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Leading the IT Team during Covid-19

Name: Gil Octave 

Job Role: IT Team Lead for Atlas Copco UK & Ireland 

Fun Fact: I think I suffer from Nomophobia as I tend to have my mobiles with me wherever I go! 

With the IT team undoubtedly being one of the teams affected the most by the COVID-19 pandemic we took the opportunity to interview Gil Octave, the IT Team Lead for Atlas Copco UK & Ireland, to find out how they have been coping! In this interview Gil discusses his role and the effect of the pandemic on Atlas Copco's IT team.  

Gil Octave

COVID-19 has had a massive impact on all our lives, but it’s fair to say that the IT team has definitely been one that has been affected the most. What would you say has been your biggest challenge?

The Coronavirus (Covid-19) has had an unprecedented impact across the world for Atlas Copco. Since the Covid-19 outbreak, IT experienced pressure from every angle as we tried to mobilise users to operate from home. We managed the increasing pressure on their networks and applications, whilst maintaining security compliance.


We could not have anticipated the speed in which the country was locked down and we were encouraged to work from home if we could. How did the infrastructure cope? Did you manage to enable remote working for everyone who needed it?

At first we had some teething issues with our VPN connection, due to the sudden and huge increased demand from end-users. A newly created Belgian gateway, with increased capacity was quickly introduced and simple ‘how to connect’ instructions were sent to all users. We successfully moved 97% of users from UK & Ireland to a stable connection. Most users who needed to work from home were also given monitors and accessories to enable remote working.

How are you and your team managing with the additional work that the crisis has created alongside your normal IT workload?

We all know that some individuals get through life’s hurdles more easily than others! Even though we are now down to just 3 IT guys in my team, I feel blessed in knowing that I have a team with a tremendous inner strength and resilience to adapt. Having these traits has enabled us to transcend and cope with the business demand.

All IT projects have continued within Atlas Copco and although we have met lots of challenges along the way, we still remain on track and in focus.

How have you found the collaboration with the IT network across the Atlas Copco companies in the UK & Ireland?
The idea of collaboration seems easy enough, but in reality, it can be challenging to collaborate because different companies have different IT Systems.

However, the Group culture is to promote collaboration and here in the UK & Ireland, all of the IT teams worked together to enable the business to remain open for business and this was especially important in key sectors.

What has been your personal highlight during the past few months?

The successful integration and organisation of training modules for MS Teams. Throughout the last few years, collaboration and teamwork have undergone significant change, impacting the way we work. MS Teams has not only helped teams gel properly together, but it also has increased morale in the workplace and enhanced productivity too. In the time of COVID-19, when most of our workforce was under lockdown, MS Teams has been celebrated as an overall success.

People Atlas Copco Corporate In the office