Kate Damant, Sales and Marketing Manager at TASS, talks with Volaris Group about the impact of COVID-19 on TASS and the education industry.
There’s no question that 2020 threw some curveballs within the education sector.
At the start of the pandemic the entire education industry needed to act fast. Schools scrambled to source or enhance their online learning platforms, build content and support remote learning. They needed to find new ways to mark attendance and determine the most efficient way to communicate with their communities seeking information on what was happening, and what to do.
Staff across all areas of school operation put in a massive effort to keep their schools going and lessons continuing over lockdown.
TASS, our leading student management system business, worked hard behind the scenes to help schools adjust and adapt to this change. Kate Damant, Sales and Marketing Manager at TASS, provides insight into how they achieved this.
How did you need to adjust your product or support to help schools during the lockdown?
The most important thing for us was communication and ensuring that our customers had resources and guidance readily available.
It was also important that we sent out communication early-on, to reassure customers that TASS’ operations were not impacted, that business for us would continue as usual and we would continue to support them.
From there, we provided FAQs and How-To Guides on areas that schools would likely need to depend on during the shift to online learning, such as attendance and bulk communication tools.
The next step was to divert as many resources as possible to Customer Care and Professional Services and prioritise what was business as usual over what was urgent and affecting critical school operations due to COVID-19.
To do this, we opened up a dedicated ‘COVID-19 Thread’ in our Forum, allowing schools to communicate with TASS and each other, facilitating collaboration on what schools were experiencing, what to do and what to expect in the early days of lockdown.
The Forum gave us a better understanding of the complexities associated with moving entire school operations online. We decided to put our development roadmap on hold and fast track enhancements to ease COVID-19 related challenges. Users were able to contribute to the development priority list by voting for proposed features in the Forum. Two major releases were delivered since March 2020.
What has been a key learning for you?
We have learned that under extraordinary circumstances, schools and our business can adapt and change quickly.
Traditionally schools have lengthy consultation and decision-making processes. COVID forced schools to make quick decisions whilst placing importance on not making rash ones that would later have to be retracted after further consideration.
Schools have also had to adopt new technologies that they had been pushing back on for years, highlighting the need to modernise and embrace advancement such as cloud technology.
From a TASS perspective, the importance of teamwork and coming together to work towards a common goal has been integral in getting our customers and ourselves through this period.
The year’s events also highlighted the need to constantly review digital strategies and business continuity plans, something that TASS had already gained significant maturity in through Volaris best practices - so we as a company were already well prepared.
What are you looking forward to in 2021?
I don’t think that the New Year is going to flick some magic switch where things return to some semblance of normalcy, but we are looking forward to getting back into a new rhythm and business as usual.
I am looking forward to travelling more and putting boots back on the ground in the schools to listen and learn. Meeting and learning from our customers in person has always been important to our success.