Qualfon Corporation: Client Success Story
Qualfon Corporation is a business process outsourcing firm, operating with 15,000 employees in 28 locations throughout seven countries worldwide. They provide a range of third-party services to an extensive network of clients, including call center outsourcing, marketing, fulfillment, data and analytics, and more.
Remote Work During The COVID-19 Pandemic
IT resources have never been as important as they are now during the COVID-19 pandemic. In order for organizations to stay connected and productive while working remotely, they need the right technologies and processes in place.
Unfortunately, due to how quickly the pandemic developed, many businesses were unable to prepare for the shift to a remote work setting. Doing so would have required careful planning, methodical execution of new processes, and expert implementation of new technologies. And for an organization the size of Qualfon, the challenges posed are on an entirely different scale than those encountered by conventional SMBs.
“Most employees work out of brick and mortar call centers, and as soon as COVID hit, obviously we knew we had to be careful,” says Prashant Cherukuri, CIO. “We started getting hit with government-imposed restrictions (work from home, shelter in place). That created a huge problem for us.”
“Just imagine the loss of revenue and the hit the business would have taken if we hadn’t executed this work from home plan. Forthright really came through for us.”
Prashant Cherukuri, CIO, Qualfon Corporation
Prior to the COVID-19, Qualfon had no work-from-home plan in place. Fortunately, they had Forthright Technology Partners on their side.
“These guys at Forthright really came to our rescue,” says Prashant. “They came in with some creative ideas, there was no one way to do it, they gave us options which made it more affordable for us.”
Forthright immediately got to work to deliver controlled data access for users at home with appropriate controls in place according to Qualfon’s clients’ needs. They also implemented VOIP solutions and other lines of business applications to keep Qualfon’s employees productive at home.
“We moved from zero agents working at home, to 9000+ agents working at home,” says Prashant.
Forthright planned and executed a work-from-home strategy that allowed thousands of Qualfon’s employees to pivot to remote work in under a week’s time.
“Just imagine the loss of revenue and the hit the business would have taken if we hadn’t executed this work from a home plan,” says Prashant. “Forthright really came through for us. They had the right people working on it, we had some really good consultants from Forthright that helped us.”
Flexible IT Services
An organization of Qualfon’s size typically gets locked into annual contracts with vendors like Citrix. If they want the infrastructure and resources of a scale that supports their 15,000 employees around the world, the trade off is being stuck in a less-than-flexible contract.
This was particularly a concern when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and Qualfon was faced with the perfect storm. They had a large user population who needed to work from home who historically never did before, which meant their IT department needed to work out how they were going to securely deliver the users’ apps, desktops, and telephony services – in a matter of days, not months.
“Qulafon was faced with the perfect storm,” says Steve Zoberg, Chief Operating Officer, Forthright Technology Partners.“They had a large user population who needed to work from home who historically never did before. This meant the IT department needed to work out how they were going to securely deliver the users Apps, Desktops, and Telephony services in days not months.”
With the threat of the pending shutdown, Qualfon had no time to order additional equipment, provision the required hardware and VDI environment; even if they did, they wouldn’t have the time to provide the necessary training to support all of these new use cases.
However, thanks to their partnership with Forthright, Qualfon enjoys a more flexible arrangement for their Citrix services.
“They were able to give us pay as you go,” says Prashant. “Typically when you sign up with Citrix, you’re bound to them with an annual contract.”
Thanks to Forthright, Qualfon’s environment can “burst” each month, meaning they pay for the additional licenses they actually use on a month by month basis with no commitment. The ROI on burstable licensing during the COVID-19 pandemic is far preferable to be forced into an annual or three-year commitment.
The Forthright subscription solution leveraged professional services and Citrix cloud to rapidly scale Qualfon’s VDI footprint as well as act as a gateway for some users to securely connect to their PC already configured sitting in their offices. This avoided the necessity of additional training by providing secure and easy access to the desktop they were already using every day.
“I’m looking at saving anywhere from $150,000 to $200,000 in this year alone because I had this flexible pricing,” says Prashant. “The fact that we had this flexible option gave me the strength to go down and pursue this route.”
Even now, as the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be getting better in small ways day by day, Qualfon is planning to continue with a hybrid, flexible approach to service, using the arrangement they’ve developed with Forthright over the course of the pandemic.
“Even when things get back to normal, we’ll probably only bring 70% back and leave 30% working at home,” says Prashant. “When we go to new customers, we tell them we can do on-prem, we can do at home, or we can do a combination, so this has really opened up new avenues.”