The pandemic through the eyes of a service company, Rank 1's experience

Jana Wuyts

The coronavirus pandemic has shaken the business world to the core. Companies had to make a rapid shift to teleworking. Rank 1 pulled out all the stops to guide customers through the crisis safely and efficiently.

‘Hard times bring out your true nature,’ says Raf De Backer, manager of professional services at Rank 1. ‘The pandemic is the ultimate stress test for all your customer promises: your flexibility, your customer orientation and your perseverance. The pressure was immense, but our team just dug in and kept on going. I’m really proud of that.’

Logistical challenge

‘With our help, our customers’ employees were able to start working from home securely in no time. We supplied hardware, took care of security, prepared networks for homeworking, realised implementations of Microsoft Teams to facilitate video calling and installed complete Office 365 environments; you name it, we did it.’

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The crisis brought with it logistical challenges, among others. ‘We, too, worked from home,’ says Raf De Backer. ‘Customer hardware was prepared and distributed from the homes of our consultants. The helpdesk operated in shifts from the home offices of our employees.’


Cybersecurity-wise, these are exceptional times. Hackers are trying to exploit the crisis. Should there be a second wave, it’s best to be well-prepared, according to Raf De Backer. ‘That’s why Rank 1 organises webinars on cybersecurity and workshops on how to spot phishing attacks.’

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Head start through digitisation

‘Those who had a head start on digitisation were clearly at an advantage,’ Raf noticed. ‘One of our customers had just moved to the cloud when the coronavirus broke out. He saw instant rewards. The step to teleworking was made quickly. In the cloud, your IT processes are no longer location-dependent. This makes it easier and more secure to operate your business remotely. The installation is simpler. Working via the cloud is so much more efficient, stable, cost-efficient and faster than via remote desktop. Our advice? Digitise to arm yourself against an uncertain future!’

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