When the nationwide lockdown was announced on 26 March changes had to be implemented quickly. With the help of Vinpro’s IT technician, Kyle Wessels, staff were able to setup their laptops to work remotely.

Q: How are you and your family coping during lockdown?

A: Lockdown was and is sometimes still a challenging experience for myself and my family, as it would be for any family. We realised quickly though (even if forced) to adapt and cope with circumstances beyond our control. Through all of this, we have become closer and more accepting of each other – physically and emotionally.

Q: How have you had to prepare for remote working?

A: At first the process seemed rushed because this was a first for South Africa. Any normal human response is a feeling of unpreparedness. However, I think we have managed it successfully under the circumstances as best as possible for everyone, myself and client alike.

Q: How have you assisted Vinpro staff?

A: Luckily in IT, if there is not a way the first time, there is always a quick fix solution. This offers us a chance to flex the brain muscles?. We installed VPN’s for users where required and when personal home equipment had to be used, putting measures in place to ensure an environment as safe as possible outside of our network.

Q: Have you been busier since lockdown has been implemented?

A: Definitely. There was a huge influx of calls in the beginning with users trying to setup from home. A ‘new’ way of working. After this, everyone seemed to cope much better and find their feet. Since the influx, there have been better days where it feels like the norm again.

Q: How have you had to assist staff?

A: Printer setup at home, staff using their personal workstations needed to be safe from network threats, so our remote monitoring agent was installed, VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) needed to be setup to accommodate the need to access network resources, file server etc, set up a new terminal server to host Pastel for payroll to safely connect to the resource.

Q: Has it been more challenging to assist staff during lockdown?

A: There have been challenging times. Instead of interacting with you personally, I now had to assist remotely. I had to adapt a new way of communicating with users and provide a little more proactive support.

Q: Are Vinpro staff are doing well in utilising new technologies?

A: Absolutely, all staff have adapted tremendously. We are using new technologies we have not used before and we are using them well. Voice and video conferencing applications like Zoom and MS Teams have become quite popular. We have the Terroir boardroom with the facility to accommodate this need as well.

Q: Any other remarks?

A: This has been a true testament of our ingenuity and willingness to adapt to new challenges in the face of unknown circumstances. We will not be held back.


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