Our role, as a company, is to enable other organisations to safeguard their values and reputation, in events with the potential to threaten the existence of the organisation. That is our mission.
To be able to do that, also in and during crisis that hits us all, it is important that we have our own contingency plan. We see the benefit of using CIM and that our support is needed now that the Corona virus is ravaging. Our job and product make a difference and it is important for us that we are able to maintain delivery, operation and support to all who need help managing their new "everyday life". Continuity and robustness in our organisation and operation are therefore central in our contingency plan.
In the contingency plan, we have established two simple principles to ensure our continuity:
- Know our critical resources
- Take steps to ensure that we maintain our critical resources in all scenarios
We are a relatively small company and we need good redundancy in critical resources, both internally and externally. Our most critical resources are operations and hosting, personnel and workplace.
Operations and hosting
The redundancy in our IT systems is handled by a hosting vendor/partner. Our utilisation of standard technology and our agreement with the hosting vendor/partner ensure high availability of necessary resources for continuous operation.
On a regular basis, we monitor the deliverables and support by our critical vendor/partner to ensure that they are redundant and robust both on equipment and personnel that are qualified to work on our systems.
Hosting are one key part of our business. Operation of contingency solutions with 99.9% availability 24/7/365 is secured through agreement with a solid and reliable hosting vendor/partner. Redundancy is ensured by:
- Remote operation of own full redundant infrastructure
- Remote operation of redundant CIM hosting centres
- Geographically separate data centres with full redundancy
- Agreement with third party on hosing of own infrastructure if necessary
- Support agreements with subcontractors to ensure quick access to components
In all core areas we have a minimum of 2 people with 100% overlap in expertise and knowledge of daily routines. We have:
- Duplication of resources in core areas
- Subcontractors on administrative services such as payroll, accounting and billing
- Partners with overlapping expertise in development and delivery processes
- Routines for transferring and prioritising development and delivery resources to operational and support activities
- Flexible working hours with the opportunity to work at home
- Complete home office with Internet and mobile phones in "wireless enterprise" for all employees
- Alternative telephony for support from a secondary provider, as well as Satellite telephone in case of telecommunications lapses.
- All employees have portable office equipment with encrypted communications, which makes it possible to work from any location with connection to both 4G and wireless networks.
- Security personnel also have their own mobile broadband as an alternative access from any location
The company's most critical human resources are related to the development, delivery, operation and support of CIM for our customers. Personnel must be present at all times to fulfil these functions. We have, as you know, a 24/7 support service. We are seeing high workload on this support services and we are making assessments along the way to ensure that the team has enough resources, both to handle customer inquiries and to handle the burden on our own employees. People which work on delivery and as customer contacts are also trained annually to be able to join the support service organisation. In addition, we have partner agreements that contribute by supporting our customers and we now see how important good cooperation over a long period of time are with our partners. All the above makes us robust and ensures that our workload is distributed.
Our Work Place
We have highlighted the following in our contingency plan regarding work place location:
- We shall, as far as possible in our organisation, be independent of whether office space is available. If our premises become inaccessible, the organisation will operate through an established home office. The emergency management team has established and agreed on emergency management premises with the operational supplier if necessary.
We now see how important this point is and that we can all work (IT) safely from our homes.
By complying with the planning, we believe that we are well equipped to take care of our customers, as well as ourselves. We now see the importance of doing exercises and are happy that we have taken the time to do so.
In connection with the event we are currently in, we have the following status:
- On Thursday 12.3, we decided home office for all our employees. This is to prevent high sickness absence and at the same time secure resources over a longer crisis, where our employees must also take an active part in preventing the pandemic infections. Our Munich headquarters followed up with the same decision on Friday 13.3 for the same reason. At the same time, a ban on travel was introduced for our employees.
- The usage of SMS has been and is very high in a crisis affecting an entire world. Together with subcontractors, we have increased capacity and quality of service to offer a robust service even though we see more than 10 times higher usage than normal. The service has delivered over 200,000 SMS per day in recent days. We are working to expand our capacity further. In situations of failure, we have the opportunity to use alternative subcontractors with other infrastructure and location of the services. Notification channels such as Voice, Email and Push notification also provide good robustness.
- For standard CIM customers, we have placed restrictions on the number of messages and the length / size of messages that can be sent out in a message so as not to overload the supply chain and to avoid SPAM in the telecommunications network.
- We experience very good stability and capacity in the operation of CIM. Nevertheless, we have increased storage capacities as we see exponential growth in storage with our public customers.
- Our 24/7 technical support services have a high workload throughout the day due to simple needs like user support - as far as is reasonable we will continue with this. We will consider different solutions for day staffing during periods if this is required.
- In addition, together with our customers and partners, we use tools such as Skype for business, Teams and other interaction tools. This works great. Our own telephone conferencing platform is also used through CIM.
We have good practice and proven procedures to inform our customers about changes in the operating situation. All our customers have contact points for receiving these messages. These lists are constantly updated. If you suspect that there may be errors or omissions, you can email your F24 Nordics contact or email@example.com to update the information regarding your business (s).
We hope the world normalises as soon as possible, but until then we are here to operate and provide support to all our existing and new customers.