A 'My View' article by Richard Brewster, Technical Director

The events of last week and the way that the “Beast from the East” brought parts of Britain to a standstill inspired me to write an article outlining just how much technology enabled us to continue to support our growing client base with no noticeable drop in service levels, in fact, it had the opposite effect. Over the last week there have been many posts on social media criticising colleagues/friends, both in jest and in all seriousness, for not taking to the roads and battling their way to their desks in the office.

I appreciate a number of services do have to go to their place of work and this has been highlighted with all of the school closures (both of my children were off Wednesday, Thursday and Friday). I’m also aware that the local hospital was using a 4×4 to pick up staff from collection points around the town to ensure that service levels were maintained. The difference is we work in an industry where we can have a decentralised delivery and service team, but still maintain the high standard of delivery our clients enjoy and expect.

An example in point was that Derby was hit with the worst snow for 5 years on Wednesday. We ended up with 4 of the support team and a couple of the service team “snowed in” with no safe way of reaching the office. This is where technology and the trust we have in our great team at Smith Cooper made the difference.

Our support teams were logged in and working remotely from laptops with all of the access they would have from their desks. Calls could be transferred and answered and emails received and handled as normal using our Office 365 platform.

I was logged in and working from 8:00am when normally I’m still on the road to the office at that time. Later that day I took a time out to take the kids to the top of the road for half an hours sledging and then got straight back into work (after keeping one eye on emails on my phone and the other on a 6 year old flying down a hill). That evening I installed a Sage 200 modification that our developers in Newcastle had written earlier that day, from my home office, onto a site in Nottingham, out of hours with no down time.

Having analysed our response times using our cloud based reporting system, we actually saw an upturn in the amount of calls cleared and an increase in the turnaround time, with the teams working remotely. Client service improved and staff moral increased, as no one felt there was any pressure to come into the office for the sake of coming into office in, frankly, dangerous conditions.

Trust and technology are at the heart of our business, both for our own staff and our customers,  so if you are looking for a progressive Sage Partner or looking to work for one, don’t hesitate to contact us on 01332 58715 or


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