Summit EMEA: The New Normal and Leading Through Change

by PagerDuty July 2, 2020 | 5 min read

This week, we hosted our first-ever virtual PagerDuty Summit EMEA! Our CEO, Jennifer Tejada, kicked off the event by re-emphasizing PagerDuty’s commitment to the Black community and to improving equality and representation, both internally and across the technology industry.

She then addressed today’s new normal: With people working remotely and relying more on digital services, the way we live and work—as well as the way we engage with brands, products, and services— has changed drastically. However, while some things change, other things remain the same.

Enhancing the Digital Customer Experience

For instance, being a successful business has always been about meeting customers wherever they are. Today, that means meeting them online 100% of the time, which is a significant shift from what we’re used to. Though this can be challenging, Jenn pointed out that this is a time where organizations can also seize opportunities. “As Winston Churchill once said,” Jenn shared, “‘Never let a good crisis go to waste.’” More specifically, to seize new opportunities, organizations need to think about how to change what they do not just to survive, but also thrive and sustain a long-term competitive advantage.

Jenn provided three things organizations can do to achieve this:

  • Build and maintain customer trust. Businesses have always had to build and nurture customer trust—and that hasn’t changed. What has changed is that now we have to rely on digital channels to build that trust. The infrastructure, systems, and applications teams build directly impact the customer experience, so providing a consistently excellent digital experience is key to earning and building that trust.
  • Accelerate digital initiatives, with an eye toward cutting costs and reducing inefficiencies. Organizations have had to pivot quickly to seize opportunities and make the most out of this new digital world, and this means building new applications and bringing new products and services to market faster than ever before. As a result, we’re seeing digital transformation initiatives that were supposed to roll out over the span of years being pushed forward to be completed within quarters and months.
  • Implement DevOps. To build a solid customer experience and accelerate this move to a 100% digital environment, DevOps is key as it enables organizations to pivot quickly and build a culture of ownership and collaboration, which are vital to enabling rapid innovation and creating business value.

Jenn rounded out her keynote by sharing PagerDuty’s priorities and platform investments for the year— including expanding Event Intelligence capabilities to help teams further automate the incident response process—before diving into the next session, a fireside chat with CEO of Telenet, John Porter.

Leading Through Change: The Importance of Being Agile in the Age of COVID-19

John Porter, CEO of Telenet, the largest provider of cable broadband services in Belgium, joined Jenn in a fireside chat to share his thoughts on leading through the current crisis, as well as the importance of diversity and fostering an agile culture.

For Telenet, adopting an agile way of working has driven a number of changes in the organization, culturally and operationally. “We’ve really accelerated our relationship with our people,” John explained. “We’ve doubled down on what we do for people and increased engagement. Trust and generosity have been dialed up—and it accelerated even more by the COVID-19 lockdown period, where teams took it upon themselves to move forward in areas even without being asked.”

He also shared how having everyone working remotely has flattened the organization’s structure, and his role as CEO has now evolved into defining business challenges and setting teams to work on them with reasonable budgets and timelines. “Generally speaking, it’s now about trusting your employees to get the job done,” he said.

John also talked about how the pandemic has presented different opportunities for businesses to thrive. For Telenet, one opportunity is encouraging employees to think about how to change the transactional nature of customer relationships, particularly since broadband networks is a lifeline in this new normal —Telenet provides a way for people to communicate with loved ones, learn, or even just sit back and watch a show. In short, Telenet can’t compromise on reliability, and the company is looking into how to further automate its network and build out its ability to self heal in the future.

Additionally, John highlighted that customers’ relationships with Telenet are now more important than ever and that the company is focusing on building deeper relationships with consumers and communities that go beyond just sending a monthly bill.

Part of building that deeper relationship is investing back into the community, and John talked about the company’s partnership with BeCode, an initiative aimed at helping people from minority communities develop programming skills. “We believe that companies that are diverse are more successful,” he shared. “It starts with making diversity a priority. It takes action, it takes risk-taking, it takes leaning in and being supportive—both financially and structurally—giving opportunities to people who might not otherwise have them.”

Interested in watching the full sessions? Register today to check them out on demand (for free!), along with other sessions, including PagerDuty’s product keynote and a customer panel about driving operational efficiency.