14 July 2020

The hunt for laptops! Thousands of laptops configured for teleworking in record time

2:00 Min

This is the story of Romania IT team efforts to enable all employees to work safely from home. Sounds easy, but the story below tells a different tale.

A record number of connections

“It all started after Sunday, February 23rd” recalls Daniel Radu, Head of IT support. “We received a high alert communication from corporate, asking all our personnel to stay at home. The epidemic had now turned into a global pandemic and was affecting everyone. We had no choice but immediately get to work, setting up as many connections as we needed to make sure all staff felt supported.”

Daniel and his team started with 120 online connections. By the end of April, they had a record of 2,365 online connections up and running.

The initial task was to get as many laptops as possible. Thus, began the widespread hunt for laptops. “First, we took everything available from the Group. Then, thanks to our colleagues in procurement, we took just about every small inventory found at local providers. We were probably among the first and only company to make urgent purchases of entire inventories full of laptops,” remembers Daniel.

A laptop’s long journey to the end user

The way the process works is that all laptops need to go through a two-hour set up routine. At a certain point in time, the IT Support team office looked like a car assembly line more than a head office. “Most of the HEOF colleagues probably recall the infamous queue on the 15th floor, where usually everyone orders their lunch, now turned into a pickup station for laptops,” says Daniel.

“Somewhere between March and April we thought we could get in a little relaxation time to rest. At that point, we thought the branches would not require more laptops, but… it wasn’t the case! On April 1st we had to get hundreds of laptops ready for the branches and we managed to get them ready in only 2 weeks. On 15th of April UniCredit Group Security notified that IT employees and consultants were no longer permitted to access the system from personal stations. Therefore, we had to urgently configure 200 additional laptops and revive the 15th Floor queue again,” he adds.

By the time Romania entered the state of emergency, every single laptop that was delivered to a staff member meant more than just a computer for smartworking: it served as a morale boost for the Group, proving they were ahead of the curve, prepared and armed for a difficult and challenging journey ahead.

“It was crazy but looking back, but I can say there was beauty in the chaos. I would like to thank each and every one who was a part of it” says Daniel. “That includes everyone from IT Support, IT Communications, IT Security, Facility, Physical Security, Service desk Call Center and Procurement.”