Business as Unusual: One Company’s Story of Adapt and Adopt Part 1 (of 3): Productivity Tools that Work So We Can

20 Apr 2020

Here we are, all of us together, arguably facing the biggest challenge, threat, and opportunity of our lives. Emotions of disbelief, or maybe fear and grief, are giving way to ingenuity and perseverance. As the ground shifts under our feet, so do our priorities.

Just as many of you have shared your tips and inspirations to push forward and stay connected, the Sol team would like to share what we are doing to make the company, team, and ourselves individually, even stronger.

We hope you find new ideas and resources you can use from this three-part series of what and how Sol is adapting in real time to be as, if not more, productive and connected as ever. Together, we will achieve our 2020 goals, and come out on the other side even more able.

Tom Griffin, Development Engineer

“We have both business analysts and engineers using Helioscope for high level project assessment. It allows those with little to no technical background to effectively assess a project site. If the project looks like it may be worth something, it typically then gets a deeper dive from someone on the engineering team before any numbers are put in front of the customer. Because Helioscope is cloud-based, it enables real-time collaboration, sharing of designs and work products, and for other teammates, to access deliverables remotely so they can monitor the status of design efforts.”

Jill Rathke, Business Development Analyst

“When working remotely, agendas sent around in advance are particularly useful for collaboration in meetings with large numbers of attendees, especially in Microsoft Teams! The agenda allows for easier delegation, more smooth transitions (especially if attendees can send a Teams chat to stay included in discussion without interruption), and makes it easier for the meeting leader to efficiently get through all discussion topics. Also, remote work makes virtual meetings an important opportunity for social interaction. I add an agenda item at the beginning or end of a meeting for catching-up, sharing a story, bringing a pet or child to say hi, etc., because this not only provides structure to the meeting, it prioritizes the space to foster the colleague friendships that make Sol Systems such a fun place to work.”

Rob Pierno, Business Development Manager

“LinkPoint is spectacular and a huge time saver. The Business Development team at Sol Systems uses LinkPoint to upload outgoing emails and automatically log all incoming emails to the corresponding Salesforce Account. It saves the team time and prevents user error from forgetting to log important communications in our CRM.” 

Rob’s quarantine highlight has been witnessing his daughter take her first steps

Sandhya Mahadevan, Business Development Senior Associate

“Our customer relationship management (CRM) tool, Salesforce, provides our sales with visibility into customer-specific information in a centralized location. We use it to track project-specific information like the customer’s annual electricity usage, price of power, and preferred contract term length. This type of information helps the team design the right type of system and contract structure for the customer. It saves me a lot of time by clearly outlining next steps on an opportunity. Rather than having to search through my emails or tap a co-worker on the shoulder, I can easily see if someone has assigned me a task in Salesforce. Salesforce is expressly designed as an online tool because sales teams are often spread out geographically to be closer to the customers they serve, so it’s working seamlessly for our team while we’re working from home. ”

Adam Polis, Performance Engineer

“I’m a big fan of the “Linkclump” extension in Chrome. It enables the user to be able to open up to 20 tabs at once with one click. I use it for opening all of my sites at the same time. I also use it when going through annual reports where I have to open a ton of pictures at the same time. I’m using it even more now that we’re all working remotely. It’s a small tool that makes a huge difference.”

Brenda Cordero, Project Coordinator

“Our project management platform, Procore, is indispensable to our team because it gives us one area to manage nearly every aspect of the project lifecycle, including engineering drawings, submissions, punch list items, and other action items. We were able to customize this to best fit our team and project processes. This allows us to easily share information with new hires joining our team, and how to best share information with third party project managers, construction managers, and contractors. We have been using this tool with remote workers for more than two years, so it’s an integral tool for us now that our entire team is working from different locations.”

*Disclaimer: These tools are not formally endorsed by Sol Systems, nor did we earn any kind of compensation for including them here. Opinions expressed are specific to the noted team members.


Sol Systems is a leading national solar energy firm with an established reputation for integrity and reliability across its development, infrastructure and environmental commodity businesses.To date, Sol has developed and/or financed over 850 MW of solar projects valued at more than $1 billion for Fortune 100 companies, municipalities, counties, utilities, universities and schools. The company also actively shapes and trades in environmental commodity and electricity markets throughout the United States. The company was founded in 2008, is based in Washington D.C, and is led by its founder. Sol Systems works with its team, partners, and clients to create a more sustainable future we can all believe in. For more information:

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Jamie Nolan

Jamie Nolan