May 8, 2020 - As the calendar turns to May, life remains far from normal. But I continue to be impressed with how well the Mission team has adapted, collaborated, and served our customers under these extraordinary circumstances. Mission has always embraced a distributed workforce. Pre-COVID, more than half of our employees worked remotely. Now, of course, all are out of our offices – and we have decided to remain 100% remote for the remainder of 2020. To that end, we have launched employee stipends to cover internet, home office needs, and employee wellness. While we are in a fortunate position to adapt to this change in workstyle, I very much look forward to the day I can see our team face to face again.
I do think the biggest challenge with a remote workforce is maintaining communication. We’ve made sure not to lose sight of that. I’ve instituted weekly 30-minute all-hands meetings to ensure everyone is on the same page with key initiatives and company objectives. We also hold virtual watercooler meetings, midweek meditations, and happy hours – it’s important to have easy ways for the Mission team to remain close outside of work activities.
On the business front, we are seeing more customers migrating to (or seeking to optimize) AWS. Mission added 16 new customers in April, many of which want to become more efficient with their AWS spending. Another new customer trend we’ve seen is SMBs looking for expertise setting up and optimizing remote work solutions like Amazon WorkSpaces.
Our 24/7 Cloud Operations team’s critical incident resolution continues to be very strong, with average ticket responses coming in at just under five minutes (and with 100% of incident response times falling within our SLAs). Additionally, Mission’s Managed DevOps Team logged a 95% customer utilization rate. We stand ready to assist your needs and have the ability to adjust to new or unforeseen challenges.
In April, I mentioned our team's ability to pivot as needed to meet critical deadlines and/or new projects. I wanted to highlight that we have quickly and successfully helped one of our customers in the fight against COVID-19. Mission quickly assisted on an AWS Web Application Firewall (WAF) implementation, combined with several log-metric dashboard visualizations and analytic reports. These dashboards and reports help provide critical and real-time data around COVID-19 confirmed cases, symptoms, and even food delivery requests for those in need.
I am continuing to schedule CEO Office Hours 1on1’s each week to discuss any aspect of a customer’s business and to provide guidance or assistance. To schedule a time, please visit my Calendly Page here.
We are happy to announce that we added a new Mission team member to our Business Operation Department. Steven O’Dwyer joined Mission last week as Cloud Analyst and will be working remotely from his home in Virginia. Steven brings extensive Cloud Optimization and Analysis experience to the team and has already begun working with customers to help optimize their AWS infrastructure and spend.
April 14, 2020 - The last two weeks since my CEO Update on March 31 have been bonding, challenging and energizing for me and for our Mission team. With coronavirus infections and deaths accelerating in the US where most of our people and customers are based, we’ve continued to ensure that our team can work safely and productively from their homes, and we’ve provided extra flexibility to support their families with the new personal responsibilities arising from the health crisis.
In the first week of April, Mission’s leadership decided on “One Big Thing” to focus our team - and deliver for customers and AWS in Q2 2020 - Operational Excellence. Our leadership and managers quickly refined our Mission business operating system, and agreed on specific Objectives and Key Results for Q2 that will maximize our engagement and support for customers in this time, and ensure the healthy ongoing operation of our services and business. We’re tracking well against all these OKRs, and our customer satisfaction scores and feedback has remained high.
Our 24/7 Cloud Operations team’s critical incident resolution was 45% better than our SLAs last week, and average ticket response time was 3 minutes. Also, 100% of incident response and resolve times fell within customer SLA’s. Additionally, our Managed DevOps Team logged a 94% customer utilization rate. We stand ready to assist your needs and have the ability to adjust to new or unforeseen challenges.
Earlier this month I mentioned our team's ability to pivot as needed to meet critical deadlines and/or new projects. As you may know online gaming continues to be very popular as many of us are spending more time than usual at home. I wanted to highlight that Mission has quickly and successfully helped one of our customers in the GameTech Industry launch a new game in a fully re-architected production environment. The environment takes advantage of modern AWS Auto-Scaling, provisioning and configurations via Terraform that resolve many common performance issues in the gaming segment.
And to further support leaders at our customers during the coronavirus impact, I am continuing to schedule CEO Office Hours 1on1’s each week to discuss any aspect of a customer’s business, and provide guidance or assistance. To schedule a time, please visit my Calendly page here.
Mission welcomed a new Customer Success Manager to the team last week who will be working from Austin, Texas. We also onboarded a new DevOps Engineer who will be working from Maryland, as well as new Solutions Architect working from Los Angeles. I’m excited to welcome these new members of the Mission team, and they are already working hard to support our customers in this challenging time.
Mental Health Wellness Tips for Quarantine — Our friend and management consultant, Eric Crews, Founder and President of the Crews Consulting Group has provided a comprehensive list of tips for keeping spirits up in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis.
March 31, 2020 - Mission’s leadership and Board of Directors have been very proactive over the last month in seeking and integrating the latest information on COVID-19, and protecting our team and business as the pandemic has impacted people and businesses globally.
On March 12, I published a blog post updating customers and stakeholders about our planning and preparedness to ensure our business-critical services continue uninterrupted. Our team has been working 100% remote since March 19 and all our systems and software to enable remote work have been fully operational and reliable since then.
We worked on an updated 2020 plan for our business over the last two weeks, and made some smart adjustments to ensure that we are deploying our team and resources to areas of increased customer demand. With teams needing to rapidly shift to working from home, we rapidly scaled up our Amazon Workspaces capability.
Our customer’s goals for managing and modernizing their AWS infrastructure are our #1 priority, and our Customer Success team, and Cloud and DevOps Consultants and Engineers stand ready to help with any urgent need.
AWS has created Eligible Impacted COVID-19 Business Use Cases to help provide specific business solutions for customers. We have summarized the most impactful updates below.
AWS Online Tech Talks for March: Join AWS for online presentations led by AWS solutions architects and engineers. AWS Online Tech Talks cover a range of topics and expertise levels, and feature technical deep dives, demonstrations, customer examples, and live Q&A with AWS experts.
Mission and AWS are keenly aware that in many cases successfully navigating a remote workforce and culture are essential during this climate. We have included links to an important upcoming webinar and helpful links focusing on transitioning and thriving as a remote workforce using AWS Services, especially Workspaces. We would love to have you join us for the webinar!