4net Coronavirus Statement 19/03/20
In the light of the rapidly evolving situation as regards the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) we wanted to update you about our business continuity plans and updated policies.
Full Resilience Test
We conducted a full systems and remote working resiliency test yesterday. We had no business or system issues and have now fully tested our ability for the business to operate remotely in the case of quarantine or a lock down.
We can now confirm that our processes and systems mean we can operate as normal from any location.
We are adhering to the latest government advice and following the government’s recommendation that all workers who can work remotely should do so. Although our offices are still open until such time as the government may impose a lock down the majority of our people are now working from home to help reduce the spread of the virus.
Customer Site Visits
While upwards of 98% of all service desk incidents can be handled remotely; when a visit to a customer site is necessary, we are taking all precautions to protect our employees. We have also completed an audit of all employees who are either themselves in a high-risk category or who have dependents living with them who are at risk e.g. elderly relatives. We are now only sending employees who are not in a high-risk category to customers sites.
Can we help?
We are working round the clock to help our customers cope with the current situation. We are enabling remote working for our customers’ employees and contact centre employees to support the government’s social distancing strategy. We have support from our vendor partners to offer free remote working licences to help our customers get through the next few months. Please contact your account manager to discuss how we can support your business to keep your employees safe and continue serving your customers.
For information we have included our previous COVID-19 statement of 13/03.20 below.
Previous statement 13/03/20
We are closely monitoring the current situation relating to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) as it continues to evolve and are following the government and WHO advice.
Our top priorities are protecting the health and welfare of our employees, maintaining the high level of service for our customers and supporting customers in their business continuity planning.
As the spread of Coronavirus is expected to escalate, we are taking proactive steps to minimise the risk amongst our staff; we have advised all employees to replace all non-essential meetings that require business travel with virtual meetings using collaboration technologies. Where work cannot be conducted remotely, travel to customer sites is permitted but we are asking employees to take extra steps to mitigate risk such as using private rather than public transport and limiting the number of people they interact with.
As per the latest government guidance, anyone with flu like symptoms is being told to contact 111 and follow their advice, including self-isolating for at least seven days. Any employee exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19 is instructed to self-isolate and work from home for a period of 14 days. In the event of a case of COVID-19 being confirmed in one of our offices, employees will be sent to work from home while a deep clean of the facilities takes place; employees will then be offered the choice as to whether to return to the office or continue to work from home.
All employees are enabled as remote workers with laptops, company mobiles and remote access to all relevant systems. Our IT infrastructure is set up to handle all employees working remotely, our systems are entirely cloud based and can be accessed securely to ensure business continuity.
We are confident that our processes and systems mean we can operate as normal from any location.
Customer Service and Support
Our service desk is designated a critical business function which must provide 24:7:365 support for our customers, up to and including 99.999% availability. We therefore plan for any eventualities and can handle business-as-usual even if a proportion of our service desk employees are impacted by COVID-19.
Our service desk is operated from multiple locations across the UK and can be operated entirely virtually. At no point in time do we have more than 25% of 4net’s service desk engineering resource in one place. All service desk employees can work remotely in the event of an incident at any of our service desk locations with secure access to all core systems.
However, as part of our Major Incident planning, in the event of a proportion of our service desk resource being unable to work due to the coronavirus we have implemented a plan to consolidate engineering resource from across the company to support the service desk to ensure service for our customers continues as normal.
Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery planning
We are working with many of our customers to help them implement business continuity plans for their contact centres and enable remote working for their employees in the event of a quarantine requirement. In addition to this technical advice, our Intelligent Managed Services can provide support to your business running as usual in the event of your IT and comms teams being impacted by the virus.
Please do not hesitate to contact your account manager or service delivery manager who will schedule time for a call with one of our solutions architects to discuss how we can help.
You may request a copy of 4net’s business continuity plan from your account manager which provides more detail of our contingency plans.
We will continue to keep all our customers and other stakeholders updated as the situation evolves.