In order to strengthen customer loyalty and increase awareness of MANN+HUMMEL and our MANN-FILTER brand, we carry out customer-specific product training worldwide.One example of this is the construction machine trade fair EXCON held in India in November/December.

The corresponding customer events are superbly organised by an international team from India and Germany: stylishly designed invitations are sent out to customers in advance, spaces in the hotel are hired and given the appropriate MANN+HUMMEL or MANN-FILTER branding, relevant product samples are provided and the training is precisely tailored to the target group. Last but not least, there is always an impressive buffet on offer, which has been the birthplace of many ideas for further business opportunities in the past.

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The evening before one of the events, I found that the audio playback on my laptop was no longer working. Annoyingly, videos and audio descriptions do not work without sound. I discovered that a sound device had been disabled and could only be enabled again by someone with administrator rights. This was just a small matter, but as a standard user I wasn’t able to do anything to solve the problem. I needed an administrator to help me. By that point, it was 23:30 local time – I was in India – and 19:00 back in Germany, meaning that no one would have been in the office. In the US, however, it was still early afternoon, so it should have been possible to reach administrators there.

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Fortunately, I know the Head of IT for USA and was able to track down other IT employees in the US via the relevant department name. To my delight, I could see on Skype that one of my colleagues from IT was online at that moment. I sent him a message describing the problem. His initial response was somewhat disheartening: as an administrator from the US, he did not have the necessary rights to access my laptop, since it was registered in Germany. This was followed by a short ‘radio silence’, so I tentatively asked “Are you still there?” His answer to this was “I am thinking …” My colleague was not about to give up though and he enlisted the help of another colleague, who is also an administrator based in the US. She then connected to my laptop via Skype only to discover that she did not have the necessary rights to make changes. Following this unsuccessful attempt, she asked if I was a WebEx user.As it happens I am, so she then tried for a second time to remotely access my laptop – this time via WebEx.

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Unfortunately, this too ended in failure and I could see on my laptop monitor that she was unable to enter a password into the pop-up window; this was blocked for her as she simply didn’t have sufficient rights to make changes on my system. The sound devices remained disabled.That was when she had her light-bulb moment and asked me if I was familiar with Windows Remote Assistance. I said no, but if she could guide me through it, then there was a chance that this solution – about which I had no knowledge – might still work. No sooner said than done: she arranged for the appropriate email to be sent out to me. I was able to use this to assign her the rights to access my Laptop .I sent the unique access code back to her and, lo and behold, she now had all the necessary access rights.

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There was still one small hurdle, however, as of course all of my menu items are displayed in German and not in English. We overcame this together by helping each other with where to move the mouse cursor. After this, it was only a matter of seconds before the sound devices were reactivated, prompting joyful celebrations in the US and India alike. We were able to experience the MANN+HUMMEL global village live because everyone played their part and no one threw in the towel before we had achieved our goal. The customer event the following day was a roaring success, not least due to the fully functional sound I now had access to.