Midis Group and affiliates rise to the challenge of COVID-19
Midis Group employees worldwide responded with impressive creativity and determination to succeed
February and March 2020 saw worldwide measures by Governments to manage the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic. Immediately, all Midis Group affiliates and the rest of the IT sector closed down offices, cancelled events and employees everywhere went into lockdown and worked from home where possible.
Midis Group and our affiliates are the kind of adaptable and positive people who don’t sit back and wait for business to come to us. From the moment of lockdown, creative, hard-working people across the Group began to think about how to weave threads of community, commerce and business development through the dispersed teams wherever they were.
Some very innovative and imaginative activities came to fruition as a result of this emergency, and it’s no surprise that Midis Group and our affiliate companies were able to shine like this; our people are the reason the Midis Group is a growing success across all our lines of business and regions of activity.
The tone of the Midis response was set early on via a message on LinkedIn by Midis Group Chairman and CEO, Mr Nabil Bustros, and this leadership messaging has continued throughout the crisis so far.
A leading example of excellence in response to COVID came from the Midis System Integration team in the UAE, with a project to collect photo and video responses from all over the SI group in an inspiring and positive video. “The way we work together at Midis SI shows the quality of our values and approach to business and this video shows why the Group is so successful,” said Sami Abi Esber, President, Midis System Integration Group.
“Thanks to the hard work and dedication of our employees who work in 13 countries and 20 different cities to support our customers, and to all our loyal customers and partners for supporting us, we will do it again and we will emerge from this crisis stronger than ever,” added Sami.
Sachin Bhardwaj, Director of Marketing, Midis System Integration Group and his colleagues in the Midis SI marketing team, were amazed to receive 700+ images of Group and affiliate employees working safely from home due to the emergency.
“It was indeed amazing to have received 700+ pictures across the various geographies we operate in,” said Sachin. “I am very happy to share this video which celebrates the efforts of all our affiliates and their employees; showcasing how everyone has taken a proactive approach in remaining connected with our customers, partners and colleagues during this phase of the emergency.”
Quite quickly after the lockdown began, affiliates started developing new web-based live events working closely with their major industry partners. Across the MENA region these events were very popular, and also into Eastern Europe, where Hewlett Packard operated by Selectium ran a successful ‘10 Steps 2 Level Up’ webinar series for customers and partners across Croatia and Serbia. These 10 webinars had two key components, sales and technical, and virtual attendees won prizes for the number of events they attended. Feedback from participants was excellent.
Apcom in Bulgaria switched to working from home on March 13, and many of their partners closed dozens of retail spaces across the country. Like many teams across the EEU region and also the Gulf, the Apcom team rose to the occasion, says Viara Yolova, Marketing Manager for Apcom. “We created an Apcom chat, where we would work and celebrate together any festive occasions for these two months and a half of home office. We celebrated birthdays, saluted our medics, organized some contests for who would paint the most beautiful eggs for Easter.”
It wasn’t just chat at Apcom, of course, as Viara explains: “Our collaboration with our partners continued, as they shifted to a focus on online communication and sales. For a tentative time (that turned out to be as much as two months), only a few of their retail stores worked – with limited opening hours, and very strict quarantine measures. Business shifted heavily to online.”
Elige Farah and her marketing team at ABM in Dubai and the region around also got into bringing the company together online, but this time via an informal e-bulletin called Hello ABM!!! The project was a fun activity that collected together ideas for lockdown living to keep ABM people happy and fit for home-working. Hello ABM!!! has now become a regular feature and is a credit to Elige and her team.
Retail activity was curtailed everywhere, of course, and there have been few launches of new point of sale sites. Some retail sites have opened, however, and where this has taken place, it’s been a real achievement by all concerned to fit out the site, stock the shop and train staff to the new safety procedures required by Governments. In May, a new iSTYLE Flagship store opened at Nakheel Mall in Dubai, and in June, a compact iSTYLE AAR PoS in Debrecen, Hungary.
As measures to control the virus have begun to succeed in some places, real meetings mixed with streamed events have been taking place. In Ghana, Johny Rahme and his HDF SAS colleagues ran ‘Back to Live,’ a very successful hybrid event with partner, IPMC Ghana. The Dell Technologies team were virtually present with members from Morocco, Dubai, Egypt and Nigeria presenting online and customers were given lunch at the Hotel Kempinski in Accra, Ghana.
One really good outcome of the lockdown has been the very large number of Midis and affiliate employees who have taken the time to boost their learning and skills. Everywhere, across all regions, people have been achieving new qualifications via online learning. One example of this comes from Jihad Alhafi from MDS-CS in KSA who was proud of two key executives who gained new qualifications.
“We are delighted to inform you that two members of the MDS-CS family, Eng. Alaa Nassar and Eng. Albaraa Safi, have successfully passed the PMP exam and have become Certified Project Managers during this difficult time of the COVID-19 pandemic,” writes Jihad, who is Project Management Office Manager at MDS for CS in Riyadh.
In another excellent effort to help their community manage the dangers of COVID-19, Jordan Business Systems used CISCO Webex to reach out to students all over their country who were isolated by the lockdown. They worked in partnership with Cisco to implement an integrated plan for distance education for The Islamic Center Charity Society and its 41 different schools spread across Jordan.