Create a Remote Connected Workforce
As IT adapts to the rapidly changing business landscape, longer-term IT projects have taken a back seat to a more urgent priority: Keeping newly remote employees connected and collaborating while ensuring security and business continuity. Whether a medical facility, manufacturer, or Fortune 100 company, Black Box is designing, deploying, and managing the optimal IT infrastructure, network, mobility, and communications solutions for clients around the globe. Black Box gets your remote workforce up and running – and we keep them that way.
A large financial services company, and longtime Black Box customer, called us on a Saturday with an urgent request. The company needed 50,000 CATx patch cords delivered to their east coast headquarters by Monday. The cables were going to be used to enable remote workers. The Black Box team dropped everything and went to work immediately. The team sourced and shipped nearly 40,000 cables from our own technology products division warehouse and the rest from other suppliers and other Black Box inventories. To accomplish this two-day turnaround took an incredible team effort, especially over a weekend. The cables arrived as promised on Monday morning, and the company was able to set up its remote workforce.
Like its counterparts around the country, one midwestern health system was setting up outdoor triage tents to test and assess patients in a safe area. The hospital called Black Box for our expertise in cabling, but they had one request: the project had to be done in eight hours. Black Box quickly installed the heavy-duty, outdoor cable in just one day and provided emergency support for move, add, and change requests.
One major healthcare system with four hospitals and multiple clinics is in an area hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. The state and the Centers for Disease Control asked the system to turn one of its former hospitals, utilized as an outpatient clinic, back into a hospital to accommodate 102 COVID-19 patients. Black Box helped by installing two UG 50s to the existing NEC SV9500 IP system to support phones in the patient rooms and nurse/admin stations.
In preparation for a surge in COVID-19 cases, a major metropolitan university/teaching hospital system needed to update its contact center. One of our full-time, on-site technicians managed to squeeze days of work into hours to accommodate the request. Six other on-site Black Box techs set up a command center and phones in the outside triage areas. In addition, another tech spent a weekend on the phone helping hospital staff enable remote working and remote call forwarding.
A major hospital system and current Black Box client called on us to help them set up multiple triage tents at several locations. The tents required running armored cable, setting up wireless access points, adding cameras, and more. The problem was the hospital needed the project to be done in one day instead of the initially requested three days. Black Box accomplished what was thought undo-able and now has techs stationed on-site as an extension of the hospital IT staff.
One of the largest providers of emergency air medical transportation in the U.S. has developed a strategic relationship with Black Box over the years. Because of the “first responder” nature of the business, the company’s two contact centers, which we installed and continue to support, are highly sophisticated and are more like a command-and-control center than a typical call center. We had just started working with the company on a project designed to strategically locate 30 remote agents in different areas of the country for improved disaster recovery when COVID-19 hit. In just ten days, which included global shipping, we provided everything needed (hardware/software) to connect remote agents across the country over IP to the main UC systems.
A large insurance underwriter in the Midwest is an essential business and could not shut down during the pandemic. To protect employees, the company wanted to send 300 call center agents home to work. But because of the nature of the business, the company did not have a remote working model in place but rather an extremely secure premise-based system, which Black Box had installed and continues to maintain. The company contacted us for an immediate solution. Within 48 hours, we were able to quote and process 300 softphone licenses and had our technicians install the system remotely. We also provided remote training for the agents as well as all project management for the new system.
A professional association sent 250 employees to work at home during the pandemic. Unfortunately, what happened was more like pandemonium. Because all employee direct numbers had to be forwarded to ring a new number, the association was using two paths for every call and quickly ran out of call paths. The result was constant busy signals for members and employees. The association reached out to Black Box on a Thursday afternoon, by Friday, we provided 10 “test” SIP call paths over the customer’s existing Dedicated Internet access. We also arranged a call between vendor engineering, the association, and the SIP service provider. By Monday, we were able to activate 150 SIP call paths. In a matter of hours, the client was able to place calls using the new SIP call paths. The client was happy, and we concentrated months of work into days.
An international pizza chain knew COVID-19 was going to affect its business. The customer anticipated an overload of delivery orders concurrent with a reduction of in-restaurant employees as all walk-in business is virtually eliminated. The company wanted a way to optimize in-store order efficiency as the number of employees was reduced as well as enable failover to another store in case a store is unable to open. The company reached out to us. The solution was a CPaaS system that enables Short Message Service (SMS) texting as well as routing customer phone calls for ordering through an automated Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system. The IVR was configured to send text messages when the pizza leaves the stores and the driver arrives at the doorstep to leave a pizza enabling contactless delivery.
A national elder-care home in Tennessee experienced a communications crisis during the COVID-19 pandemic. The facility’s aging phone system completely stopped working and left clinicians, administration, and patients with no service. This was a critical communication failure, especially as families could not contact their loved ones by phone. Black Box received the call for help on a Thursday. By Saturday, the facility had a modern communications system installed and by Sunday 100 percent of the phones were operational.
A large pharmaceutical company had been working round the clock to produce COVID-19 tests. The company produced two million tests in just three weeks. But as the pandemic worsened and spread, the company had to enable remote working for one hundred of its engineers. They called Black Box. We were able to implement a home-agent solution and reprogram their UC from a premise-based model to a remote model.
Black Box recently finished outfitting a new healthcare help desk with a Cisco contact center. The center was not open long when COVID-19 hit, and all the agents were sent home. The company called us, and we made remote access happen with the right devices, software, and licenses, etc. In addition, we helped the company increase their network bandwidth to accommodate the remote workers. What started as a 100-agent center supporting nationally known healthcare systems is now a 250-agent center handling emergency COVID-19 calls.
Clinicians at one major metropolitan hospital system are on the front lines and report to work every day. But the healthcare system wanted to protect administrative staff not involved in patient care. The system contacted Black Box and within a few days we procured and implemented 130 Multiline Client Mobile licenses to enable remote working.
In preparation for COVID-19 cases, a major healthcare system with three hospitals and 400 plus clinics was setting up triage tents in the parking lots of its hospitals. The Director of Telecommunications called Black Box and placed an expedited order of 2,000 mobile communications systems, including licenses, for its workers at the three hospitals. They requested that the materials be shipped immediately. The Black Box team powered through the request, and all the communications sets arrived at the three hospitals two business days after the request came in.
With the surge of cases in the pandemic, one university hospital, like others across the country, created new areas specifically to treat COVID-19 patients. Black Box helped enable wireless communications for doctors and nurses with a very expeditious expansion of the hospital’s existing DAS as well as handling carrier engagement.
The COVID-19 pandemic is challenging healthcare workers in unimaginable ways. One hospital system needed a way to track both equipment and staff, particularly in new COVID-19 100 percent isolation units. Black Box stepped in and provided a new RTLS. The system is designed to reduce the hoarding of critical equipment assuring infection control and supporting excessively high utilization numbers. In addition, the system supports clinician handheld devices being used in triage areas and hospitals.
Black Box helped one southern hospital enable communications in outdoor triage tents and specially designated drive-through areas in parking garages. We installed Wi-Fi so the clinicians could assess patients with handheld devices. They also used the Wi-Fi to set up web meetings with doctors using computer-mounted cameras.
A major metropolitan university hospital greatly accelerated its planned opening of a newly constructed 1.5-million-square-foot hospital building from 12 months to just a few weeks to accommodate demand for healthcare services during the pandemic. The hospital system outlined how it wanted to bring 240 new patient beds in 120 patient rooms on five floors into immediate operation. Black Box had planned to deploy critical cellular voice and data communications over several months. Instead, Black Box delivered cellular services throughout two emergency department floors and three patient floors in just 12 days, two days ahead of the urgent deadline.
One of the largest bakeries in North America is known for its popular brands, freshness, and quality as well as its commitment to its employees. To that end, the bakery ordered 100 laptops to enable employees to work remotely and to ensure business continuity in case of prolonged COVID-19 disruption. The supplier put the shipment on hold reserving the laptops for government and healthcare clients. The bakery made its case that it was also essential in terms of meeting increased consumer demand and feeding the country, but to no avail. So the bakery reached out to us for assistance. Due to our strategic relationships, we were able to secure 98 remanufactured laptops that the bakery will use to replace those that fail in the field.