Zoom makes Basic-Fit optimally in shape for a remote work situation
More and better remote collaboration and teamwork, across multiple systems and on all available devices: that was Basic-Fit’s new goal late in 2019. They had already spent a lot of time on the integration of Microsoft Teams and the existing Cisco hardware but, in the end, Zoom proved to be the missing link. After Duppal supported the successful Proof-of-Concept, Zoom became the go-to method within the entire international organization. Basic-Fit managed to get the infrastructure for remote collaboration and teamwork ready to go just before the widely enforced lockdowns and working-from-home guidelines due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Franklin de Vocht, IT Director at Basic-Fit, explains how people have assimilated to remote collaboration and the Zoom platform so easily and within just a year – Basic-Fit never wants to do without it again.
First introduction to Zoom
Basic-Fit's first introduction to Zoom was not with the Meetings Platform but with its Webinar tool. As more Basic-Fit gyms were opened, people had to get acquainted with the world of Basic-Fit in a very short time. This was easily done via several webinars. Meanwhile, the demand within the organization for more and better remote ways to work together grew rapidly. ‘We spent a lot of time and effort on the integration between our Cisco hardware and Microsoft Teams but that was easier said than done, especially as we had our external participants to accommodate. My personal wish, for instance, was to be able to join a meeting while I was driving. That's why we started looking for a solution with the option for video calling across multiple systems. And Zoom offered the best performance,’ says Franklin.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating
Basic-Fit contacted Duppal for the company-wide implementation of Zoom. Franklin: ‘We wanted to move quickly, so working with a company with a broad knowledge and experience with Zoom, plus a great track record of successful implementations, made perfect sense. Together with Duppal, a Proof-of-Concept was set up that did trial runs for a month with 25 employees, including several key roles within the Basic-Fit organization. ‘We had to make sure that people supported the concept and show them how user-friendly Zoom is. When they realize this, you can make a joint decision that will be adopted by everyone.’ After a month, a survey among the users provided a thorough assessment of the trial period and it turned out that the participants were hugely positive and enthusiastic. Franklin: ‘I really enjoyed the moment that I joined a Zoom meeting with people at the office, in cars, and on iPads. It didn't matter where they were, they could just join the conversation – which was exactly what I wanted.’
Rapid implementation and adoption
After the successful Proof-of-Concept, the implementation and adoption phase, supported by Duppal, followed rapidly. And then it became spring 2020 and Basic-Fit, like so many other organizations, suddenly had to switch to working from home. The implementation carried out by Duppal includes five Zoom Rooms, the integration with the existing Cisco hardware, and the organization of training programs for our users. Zoom hardly needed an internal promotion campaign as its use was already supported broadly. Franklin: ‘Suddenly, everyone had to stay at home while we had to have intensive meetings about the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on our business. So you can start calling and emailing people, but communication works a lot faster when you can video call. The fact that Zoom was so easily adopted by our staff is certainly one of the reasons why we are happy to use it, but the user-friendliness of the system, the way the Proof-of-Concept was set up, and the training sessions given by Duppal also helped greatly.
Meet Duppal support
Only a year after the fast implementation, Zoom has already become an integral part of the Basic-Fit organization and new webinars to share news or onboard and train instructors are continuously organized. Zoom Meetings is always used for meetings that include external parties. ‘We benefit from Duppal’s knowledge and expertise whenever we can or need to,’ says Dennis Mandema, Network Engineer and Zoom Administrator at Basic-Fit: ‘Duppal helped us solve various issues. For instance, when we experienced a problem with the image quality and they shared the best practices concerning security. Duppal also offers support for the technical integration of Zoom Rooms with Microsoft Teams or if our users have questions about whether to use the Meetings or the Webinars tool.’ Franklin is ready to add: ‘When I think that something might be done more easily or logically, I need a partner that can check the feasibility and find a solution. Duppal is a great help in doing that.’ Dennis: ‘Our communication with Duppal is very pleasant and easy-going, and whenever I pose a question in our Meet Duppal Room, they always respond fast.’
From a remote to a hybrid work situation
How does Basic-Fit look back on the past year and, even more importantly, how does it see its future? Franklin: ‘I'm very glad that we had already started this process before we faced the huge COVID-19 outbreak. Because when the situation deteriorated so quickly, we no longer had to deal with the stress of all sorts of start-up and technical issues.’ For the future, Franklin mainly focuses on the options that Zoom offers for a hybrid work situation. ‘I do believe that people want to come back to the office but, on the other hand, I also think that traveling (abroad) for just one meeting will be a thing of the past. These meetings can be held perfectly online. Working together with multiple people, on different devices and from different locations has been made so much easier and commonplace.
Naturally, technological developments never stop and Basic-Fit will always keep an open mind and won’t stop looking for ways to organize things better and more economically. Working from any location will also affect future telephony solutions. ‘I no longer have a landline phone in my office but I also don't want to be constantly disturbed by my work on my cell phone. So I definitely see a future for a softphone option like Zoom Phone.’
A successful transition
All in all, Franklin can reflect on a successful trajectory: ‘Duppal and Basic-Fit have made huge steps in a short period of time by showing users how they can use Zoom so they can find their way around the tool quickly. The current working-from-home situation is an enforced one, of course, but I can see that this step we've taken towards remote collaboration plus investing in a solid collaboration tool definitely works for the alignment and interaction between people. I also now know that the introduction of such an application is not that complicated and daunting you'd think because people are more than willing to adopt it!’