Adapting to a New Normal — Together

Overview: Compuware Account Executive Carlen McCoy has used the recent lockdown as an opportunity to build stronger relationships with customers.

I used to pray for more time in my day, for my days to be less frenetic, so I could connect with people more often and in more meaningful ways – be it family, friends, colleagues or customers. Especially customers. So, when the lockdown happened, I thought I was being given a unique opportunity.

Almost overnight I got to be with my family (or at least the ones living in my house). I got to unpack my bag. I got to slow down and take that breath.

The first two weeks were tenuous and required some adjustment. Personally, I had to share my space (and my bandwidth) with one spouse and two students. The kitchen became a cafeteria and the students thought I was the lunch lady.

From a business perspective, many of my customers were used to going into an office every day pre-pandemic. Even the ones who do work from home (WFH) occasionally, were suddenly WFH full time, trying to peacefully coexist with a small army, just like me. This is when I realized we may not all be in the same boat, but we are all in the same storm.

Internally, we began having conversations around the virtual Compuware water cooler about how to be “customer obsessed” from afar. It would have been easy to use the list of things we salespeople could not do (leave our houses, get on a plane, visit our customers) as excuses for why we could not perform. That is not how we roll though.

We are Compuware. Grit is our middle name. We saw opportunity.

What an excellent opportunity to simply connect with people and find out, “How are you? What can we do to help?”. For the customers we work with, needs did not dissipate overnight. In fact, for the mainframe community, the weight of the transactional world is on our platform. From SBA Disaster Loan Application to unemployment assistance, to global logistics, to ordering groceries from home, the mainframe is the foundational platform making it happen, day in, day out.

Did you know that 71% of the Fortune 500 use mainframes? That mainframes handle 87% of all credit card transactions? Did you know that mainframes handle 68% of the world’s workload but only account for 6% of all IT spend? The z15 is capable of supporting 40TB of memory and process up to a trillion web transactions a day . No wonder more than 90% of the Top 100 financial institutions employ mainframes. It is these customers and everyone with a mainframe that we obsess over.

During this time, I have focused on deepening customer relationships to which the former hustle and bustle had created a barrier. With everyone in the same storm, the professional caste system has fallen away. Gatekeepers are gone. I have been able to connect and have conversations with people that two months ago would not have made time for me on their calendar.

Compuware provides us every possible tool we need. I use our Teams technology (voice, video and collaboration). Prior to the pandemic, I had never even used my PC camera. Now, I humble myself daily by turning on my camera and encouraging others to do the same. I love seeing people’s work environments, their pets, their families, their chaos. Seeing theirs helps me embrace mine.

This time feels like it is teaching a lot of really important lessons. I am trying to be a good student. I am formulating what I want my new normal to be. I am loving being able to personally connect with a handful of customers each day, getting to the heart of how I, and Compuware, can make their lives better. Physical distance aside, it feels to me like we are all growing closer through this shared experience.

These days everything in view is seen through the lens of what can change very quickly. For now, I will continue to enjoy how blue the sky is from here in my “corner” office and be thankful for each and every connection.


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