During the pandemic, many of us found ourselves improvising new ways to do everyday things. Sometimes, changes like these present us with better ways to work moving forward.
Jeffrey Fineberg is well versed in improvisation. In addition to his work as Database Analyst for UB Information Technology—where he helps provide access across campus to critical institutional data—Jeff has also been a lecturer for UB’s School of Management, and is an accomplished keyboardist who authored a book of keyboard puzzles designed in part to develop improvisation techniques.
It was during the pandemic that Jeff found himself dealing with a complicated technical issue, and the root cause wasn’t immediately apparent. So he improvised.
“It was difficult to describe the problem, so I thought, ‘wait a minute… maybe I should record this.’” He fired up Zoom, used screen sharing and meeting recording to capture his screen as he encountered the problem, and shared the recording with his colleagues. Within a couple hours, the issue was identified and resolved.
Using Zoom to capture his problem led to a faster resolution because, in Jeff’s estimation, it generated a more complete and faithful record of the problem than if he had just tried to describe the problem (the way most of us report tech issues).
“Everybody had an authentic representation of what happened, from beginning to end.”
Jeff sees other opportunities to streamline using Zoom too. “I was doing some cross training for a particular database area I work in, and a colleague suggested we record it,” Jeff said. “We covered everything in a 45-minute video." Jeff says these types of recordings could even be used to generate checklists for important processes, further clarifying the process and helping to eliminate errors.
Because of Zoom’s live transcription feature, videos recorded off-the-cuff can include a detailed written transcript, which can be searched for keywords to make troubleshooting even faster.
“It’s about finding the right problem and solving it. A video recording is, in a sense, flawless, because it captures exactly what’s happening. As long as we have that, there’s no room for interpretation.”
Streamlining customer support wasn’t necessarily top of mind when UB introduced Zoom in March 2020. But, thanks to a little improvisation, technology like Zoom can continue to help the UB community in their everyday lives, often in unexpected ways.