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Picture: 123RF/LIGHTWISE
Picture: 123RF/LIGHTWISE

Great innovation thrives in difficult times. Our country and our lives have been disrupted and some hard choices have had to be made by our government. The fault lines in our society have shown up deeply. And many of us looked back at history for learning and guidance. How did previous pandemics shape the world? How did previous difficult times unlock innovation? And there is solace in seeing that. And impetus in harnessing that.

The coronavirus crisis has changed everything and put us on a new path. BCX has reinvented the customer experience, and its innovative products are changing the way people learn, live and work. Never before have we lived with such speed and agility: Bringing digital transformation into pop-up call centres for the The National Institute for Communicable Diseases in 48 hours; creating track-and-trace technology in less than three weeks; and helping our society by slowing down this virus as quickly as possible so we can get back to business.

And what will business look like next week? Or the week after that? The world will never be the same. BCX has been reflecting on what it wants to create post-Covid-19. The company has seen productivity levels increase despite difficult working environments.

Value creation has been redefined and teams have been working through the night so that businesses can be operational during a global pandemic. It’s not just about the delivery but about the troubleshooting and the innovation that happens in the midnight hours as hurdle after hurdle is overcome.

BCX has turned the traditional notion of customer experience on its head as it moves with resilience and agility to greenlight projects, open the doors on remote call centres, and tick off “another first for Africa”. This is testament to a new spirit growing in its organisation.

The Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 gave rise to national health institutes in Europe, while the Great Depression and the Second World War saw the formation of a welfare state. Global warming forced the Paris Agreement on climate change in 2016. The world responds and adapts. It is forever creating a new normal. What will the new normal be when the dark cloud of the Covid-19 crisis passes? 

We have already begun to live it. It has pushed fast-forward on the digital transformation of our country and the continent. How will the technology industry be able to look back and say it helped drive initiatives and changes that made SA a better country? 

Less than a month ago, working from home was seen as a luxury and an unwieldy way to work. Now there are entire call centres operating remotely — seamlessly, professionally and efficiently servicing clients who have also been forced to stay at home. Millions of children around the world are able to continue their school years via streaming. Retail outlets have adapted, swiftly transforming from physical shop fronts to full-service, online stores across the board, from small bakeries to the largest supermarkets.

Medical advice and help is a call or a click away. BCX can track and trace those infected with the virus, using this information to plot its spread and curtail it. The information gathered can be used to identify high-risk areas, as well as those with lower infection rates.

There are tough trading times ahead. But BCX looks to the innovators of the past, present and future. It is possible to thrive in difficult times — and BCX will continue to innovate.

This article was paid for by BCX.