In the midst of a global pandemic with a seismic shift of people suddenly working from home, my team and I saw a learning opportunity for our industry. It is clear that almost all businesses are on an accelerated digital journey and this moment in time provides a unique opportunity to gain insights on what we could be doing better, what we might be missing, and what could be the longer term implications.
We thought a great way to gain these insights would be to speak with executives on the front lines, the CIOs and VPs making the hard decisions and experiencing first-hand the changes that will move us forward. That kind of conversation and learning is what we aim to generate with our new videocast, Executive Insights. I thought a great guest speaker to have in our premiere episode was Schneider Electric’s own CIO and SVP Elizabeth Hackenson, who somehow managed to triple our internet bandwidth as we went from 20 million minutes of video calls per month, to 60 million. Elizabeth and her team enabled more than 100,000 employees all over the globe to work from home, sometimes accomplishing this monumental task in only 48 hours.
In January, Elizabeth first heard about COVID-19 and, since then, it has been her main focus, starting in China, then the rest of the world. It was intriguing to hear what she had to say about the challenges she encountered, from accelerating our company’s move to Microsoft Teams and the cloud, to quickly going from 30,000 VPN licenses to more than 100,000.
“I think there will be now an acceleration to the cloud without a doubt, and companies that haven’t even put their toe in being digital and monitoring remote, they’re going to do it now,” she said.
Watch the Premiere Executive Insights Episode
Don’t miss Elizabeth’s key takeaways on how Schneider Electric equipped the vast majority of its 135,000 employees so they could work from home and maintain business continuity. This is the first of what I hope will be many episodes where executives share insights about how they faced and met the challenges of our current global crisis and what we can learn from their experiences.