Meet the team that works behind the scenes to keep our offices running smoothly.
At the heart of every company is their technology services Help Desk and our offices at CCA Global Partners are no exception. Our Help Desk staff makes the day-to-day lives of all our employees easier, as they assist with networking, phone systems, security systems, door cards and other office infrastructure.
The CCA Help Desk team consists of four designated help desk technicians and three system engineers. With five employees based in St. Louis and two based in Manchester, the Help Desk is responsible for ensuring both offices run smoothly.
“The Help Desk job is to answer questions solve problems and so their entire mindset is focused on helping employees to do their jobs to help our members and have the technology to do it,” Vice President of Technology Tod Greenberg explained.
In a global-wide pandemic, this team’s bandwidth stretched not just between two office headquarters, but expanded nationwide as employees quarantined, and staff switched to remote work all while new hires onboarded from different states. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, when staff was sent home and the offices began to empty, the Help Desk was responsible for distributing work PCs, enabling Jabber communications, setting up WebEx video conferencing and much more.
According to Director of Technical Services, James Cleeve, the Help Desk was fortunately already prepared for this remote transition.
“We actually had set ourselves up for that very scenario, though we hoped we would never be 100% remote because of a pandemic,” James explained. “We tried our [hardest] to make sure that we had the ability to do that with licensing and technology and everything.”
Having been with CCA Global Partners for over ten years now, James emphasizes the importance of technology in today’s business world as it ensures constant communication and the possibility to work remotely.
“I think that we're definitely essential to keeping business running because, everything runs through IT,” James said. “I wouldn't have said that 25 years ago, but now if you don't have a good IT staff, your company is not going to thrive during a pandemic for sure. Technology makes the company flow and it flows through us.”
While James has a more managerial role at CCA, directing the Help Desk team, prior to his leadership position he did a lot of on-the-ground technical work. He loves being able to bring a sense of order to the chaos of the tech world and still enjoys using his technical knowledge to assist his colleagues.
“The best part of my job and satisfaction is from fixing problems or coming up with solutions for people,” James said. “I like to be able to see the fruit of the labor, in a sense.”
As our offices in St. Louis and Manchester begin to return to in-person work, some employees are still working remotely, which poses a challenge for the Help Desk as they begin to navigate a hybrid model of business.
“I think our focus for 2021 and into 2022 will be continuing to make sure that it's efficient to work remotely and in the office because we expect there will be some type of hybrid solutions for people who are in different places,” Tod explained. “That does bring increased security risks so we have to spend more time and investment on IT security and making sure that no matter where people are, they can access our network safely and we're protecting it.”
James agrees, saying that remote work poses a bigger security threat to the company’s landscape, since people are working from their own devices at home.
“The big shift for us lately has been more going towards security aspects of our job. The pandemic has brought the hackers out en masse,” James noted. “I think our shift is going to be more security focused than we have been before.”
The Help Desk along with the rest of the IT department will be implementing new tools and systems for security in 2021 to make it easier and safer for employees to work on their own computers when they're remote and on their work computers in the office.
Looking ahead, the future of work-from-home truly relies on the Help Desk for continued support. Even though fixing technical issues online is often more difficult than being in-person, the Help Desk team has actually been able to increase their productivity and looks forward to meeting new challenges in an ever-increasing digital world.
“I think it's changed the atmosphere totally...I think more of the thinking in the company has always been we need to hire this person and they need to be in Manchester,” James said. “We proved that that isn't the case anymore. Technology has allowed us to be remote.”