Milestone Technologies: Adopt the New Normal

Sameer Kishore, President, and CEO

BC and AD are the predominantly used references of time. In the current pandemic, new references are cropping up—pre-COVID and post-COVID, owing to the pandemic’s continuing impact on social and economic environments. During this time, not visiting family and friends is a new normal that demonstrates care and love, and not expecting employees to work from the office is the latest workculture. We are now living in a world where daily work-from-home (WFH) is the new normal. As a result, CIOs are tasked with delivering secure remote working solutions to employees at their homes to ensure efficiency / productivity remain high and that employees are provided with the tools they need to do their jobs. And all of this, while ensuring enterprise security - in a distributed environment - is of utmost importance.

Easier said than done? 

In a remote work setup where each house of an employee acts as an office, the count may exceed 4,000/5,000 offices—a challenging situation for CIOs across industries. 

Supporting remote workers is one of many CIO challenges that Milestone Technologies Inc., a global IT managed services provider, is helping their customers solve.

Headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, Milestone Technologies has built a reputation for being a trusted partner to many large Silicon Valley companies and other companies in various industries from start-up to unicorns. The company is known for its top talent, customer focus, nimbleness, and tailored solutions. Milestone is headed by industry veteran, Sameer Kishore, President and CEO. Kishore took the helm of Milestone in January of this year and brings with him a strong employee-focus and customer centric approach to running the business. As Sameer likes to say, “We are in business because we have customers and we have customers because we have people.”

Milestone Accelerates the digital transformation journey for customers

Milestone supports global technology companies by innovating and accelerating their IT and digital transformation journey. They pride themselves on creating an environment where employees, customers, and partners thrive. As customers have grown in sophistication, Milestone has matured to offer a variety of managed services both onshore and offshore.

As a Managed Service Provider, the experienced team at Milestone has a deep understanding of the IT Infrastructure and Application landscape and the challenges CIO’s face – including reducing or eliminating technical debt, increasing business agility and competitive advantage, accelerating cloud migration, and adopting / leveraging new technology trends faster. One of the ways Milestone is partnering with their clients is through their Intelligent Automation (IA) service which leverages the power of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing to support clients’ ability to be agile in integrating new technologies, adapting to changing business needs, and enabling scalability without impacting performance or incurring high costs. Its intelligent data traffic monitoring readily flags anomalies, implements solutions when possible, and escalates unknown incidents. As a result, IA improves resolution accuracy and response time while cutting down incident volume. With IA, IT workers spend less time on repeatable tasks that may have previously consumed many hours of their time.

Through the Virtual Agents and Digital Assistants, Milestone’s Intelligent Automation also complements and augments the human workforce, including sales, service desk, call centers, HR, healthcare, and more. For instance, virtual agents fully automate what were previously human-to-human interactions. “We are investing in AI and automation as we believe these two technologies play a crucial role in liberating IT staff and employees from rote operational tasks so they can reinvest their energy to enhance their productivity,” says Kishore.   

Some of the other services offered by Milestone include Data Center Operations, Workplace Services, IT Relocation Services, IT Asset Management Services, Applications development, Enterprise Integration and Cloud Advisory Services, and Workforce Services.

By leveraging our blended approach of people, process and technology, Milestone is able to collaborate with its customers and deliver differentiated and customized service to them

Milestone’s Data Center support services are based on its broad experience supporting data center environments for some of the world’s largest brands and high-tech companies. With its Workforce Services, Milestone has been helping clients run efficient global service desks in a model which has a high focus on employee experience while reducing cost. With its IT Relocation service, Milestone has been helping clients relocate and reconfigure data center and office IT equipment for over a decade. Milestone’s IT Asset Management service offers next-generation architecture with native WFH support. It enables end-users and IT staff to work from anywhere, even as those locations change. Using automation tools, IT workers no longer need to physically touch an end-user’s device unless it involves a hardware failure. The company calls the service “Near Zero Touch IT Asset Management.” Milestone has managed over a million asset fulfillment orders and end-to-end ALM for top-tier technology clients across the globe.

"At Milestone, our employees are our most valued asset. After all, our well-trained, highly motivated employees form the basis for all our managed services"

With its Application Development and Cloud Advisory Services, Milestone is working closely with enterprises striving to achieve cloud potential through hybrid and multi-cloud strategies. Managing applications in a hybrid cloud world is complicated with enterprise applications residing both on-premise and across different clouds. Milestone Application Development, Enterprise Integration and Cloud Advisory services brings together unique capabilities to help clients evaluate, migrate, modernize and optimize mission-critical applications to the cloud destination of their choice. Milestone Workforce Solutions team is focused on providing customized services to address a wide variety of workforce needs, including long-term contract, short-term contract, and enhanced staffing services.

Milestone’s unique service methodology is the secret sauce that allows them to deliver differentiated service offerings to their customers. This methodology is the framework used to collaborate with their customers to validate requirements, test implementations, and deliver high quality services and provide value through continuous improvement. “By leveraging our blended approach of people, process and technology, Milestone is able to collaborate with its customers and deliver differentiated and customized service to them,” says Kishore.

An Efficient Team Enabling the Delivery of Robust Services 

Milestone has great customers because they hire, develop, nurture, and invest in their people. Their teams get close to their customers to understand customers’ specific needs, so they can provide tailored solutions to fulfill those unique needs. “We are accustomed to operating at Silicon Valley speed with extremely demanding customers,” says Kishore. Milestone’s focus from the beginning was to be nimble, flexible, and accessible as compared to larger global system integrators. The accessibility to customers’ executive leadership highlights the trusted relationships the company has been able to cultivate over the past 20 years.

“At Milestone, our employees are our most valued asset. After all, our well-trained, highly motivated employees form the basis for all our managed services,” states Kishore. He attributes the successful delivery of the company’s robust services to the employee focused initiatives at Milestone. The management team at Milestone is very seasoned and experienced - most of whom are former executives from IBM, Accenture, Wipro, Atos, Dell, and other tech giants. Kishore himself is an accomplished business leader with 25+ years of experience driving exponential growth in the IT Services sector and leading business transformation. Before joining Milestone, he was the GM of IBM’s Financial Services business, a multi-billion-dollar business within IBM’s Global Technology Services division. He drove customer transformation while helping customers align their business and IT objectives. 
Milestone was founded in 1997 by Prem Chand and began as an IMAC business working with the new age internet companies in the Valley, and Milestone has grown with them over the years expanding their business and service capabilities.

It All Begins with the Customer

For the team at Milestone, everything starts with the customer. Their approach is to understand their customer’s requirements in the broader context of external and internal imperatives and offer customized solutions to address those requirements. “It is this approach of co-solutioning with our customers that has played a key role in aligning us closer to our customers as they navigate through solving business challenges,” remarks Kishore. He recounts a customer success story to highlight their customer-centric expertise that involves a global electronics manufacturer based in Silicon Valley with several facilities and 4,000+ employees. When the pandemic hit, the governor of California was the first to issue a shelter-in-place order requiring citizens to stay in their homes. Milestone worked with the customer to enable WFH support for all their employees. Once this problem was solved, the focus then shifted to another issue. What happens when employees face hardware problems with their computer, phone, or other devices? 

At Milestone, the team discussed the problem, and a creative solution emerged to solve the customer’s hardware challenges.  Their idea was to set up a high volume, yet temporary, triage capability. Since these newly remote employees with equipment problems could no longer receive technical support at the office, why not establish a drive-up service? Milestone implemented a drive-through service desk in the parking lot of the customer’s headquarters. When a remote worker had a problem, they would drive to headquarters, pull up to the drive-through service desk, roll down their car window, and hand over their machine. The service desk agent would then either repair the hardware or issue the worker a new device. The worker would then drive home and resume work. 

The drive-through service desk focused on several common support requests, including end-user access issues such as VPN connections, device break/fix, equipment loaners, and device collection or deployment. The team also managed universal accessory deployment and deployment of refresh devices.

To minimize exposure for both customers and technicians, customers were not allowed out of their cars during their encounter with the drive-through service desk. Also, technicians were equipped with adequate PPE while maintaining social distancing guidelines and wiping each component with disinfectant wipes upon receipt and delivery.  “Such customer success stories are not possible without highly engaged employees. Our employees are what differentiates Milestone from other players in the market. I am proud to lead a diverse and inclusive workforce, and we are focused on creating a positive employee experience globally,” says Kishore.

The company offers a wide variety of programs and benefits to employees globally. They established the Milestone Learning Academy, which offers employee training to drive personal and professional development. “As we are focused on nurturing and growing talent, we attract and retain some of the best talent across the industry,” extols Kishore.

In a company-wide employee perception survey of Q4 2019, they received high overall employee engagement scores.

Post-COVID Era 

Kishore predicts that the rapid pace of innovation and digital transformation will continue with a renewed sense of urgency in the current pandemic and beyond. The company is well positioned to help clients in reducing total cost of ownership, improving operational agility and providing business continuity, and driving Intelligent Automation. According to a report by Forrester Research, “The lasting legacies of the pandemic will be renewed focus on automation.” In this recovery, automation will be the boardroom imperative as it will handle human-dependent processes that the newly remote workers may not be able to perform. Further, it will help reduce the risk of future crisis as well as build adaptiveness into an organization’s recovery plan. To this end, Milestone’s Automation and Artificial Intelligence Center of Excellence is at the forefront of research and development of next-generation cognitive solutions. “We can help clients reap the benefits of automation in the post-COVID era through our intense focus on service excellence driven by AI and strategic technology partnerships,” concludes Kishore.