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Lockdown diary: Nic Laschinger, Euphoria Telecom

Sibahle Malinga
By Sibahle Malinga, ITWeb senior news journalist.
Johannesburg, 15 May 2020
Nic Laschinger, CTO of Euphoria Telecom.
Nic Laschinger, CTO of Euphoria Telecom.

With most SMEs introducing work-from-home policies during the national lockdown, cloud-based call management software firm Euphoria Telecom has helped them seamlessly transition to remote working.

Using the company’s mobile app, businesses are able to transfer all their calls to their mobile phones and work from wherever they are. For call centres, employees are able to log into Euphoria Telecom’s Agent Workspace remotely, allowing agents to take and make phone calls while monitoring attendance and productivity.

Nic Laschinger, CTO of Euphoria Telecom, is a technical product architect, who has been heading up the development team at the company since the beginning of last year. He has been an entrepreneur in the technology space since 2005, when he started The Next Big Thing − doing seminars on future technology and its impact on business. In the following years, he founded ICT solutions firms SagacIT and VoIP Telephony.

In an interview with ITWeb, Laschinger explained that, with most of the company’s operational systems being Web-based, the lockdown has not brought about drastic changes to Euphoria Telecom’s day-to day staff operations.

ITWeb: Describe briefly how you have organised your operations during the lockdown?

Laschinger: Fortunately, our operational systems are all Web-based, so there were not too many changes to be made here. However, certain things just could not happen, such as on-site installations, so those were put on hold during level five lockdown and are only being conducted on-site if absolutely necessary and remote installation still isn’t viable now that we are on level four.

Only a few staff are needed in the offices to handle logistics such as shipping of hardware to clients, the rest can easily work at home, and they are doing that.

ITWeb: What technical considerations did you have to get right? Laptops and connectivity for staff, improving your VPN, beefing up security?

Laschinger: We adopted a laptop approach for staff several years back, so machines were already available. Since the majority of our operational systems are Web-based, the main challenge was getting staff who had no Internet access, connected.

ITWeb: What HR issues did you have to consider? How many of your staff are now working from home? Have any staff been put on leave?

Laschinger: Productivity and performance are things we have noticed we need to keep an eye on as certain roles are more difficult to measure. All of our staff except for two are working remotely, and none of our staff have been put on leave, although a few have voluntarily taken leave now and again.

ITWeb: Which platform are you using for virtual meetings?

Laschinger: Zoom.

ITWeb: What other tools are you using to keep track of projects / teams / monitor employees’ work?

Laschinger: We have certain productivity reporting within our own hosted call centre platform that we are using, as well as a mix of task-based reporting from our workflow application, and in certain teams we have implemented a daily report-back on projects and tasks.

ITWeb: How have your clients adapted to the new normal?

Laschinger: We have offered our clients the use of our mobile app free for this period. This, coupled with our primary offering − the Euphoria cloud-based telephony system − has meant that a number of our customers have been able to transition their telephony for remote work, and their staff can still receive their extension calls as if they were in the office.

ITWeb: What have you learned since the lockdown began?

Laschinger: Making a business remote-capable technically is not the same as making a business remote-ready; the human aspect is far under-looked and company culture is tough to maintain in a remote business.