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When an emergency roadside services provider realized they needed urgent help to create a remote call center, who did they trust? MicroAge—specifically, Adam Rankin and Rob Boring.

For many years, this client has trusted MicroAge for their IT needs. They are on a regular cadence of refreshing and adding end-user technology to keep up with needs as their workforce grows.

So early this year, when they were setting up a new office, they turned to Adam and Rob to equip it with everything necessary, including laptops, desktops, headsets, monitors, and monitor arms.

“We provided them with Dell seed units so they could test all of their applications in advance to make sure the systems would perform as needed,” notes Rob.

After putting the systems through the paces, the client determined that the Dell Latitude 5400 laptops, with D6000 docking stations were perfect for their needs, and ordered 400 units to start with, to be implemented over time.

“To help them manage the delivery of product as they needed it, we had 200 units delivered to the new site, and stored the other 200 at MicroAge’s warehouse to be deployed as needed,” says Adam.

But then, when news of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) began to spread along with the possibility that many organizations would consider a work from home policy, Adam called the IT director.

The Healthcare Crisis Demanded a Remote Call Center

“We discussed the news and what it would take to transition to a remote call center, with employees working from home,” says Adam. “I told her that if they wanted to prepare for a work from home strategy, we should pull the trigger now because inventory could get very scarce very quickly.”

The IT director and other company leaders agreed to implement a work from home policy to protect their employees’ health and to maintain the emergency services their customers depend on, giving Adam and Rob approval to order another 900 laptops.

“Call centers are densely populated, with operators sitting within about two feet of each other,” says Rob. “With health experts beginning to recommend a six-foot social distancing rule, a call center environment would not be workable.”

“This client’s call centers were considered essential services, fielding calls from stranded motorists and dispatching emergency help, so they couldn’t risk an outbreak of illness among their operators,” he explains.

“Companies around the world are facing the same dilemma: how to equip their employees to work from home,” says Adam. “And that means product—especially mobility technology like laptops—gets constrained very quickly. This is where MicroAge’s relationships with manufacturers, like Dell Technologies, benefit our clients.”

Adam and Rob immediately turned to Dell Technologies Account Manager Jason Fox, MicroAge’s dedicated Dell rep.

At MicroAge, Our Relationships Matter

“With so many organizations transitioning their workforce to a work from home model, lead times were not looking good,” says Jason. “But by connecting my channel-focused team with the Dell Direct team—which focuses on the end-user—we successfully requested a VP escalation, which took this order up the chain of command at Dell to prioritize it for the manufacturing team.”

“And because Adam and Rob have developed an excellent, trusted relationship with the client, they were able to set expectations. It truly was an ‘all-hands-on-deck’ scenario.”

Most of the 1,300 laptops were delivered within a week and a half—which, during a global pandemic, is remarkable.

“I can’t say enough about how our close partnership with Dell came through for the benefit of this client,” says Adam. “In addition to getting the order prioritized in the production process, there was also a complex logistics component. This was not just a few laptops being overnighted; on two separate occasions, Dell expedited an entire semitruck full of gear overnight, which was kind of amazing.”

The End Result

MicroAge’s role didn’t end with the arrival of the technology at the client site. The client did not have the staff in place to image and deploy the large rollout, so MicroAge Services provided onsite technicians to augment the client’s IT team.

In addition to getting the client’s remote call center workforce outfitted with their WFH gear, the MicroAge Services team is staying on to set up the new office so that it’s ready for the time when life gets back to some form of normalcy and employees can return.

“It feels good to play a part in helping an organization continue providing essential emergency services for their customers while keeping their workforce employed and healthy,” says Adam. “You hear the words a lot these days, but in this case, we really did ‘get through this together.’”

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