We moved the business to Portugal and no one noticed!

This weekend we took the whole of our business away to Portugal for our annual company retreat and none of our customers realised! That’s quite an amazing feat when you consider that we run a 24x7x365 operation providing business critical IT services to some of the largest businesses in the UK.

So how did we manage to pull off this feat without jeopardising the quality of service we were providing to our clients or anyone noticing? Well a little bit of planning and using the wonders of the technology that we build for our clients. We love to drink our own champagne and we preach to our clients about the wonders of being able to work from any location, at any time, on any device and on any Internet connection, and so that is exactly what we did.

The Logistics

Half the business packed up their bags at 5:30pm on Thursday and headed to the airport whilst the other half manned the out of hours’ support service and security operation centres. A few lemonades later and spread across two EasyJet flights (our MD is tight) the first tranche of staff were on their way to sunny Portugal whilst the other half were defending the world from cyber-crime and performing maintenance work on some of our client’s platforms.

Anywhere Anytime

Of course, the guys and girls on the plane used that time constructively, using Citrix ShareFile to work offline knowing that their work would sync back to the company network as soon as they landed. OK, that was a big stretch on the truth but I couldn’t find another way to plug the offline working capabilities that we use across our business! You can read more about our mobility and flexible working solutions here.

Flexible Working

The team work out a little shift pattern for the weekend to ensure that there is always someone dealing with calls and incidents and then they head out for dinner. The next morning everyone is as fresh as a daisy and there is not a hangover in sight (well kind of). Team A open their laptops on one of the terraces, plug in a headset and boom they are up and running whilst Team B dashes to the airport to join us in the sun.

It literally was that easy, all our IT systems are available to us from anywhere in the world and we can literally use any device to get to our call logging system, SOC tools, phones, files, and so on. Did any of our clients know that their call was being answered by Sam from the support team, sitting in his budgie smugglers sipping on a Mojito? Nope, not one of them. To be honest that’s a good thing as no one needs to have that image. Did we all smile a little when clients asked what the weather was like where we were? Yes, we did!

Of course, it wasn’t all work, work, work, whilst we were away but it was a seamless experience for our clients as well as being a good test of our Business Continuity process if our buildings were not accessible.

Thinking of making your workplace more Agile? The move to mobility is a journey that needs to be planned. Metaphor IT has first-hand experience in helping organisations find the right balance between flexibility and security.