What a whirlwind second quarter we just finished! This time last year (heck, even Q1 2020), we could never had envisioned all the excitement and busyness of these past three months. With COVID-19 reaching pandemic level shortly after the start of Q2, we’ve changed our structures and routines a bit, tried our hand at remote training, seen great milestones accomplished, and created three new products.
How COVID-19 Impacted Our Office
The majority of our team members spent the entire quarter working remote. The office has been slightly restructured to safely accommodate a few key personnel. As a company that places a high importance on team building and collaboration, this was quite a culture shock. With the help of Microsoft Teams, daily group meetings (at first), and even a couple of virtual “happy hours”, we were able to ease into the new rhythm of working at home and collaborating from afar. As we are currently seeing a surge of COVID-19 cases in our area, Teslar does not have any plans in place to fully return all team members to the office at this time.
Despite these changes, this quarter was full of many professional milestones for Teslar team members. A Senior Client Advocate, Rachael Carter, was promoted to VP of Client Advocacy, two interns in our Sales & Marketing team graduated from the University of Arkansas and joined our team full-time, and we had three other internal promotions this quarter!
Just three days before companies across the country closed offices and started taking full advantage of VPNs, we began new hire orientation for our newest teammates. Adjusting to a new company or role always takes a bit of time, but we can only imagine how much more difficult that could be suddenly going remote in the middle of your onboarding training! We checked in with some of these teammates to see how their time at Teslar has been going.
“Working for Teslar has been an amazing experience! says Cecilia Mustonen-Kemock, Client Advocate. “Professional Development opportunities have allowed me to learn some SQL, and I would have never thought that possible. I have an honest feeling of full inclusion here, as we have full company meetings (via Teams) multiple times a week so no one feels we are left in the dark, and that is an amazing feeling especially with everyone being remote. I always know I have the full team there to assist with all of my clients, questions, etc.” Leona Tolley, Client Advocate, also adds, “This experience has been one of the most unique and challenging trainings I have ever gone through! We were in the office for three days and the remainder of our stint has been remote. All teammates are wonderful – especially during this demanding time. Stepping in to help at a moment’s notice! When I meet them face to face again – I will have to close my eyes and listen to their voice before I can name that person!”
While not ideal circumstances, we’re so grateful to have these new teammates with us and that they are still getting to experience many of the things team members love about working at Teslar Software.
Helping with the Paycheck Protection Program
During this quarter, our team worked tirelessly to roll out three new modules and programs: Teslar Unite – PPP, Teslar PPP Forgiveness, and PPP.bank. When the Paycheck Protection Program was first announced, Joe Ehrhardt, Teslar’s CEO and Founder, had the idea to create a free module of Teslar to provide community banks a secure portal and pipeline management system to track their small business customers’ PPP loan applications. With lots of team meetings and long nights, our team was able to roll out Teslar Unite – PPP just in time for banks utilizing the program to begin accepting applications. That first weekend, America saw community banks completely go above and beyond to help the small businesses in their communities with these loans. We were so thrilled to see our module help community bankers facilitate tens of thousands of PPP loan applications.
The momentum didn’t stop there. As PPP Forgiveness drew nearer, we heard a lot of concerns from industry experts and community bankers on the overwhelming complexity and lengthiness of the forgiveness process. We quickly shifted our focus to create a module that could help ease this process for community bankers. The Teslar PPP Forgiveness module (which is scheduled to go into full production in just a few days) provides an automated workflow to efficiently collect and manage the documents required to work towards forgiveness of PPP loans. It automates data entry wherever possible, and can enable electronic signatures and assist in the submission of data to the Small Business Administration.
Another exciting accomplishment this quarter was a collaboration to create PPP.bank. Mark Cuban, entrepreneur and investor, and Jill Castilla, president and CEO of Citizens Bank of Edmond reached out to us about creating a website to help small businesses, sole proprietors, and non-profits with the PPP Forgiveness application, those who may not be a part of a bank. The website, PPP.bank, is a free resource built by Teslar Software that any PPP loan borrower can leverage to get an estimate of the forgiveness for their PPP loans and to generate a PDF application to share with their lender. The site saw 14,000 site users generate 17,000 sessions and 52,000 page views between its launch at 6:00pm CT on Friday, May 29th and 12:00pm ET on June 1st. We are honored to have been able to help so many people during these difficult times.
We’re proud of everything the Teslar team has accomplished in such a short time, and are looking forward to finishing this year strong! Two quarters down, two to go. To all of our readers, followers, clients, mentors, and partners – thank you! Teslar Software would not be where we are today without your support.