Have you ever needed to work but were unable to go into the office?
Most people will answer; “Yes, of course!”
Now, imagine trying to work remotely, but the only device you had was your smartphone. The tiny screen; auto-rotate; Reading PDF contracts that are 30 pages long; trying to process payroll; do Excel calculations. Let me tell you, it gets aggravating in next to no time!
After a few days of this, our client called in utter frustration saying he needed a better solution and had gotten his boss’s permission to buy a laptop. Could I recommend an affordable device that they could use to work remotely? The top priorities, in this case, was budget and time, but as always, our client expected acceptable quality for their important business computing use. He needed it today or as soon as possible. My budget was $500.
To avoid shipping delays, I started looking locally to see what was available that would work for our client. Store after store was out of stock. Completely. They had no business-class devices left. I started calling each one to see if there was anything forgotten in the back, but none were found. The closest option was hours away and about $200 over budget – there was no way was that going to be feasible. I even called our refurbished workstation partner, Ginstar.
Zero – I struck out again. We could not find any feasible machines that would fit any of the client’s needs.
Time to think outside the box.
I called Catherine to see if she had any ideas. While talking it over, we remembered that we had a spare laptop that we use for interns available, since our latest Apprentice had just bought his own laptop for onsite visits. If we used that, our client wouldn’t have to wait for weeks for the urgently needed device.
Great! This would be a perfect temporary solution. It also gave me a fantastic opportunity to further our Apprentice training on rapid provisioning. (Win-Win!)
After a quick work/training session, Steven and I had a functional laptop ready for use that same afternoon and Catherine offered to deliver the laptop to the client’s office (she wanted to keep exposure of MSP IT Partners employees to a minimum during the pandemic). We’re just loaning it to them. No charge.
The next morning, the laptop was successfully delivered, and the user was relieved that they no longer had to rely on a phone to work.