At SmartVault, we have a monthly all-hands meeting where we discuss our business outcomes, what’s working and where we can improve. But last week’s meeting was different – instead of music and a big gathering over Potbelly sandwiches – I was staring at a screen full of thumbnail images of our team, coming to join the call from various rooms in their homes that have become their ‘work zones’ – a kitchen table, a home office, a porch or patio, a dresser in a bedroom. And I was incredibly humbled by our new normal. A normal that now consists of Zoom meetings and virtual happy-hours and check-ins. But more than that, a normal that includes very personal glimpses of each other’s lives, our homes, our kids, spouses and partners – even our pets. A normal that now feels a bit more human as we support each other through unprecedented change that results, for most of us, in an emotional arc that ranges from grateful to heartbreaking. There is no doubt that this team staring back at me from the Gallery view of Zoom, at this moment, has made me a better leader. Talk about a silver lining.
The SmartVault Reboot – More Investment in Product & Customer Success
Last fall, we started two new epics that play a key role in our reboot story. The first is to make the SmartVault product better performing, more intuitive and easier to use with:
- A completely redesigned user interface for the SmartVault portal
- A more intuitive interface for people you share documents with
- New features to support a more efficient document-based workflow and,
- Some new products (in early development!)
And the second is simply to invest in making our customers more successful when using the SmartVault platform – whether you are new to SmartVault or have been a decades-long user with:
- A much more robust learning portal to help you get the most out of SmartVault and,
- A dedicated customer success team to partner with you from onboarding to ongoing training to help guide your interactions with SmartVault
Over the next few months, you’ll hear much more about these initiatives which have really galvanized our team and have brought me so much personal pride knowing that we’re creating more value for you – the users of our platform.
Protecting the Financial Security of our Team
We are incredibly fortunate to be in a position to have said very clearly to our staff from the outset, that there will be no layoffs as a result of COVID-19. This is a bold statement, but we recognize that our ability to provide financial security for our team is the most meaningful act we can do as an employer. If we can support our employee’s income levels and help our team members balance work and wellness, they in turn can do their best job of supporting you.
Business Continuity and Our Contribution
The impact of COVID-19 on this generation will be the subject of scientific, social and economic researchers for decades to come. And I’ll leave that to the experts, however, I do think we can start drawing some likely outcomes:
- Remote working in some form is here to stay
- Enabling business continuity and new paradigms for working will require businesses to adapt to online solutions so that data and documents are accessible to staff and that sharing data can be done in a secure, compliant way
- Client-service based businesses will need to leverage tech solutions to maintain high degree of service levels with clients while reducing face-to-face interactions,
- And care needs to be taken with regards to data security, with a greater need for cybersecurity training, especially in industries where compliance mandates dictate how documents are stored, accessed and shared
I’m proud that SmartVault can contribute in a small way to enable our customers to keep their businesses running, with secure access to documents for their employees, partners and clients. We will continue investing to grow the value of our product and the way we support our customers so, in turn, we can hire more people in our community to join our team – and that is a goal we are passionate about achieving.
Some of the greatest innovations in the world have come from periods of adversity. So, I choose to focus my thoughts on not what is today, but what might be five years from now. The inspiration that will ignite a level of creativity and innovation in so many industries will surely contribute to support the safety and wellness of every member of our own personal and professional community – and that is the ultimate silver lining for all of us.
Stay safe and thank you for your continued support,