Back in January I envisioned AMC’s 25th Anniversary on May 1st to be markedly different than how it actually turned out. We already had planned a company retreat later in 2020 at Universal Studios and our May celebration was going to be a family event, where we all got together, raised a glass, and joined together to toast our 25th anniversary.
Instead, we had a virtual pizza party with everyone preparing pizza’s from delivered kits that they received earlier in the week. Our fall trip to Universal may have to be rescheduled, and instead of a lot of celebratory fanfare in 2020, we’re focusing on helping our customers navigate this pandemic to support their remote agents, while provide the best customer service they can.
A glimpse of our virtual pizza party held in honor of AMC’s 25th anniversary.
Even given this unforeseen turn of events, I feel so fortunate to be celebrating our 25th year with such an amazing team. All of us shifted from working in an office, collaborating in person, to now working from home and communicating via Microsoft Teams meetings. I thought I’d feel isolated, but instead I have come to realize how connected we really are.
As I reflect on the past 25 years at AMC, especially given today’s pandemic backdrop, I see a reoccurring theme of pivoting, which is woven into the fabric of my company.
I’ve been lucky in life to see obstacles as opportunities, and a willingness to pivot into what hopefully will work and away from what wasn’t. As any founder will tell you, running a business is basically navigating through one emergency after another. I’ve been fortunate to have a problem solving mindset, and not take the setbacks personally. If you never give up, you never fail, and that’s what has kept me going for all these years.
Early in AMC’s life, we had to shift from building custom solutions for each of our customers to building a turn-key product that could be sold as an out of the box solution. This wasn’t an easy task, given the diversity of our customer base. It forced us to build a many-to-many architecture that influences our decisions even today.
Then customers quickly moved from single, voice only call centers to full multi-channel contact centers, once again requiring AMC to adapt and pivot. This market shift, scared us at first, but from it came our new multi-channel product, which still serves as the code base for our premise customers today.
And just a few years ago, there was a major industry shift from premise to cloud communications. Many businesses started to question the ongoing investment they were making in less flexible premise infrastructures. Businesses also needed to address the rapid adoption of cloud-based channels, like WhatsApp, SMS, cloud telephony.
We were initially surprised by how quickly the industry appeared to be shifting. We once again needed to pivot to support this rapidly approaching change. We viewed this as an opportunity to build a more flexible platform that could address customers’ contact center requirements for years to come, while not leaving our current customers behind with their premise environments. Through all of our efforts, DaVinci was born – a true hybrid platform for the integration premise and cloud-based business applications and communication offerings. DaVinci brings us closer than we’ve ever been to fulfilling our 25 year vision of bringing people together through great interactions.
Today, we’re finding as a world, the need to pivot again. In this time of The Great Pause, we need to reevaluate what’s important, and adjust to a new normal as we continue to overcome these new obstacles. Within a few short weeks, businesses have been required to shift most or all of their contact center staff to work from home, requiring a whole different perspective on empowering agents while ensuring great customer service.
Even as some of us begin to emerge from this pandemic, we have more questions than answers and many new challenges. Addressing this new world, will require our full attention, and most definitely more pivots. Here’s to another 25 years!