat Clients are still in use, but even here only a few VPN changes were necessary.
Basically it can be said that we had no problems whatsoever with the changeover to the home office due to an enormously high degree of digitalization and automation.
Daily corporate meetings were held to assess the situation of the management and the team leads, as well as weekly team meetings. Furthermore, as a team we tried to use the video function of MS Teams as often as possible in addition to text chats. In this way we strengthened the team spirit and never lost touch with each other.
The communication with our international customers changed only minimally, as we had already previously conducted almost every sales/presales demo etc. via video and online presentation.
Professional Services, which in the past had partly taken place on site, could be switched to remote meetings in cooperation with our customers.
All workshops were conducted online until the end of May. Flexibility in duration and number of participants was agreed upon with the customer in advance, which in retrospect went without any problems!
Only since June 2020 have we been organizing workshops on site again at the customer’s request – naturally in compliance with all hygiene regulations.
Trade school in times of Corona
During the lockdown, the vocational school lessons initially took place exclusively online. The changeover was not without difficulties.
One would have expected a vocational school specializing in IT to have the resources and skills to make the switch without any problems. But far from it: Only after a classmate took the initiative 8 weeks (!) after the start of the lockdown and created MS Teams Meetings could the lessons be continued.
But even at this point, the teachers seemed overwhelmed. They clearly lacked the right structure and understanding of the technology. Some teachers were not available at all, so that their lessons were completely cancelled.
Impact of the crisis on ScriptRunner customers
We were already in close contact with our customers before the lockdown in order to discuss the possible consequences of Corona for the cooperation. This gave us valuable insights into the upcoming and ongoing changes on the customer side:
Licenses had to be adjusted and VPN changes in the infrastructure had to be implemented, on- and offboarding processes were sometimes problematic and very costly. All contacted customers confirmed a growing workload for the IT departments.
We also received confirmation of a more intensive use of ScriptRunner in the IT teams. Especially the possibility of easy and secure delegation of routine tasks was perceived as a relief and created free space for other, more important issues.
We perceived automation as a clear booster and strong support. Based on this insight, ScriptRunner provided an extended trial version from May to the end of July 2020 with the “Automation Booster” campaign, for 90 days of free automation and delegation.
The trend towards automation is also reflected in ScriptRunner’s sales development in the first half of 2020. We can announce a significant increase in sales compared to planning (more about this in part 2 – to follow shortly)!
Where there is light, there is also shadow.
The majority of our customers are in the enterprise segment (> 1000 users) or in the managed service provider environment. However, the development in the first half of the year was somewhat different for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) (up to 500 users).
Demand in the SME segment, which already accounted for only a small part of our business before the crisis began, declined even more. We see this as a clear sign of a lack of digitalization and automation among SMEs. In view of the overall economic situation and with a view to the future, we regard this as a very worrying development.
Impact on trade show participation, sponsoring and events
Already the first trade hsow we wanted to visit in 2020, the “Microsoft Ignite the Tour” in Amsterdam (11. – 12.03.2020) was cancelled without replacement due to Corona. Also the following events did not take place as planned: they were partly postponed to the end of the year, cancelled or replaced by online events.
The switch to virtual platforms ensured that the PowerShell community did not come to a standstill. Even though we believe that digital events are no substitute for face-to-face meetings and the opportunity to exchange information on site, we are still pleased that we were able to participate and help shape the following events:
Currently, it is planned that the first on-site event for ScriptRunner in 2020 will be Experts Live Switzerland, which has been postponed to September 30. We are keeping our fingers crossed for us and the organizers that ELCH 2020 can take place, but of course the safety and health of our colleagues and partners is also our top priority.
Conclusion first half-year
Finally, we would like to emphasize that close customer communication and modern working methods are indispensable, especially in crisis situations such as the one we are experiencing right now. Companies that are continuously developing in this area can react more flexibly to unforeseen circumstances, such as the radical change to the home office, and cope with them more easily.
Furthermore, automation plays an increasingly important role. Nevertheless, many companies are still in the early stages and still distinguish themselves by upscale manufacturing work in IT operations.
Especially in the SME environment, it is important to take the necessary steps towards automation, where the figures from the economy currently do not bode well.
If you take a look at the current summer holiday season, the motto now is: Welcome back, good old summer slump!
In the sales blog part 2 we look into the second half of 2020, more details will follow shortly.
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