Remote working for the first time during lockdown – New starter blog, Molly Oakley

23 November 2020

Digital Marketing Executive, Molly Oakley started with ASM in July and is working from home for the first time. In this blog, she shares her experience of remote working for the first time, her thoughts of starting a new job during lockdown and the advice she would give to others looking to start a new role remotely.

How did you feel about starting a new role from home during lockdown?

I was quite apprehensive about starting a new role from home during lockdown because I had never worked from home before so didn’t know what to expect. I was however very excited and very lucky to be starting my new role during this uncertain time and was looking forward to getting back to doing what I love and learning even more about the IT industry.

How did ASM support you starting your new role working remotely?

Any worry I was experiencing ahead of starting my role quickly disappeared when I spoke with my manager as she assured me that I would have my induction completed in person (socially distanced of course) and I would learn about the policies and procedures at ASM and receive all my equipment that I needed to fulfil my role. On my first day, I was introduced to both founding directors of ASM and was greeted with a warm welcome which was lovely. My manager got me set up with equipment and arranged for skype calls with each member of the management team and various other colleagues. It was lovely to meet the different people I would be working with and gain an understanding of their role. I also attended virtual coffee mornings with colleagues from different teams who I wouldn’t be working as closely with which helped me gain a better understanding of the wider business but also broke the ice and allowed me to have more informal conversations and get to know them much better.

Were there any challenges you faced starting a new role remotely and how were these overcome?

I was quite worried initially about how the communication with colleagues would be, specifically if I was unsure about a task I had been set or something was not working. In previous roles, I had never worked at home so I’d never needed to use video conferencing systems and although I vaguely knew how to use them, I didn’t realise how sophisticated they were and how many features they had. Upon discovering these features and receiving training on how best to use them, my mind was instantly put to rest as I had the confidence that I could communicate easily with my colleagues and raise any issues I had with ease and efficiency.

How did you find the process of building relationships with your new colleagues remotely?

I really enjoyed getting to know my colleagues and building relationships with each of them. I was assigned a buddy when I started who was someone I could go to (aside from my manager) who could answer any questions and be a friendly face/voice. My buddy was Sam Scott who you’ll hear from in another new starter blog and he started at ASM just as we went in to lockdown so aside from the two people he met at his interview, he met all colleagues virtually too. My manager thought that he would be a good fit as a buddy for me as he had been through the same recruitment process as me and could answer any questions from first-hand experience. Technology has played a vital part in making it possible for me to build strong personal and professional relationships with colleagues and partners. There is something much more powerful about a video call compared to a voice call in being able to build relationships with people. I’ve found it easier getting to know people in their natural home environments. Without technology, I think my remote working experience would have been very different and felt a lot more isolating.

What advice would you give to someone starting a new role remotely?

I would say keeping an open mind is important because my experience has been amazing and although I had my worries at the start, the support from all my colleagues at ASM has been amazing and any worries I had very quickly dissipated.

News, Insights & Knowledge

What’s New?

Here’s a selection of the latest news, views and insights from industry leaders and experts from across the globe.

2022 Emerging Tech in Review.

We talk about Emerging Technology a lot, whether that be on our podcast, ASM Connected or in our day to day work with our customers. During a keynote speech at ASM Connect, Futurist Matt Griffin argued that those who think we’re not living in sci-fi times are wrong, so we decided to explore some of the key emerging tech trends we’ve seen throughout 2022.

Conversations around the newest generation of wireless technology, 5G are happening more frequently as more industries adopt and see benefits. In ASM Connected episode 9, Inma Martinez, Digital Pioneer and AI Scientist shares that anyone offering digital products and services are going to be part of the new telecom industry with technologies such as 5G, Edge and Cloud Computing making up the technology of the new century. 5G differs from 4G and 3G because the benefits go far beyond connecting to a smartphone, and play a vital part in the digital ecosystem of the future.

Want to work from anywhere? With the rise of Virtual Reality (VR), more and more people are successfully thriving in this new digital world. At ASM Connect, Futurist Matt Griffin spoke about the notion of ‘Working from Anywhere’ and how this also extends to working within VR, and not just working away from the traditional office. It seems that everyone is talking about the metaverse and how the internet as we know it will look completely different in the future. Futurist Amelia Kallman in episode 5 of ASM Connected gave us some great insights on what we can expect, such as how it will be a decentralised network of immersive spaces that connect to create one universe. Amelia shared that one of the practical challenges will involve uniting the many spaces which currently exist as a multiverse, such as Fortnite, Roblox and Minecraft, and making them interoperable so users can move from one space to another, like we do with the Internet. There is lots to look forward to with this technology, and who knows, perhaps one day, you’ll be listening to ASM Connected in the metaverse!

Moving onto Synthetic Data, which tends to be most commonly used in the financial services and healthcare industries, is information that’s artificially and algorithmically manufactured and stands in for real life data where there are constraints around using sensitive or regulated information. In series 3, episode 4 of ASM Connected, Simon Godfrey shares insights about the opportunities for public sector organisations to leverage Synthetic Data and Digital Twins to drive better outcomes.

Augmented Reality (AR) is an emerging tech trend that gained popularity during the pandemic when businesses were forced to work remotely. Richard Price spoke about a study conducted in the healthcare sector about patients attitudes to clinicians wearing AR goggles such as Google Glass and Microsoft HoloLens. They found that when clinicians were wearing headsets such as Google Glass, patients weren’t as opposed to them because they were smaller and more discreet, whereas when clinicians wore headsets such as the Microsoft HoloLens patients felt it created a barrier between them and the doctor.

Deepfake technology is frightfully gaining significant traction around the world. This technology leverages machine learning and artificial intelligence to manipulate audio and visual content to replicate someone else’s appearance. Deepfakes can be unbelievably realistic so exercising caution and discretion is paramount. In episode 5 of ASM Connected, series 3, we spoke to Öykü Işık, Professor of Digital Strategy and Cybersecurity at IMD Business School, who shared insights about FakeCatcher, the world’s first real-time deepfake detector, launched by Intel, which detects fake videos with 96% accuracy by looking for clues of what makes someone human, which is subtle blood flow captured in the pixels of a video.

Assisted Reality (aR) is often confused with Augmented Reality (AR) however aR is a reality first, digital second experience. Our partner, RealWear is the world’s leading provider of Assisted Reality wearable devices which connect the modern frontline worker to all the information they need, when they need it. Workers are able to utilise the aR technology to leverage the hands-free verification and visual documentation they need to fulfil their role and don’t risk the same safety concerns linked to bulky hand held equipment.

Finally, Natural Language Processing (NLP). When choosing technology, you should always consider how it helps people to work more efficiently. Our partner, Primer AI are an industry leader in NLP technologies and work with government agencies, financial institutions and more to automate text-based workflows at scale with human level quality. In episode 15 of ASM Connected, Primer AI’s Geoffrey Nicholls MBE and Nick Melgaard spoke about the practical benefits NLP technology can deliver to the defence sector and beyond. Primer AI are experts in addressing some of the National Security use cases such as identifying disinformation campaigns, monitoring global events in real time and responding to cybersecurity attacks.

We’ve really enjoyed working with so many emerging technologies throughout 2022 as well as discovering from our podcast guests about what else we can expect to see in the future. The emerging tech landscape is continuing to grow, but the question is, are you prepared?

Christmas is a time for giving and the team at ASM are very proud to support two charities close to our hearts this year.

The Salvation Army are distributing items to children in poverty who otherwise may not get a present. This Christmas, they aim to provide children in need in the local area with a main present and a stocking.

Home Instead has been at the forefront of specialised home care for the elderly and supporting those being cared for and their families for many years. Home Instead are supporting seniors in the local area who may be lonely or not receive a present this Christmas.

The team clubbed together to donate gifts for these very worthy charities.

The ASM team celebrated Christmas Jumper Day on Thursday 8 December to raise money for Save The Children.

Save the Children is a UK charity for children that works in over 100 countries to make sure children are fed, learning and treated fairly.

We hosted a Christmas Jumper competition where the team came to work wearing their best Christmas Jumper, which was judged by some of the children and teachers from Rudheath Primary Academy. ASM also donated selection boxes to the school as a thank you.

The winners of the wackiest Christmas Jumper competition were Chloe Bentley from the Customer Services team in first place, Ruta Porwoll from the European Sales team was the runner up, and Mark Buckley from the Sales team took home third place.

16 November 2022

We were thrilled to co host ASM Boost with GoTo on Wednesday 16 November at the Sea Containers on London’s iconic Southbank.

Adele Hope-Urwin, Head of Vendor Alliances said

“This event is a great opportunity to showcase GoTo’s innovative unified communications solutions in a relaxed networking environment”

GoTo’s flexible-work software, including GoTo Connect, GoTo Resolve, Rescue, Central and more is built for small and medium sized business IT departments, but powerful enough for the enterprise. GoTo software is designed to support end-users’ unified communications and collaboration (UCC) and IT management.

We were thrilled to attend the CRN Channel Awards last night with our strategic partner GoTo co-hosting a platinum table for our guests from Computacenter.

The CRN Channel Awards are the most prestigious awards in the UK Channel. With hundreds of entries and a rigorous judging process, to win a CRN Channel Award is the highest accolade in the UK channel industry. The awards themselves are a staple in the industry calendar and is the biggest celebration of the year.

Adele Hope-Urwin, Head of Vendor Alliances said

“We’re delighted to be hosting a Platinum table at the CRN Channel Awards with our partner GoTo! We really enjoy working with GoTo on a strategic basis and taking their Unified Communication solutions to our customer base. We’re also joined by some of the team from our valued customer, Computacenter. Thanks for joining us and we’re really looking forward to celebrating!”

We were thrilled to host our partner, RealWear for our November Sales Enablement session at our HQ. Thanks to Derrick Sawyer, Regional Director for Northern Europe and Ben Wright, Customer Success Manager for EMEA at RealWear for the engaging and enjoyable update and demo of the RealWear product suite.

Adele Hope-Urwin, Head of Vendor Alliances said

“I am thrilled to have secured our partnership with RealWear and to add their market leading assisted reality products to our vendor portfolio. As our newest vendor partnership, I’m excited to host RealWear at our Cheshire HQ for an engaging training session with our sales team”.

RealWear is the world’s leading provider of assisted reality wearable solutions that engage, empower and elevate the modern front line industrial worker to perform work tasks more safely, and with increased efficiency and precision.

Derrick Sawyer, Regional Director for Northern Europe at RealWear said

“RealWear is excited to join our distribution partner ASM to collaborate on all things RealWear! We look forward to sharing with the ASM team the skills and knowledge to continue to innovate and empower today’s frontline worker and offer an exceptional customer experience to our mutual customers”.

The team had a great time celebrating Halloween at our Cheshire HQ today.

We put our pumpkin carving skills to the test with a ‘Best Pumpkin’ competition. The calibre was high and really put our judges to the test. Customer Service Advisor Rosey Stapleton took the crown of first place with her glitzy pumpkin!

ASM Technologies were pleased to be invited to the Computacenter GTS Conferences which took place throughout October. The conference welcomes valued partners to celebrate the non-sales function of Computacenter and celebrate successes whilst looking to the future.

Senior Business Development Manager for Computacenter, Simon Keilty attended the UK event on 14 October and said

“This year’s GTS conference was especially good as it’s the first big event since Covid that partners have been invited to. It was great seeing so many friendly faces and celebrating successes of individuals and teams across the business.”

Key Account Managers for Computacenter Germany, Daria Hein and Indre Jureviciene said

“We really enjoyed attending the GTS Germany Conference in Cologne on 28 October. It was great to see so many of our customers in person who we’ve spoken to over the phone and on email over the past two years. Thanks to the team for inviting us and we look forward to connecting again soon”.

Recently, Leanne Ogden, Head of Business Development and Ellie Swinglehurst, Business Development Manager had the pleasure of attending the Atos Leading Ladies Brunch in aid of The Princes Trust as part of their Million Makers scheme. The event focused on empowering female talent and raising funds for a great cause.

The Princes Trust is a youth charity that helps young people aged 11 to 30 get into jobs, education and training. Their mission is to transform the lives and build sustainable communities worldwide, with a particular focus on supporting young people into education, employment and enterprise.

Leanne Ogden, Head of Business Development said

“We were excited to be invited to the Atos Leading Ladies Brunch at the stunning Kew Gardens. We were joined by many accomplished women from various industries and heard talks from keynote speakers and panellists who shared their inspirational journeys of working across the business and charity sectors. Thanks to Atos for hosting such a great event”.