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Business Continuity: Real-World Examples of Technology Combatting Coronavirus

Organizations in all areas of the economy face tremendous pressure to maintain business continuity during a historic pandemic. Below are real-world examples of how businesses are using technology to support critical operations in hope that it can be used by others facing similar circumstances.

March 21, 2020 6 minute read

The last several weeks have brought an unprecedented level of uncertainty to every facet of the global economy due to the significant outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

With entire workforces now working remotely, organizational leaders are scrambling to maintain business continuity. And society’s dependency on technology has accelerated in a massive way, becoming extremely personal for every business and employee. 

As a technology solutions provider, a variety of Fortune 100 companies across a wide range of industries have reached out to understand how to put the pieces together to maintain operations; and speed is critical to their success. 

In times of crisis, customers have very specific needs to achieve very specific outcomes and the ability for our customers to address these needs can often have life or death consequences. 

Our ability to help in times like these begins with a simple trait — listening.  

We listen to understand not only the challenge, but to increase our ability to act swiftly. And I’m proud to say our ability to help customers in a chaotic time like this has been inspiring.

Members of our executive team are now meeting virtually on a regular basis with customers and partners to stay close to what is happening and what is needed. 

Overwhelmingly — and not surprisingly — customers are asking about how to best enable and secure a remote workforce. We're also hearing about a dire need to find creative solutions that can quickly help organizations dealing with a rapid shift in priorities as they respond to what is in front of them. 

In the spirit of knowledge-sharing, I’d like to relay some examples of how customers are using technology to support critical operations. Our hope is you will find practical guidance that your organization can act on now.

Healthcare

Conserving face masks and other protective equipment

A healthcare organization rushing to meet the need spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic contacted WWT to help convert standard patient rooms into quarantine rooms with remote observation. WWT replaced baby monitors that could block Wi-Fi signals with high-tech two-way cameras that would be placed in the rooms with no other infrastructure needed. 

The solution — a creative approach that leveraged technology not initially intended to enhance safety in a healthcare environment — helped the organization conserve personal protective equipment, like face masks, by reducing the number of times staff had to go into the room. It also improved communication between patients and the care team, increased quality of care and helped with overall patient scores. 

Accelerating triage and improving patient experience

The WWT Application Services team helped a separate U.S.-based national healthcare system quickly modify the patient video visit functionality on its mobile app to make sure they could update users about COVID-19 while also providing telehealth video visits for triage, allowing patients to avoid potentially unnecessary trips to the emergency room. Meanwhile, our infrastructure team assisted with setup of drive-in testing facilities, sourcing hardware and staging technical support in each of the organization’s market.

Public sector

Critical communication during crisis

A U.S. state hit hard by the spread of COVID-19 needed to rapidly implement a reliable and high-quality conferencing solution to host numerous press conferences related to the pandemic that would keep the public informed and educated. WWT was able to deploy Webex and leverage Event Center to support the governor and his staff to facilitate questions from local media outlets participating remotely. 

Setting up emergency hospitals

A federal agency reacting to the spread of COVID-19 needed to stand up emergency hospitals in New York City. WWT secured two Cisco Firepower 4110s being used in our Advanced Technology Center and shipped them to site for the agency to put in production. The VPN boxes increased access to potentially support more than 20,000 VPN sessions and avoided the agency failing the emergency support mission of establishing the temporary facilities.

Education

Virtual education for over 1.2 million students 

More than 1 million students in United Arab Emirates risked losing valuable educational resources while schools were shut down amid coronavirus spread. WWT’s operations teams in the U.S. and Europe were able to get critical gear delivered to Dubai within 72 hours to meet a technology company’s project to support online education in the country. 

With students mandated to be at home across the world, several higher education institutions are using WWT to provide critical infrastructure to meet the increased demands on remote access resources, and to do so securely.

Remote work

Keeping employees safe and employed

A global media and entertainment company was scrambling to find urgent resources that would allow their employees to keep their jobs while enabling them to work remotely. WWT was able to locate and source 40 laptops — provisioned to exacting specifications — and deliver them overnight. 

Retail

Wireless infrastructure to establish testing facilities

One of the world’s largest retailers looking to help test for COVID-19 was building triage and testing centers in their parking lots across the U.S. but needed critical network infrastructure to make the facilities operational. WWT teamed with Cisco to donate wireless infrastructure, some of which was procured from our own Advanced Technology Center, and implementation services to rapidly bring online the testing centers. 

Remote user VPN connectivity

A multinational consumer electronics retailer needed to increase remote user connectivity at two of their data centers, as the company’s VPN infrastructure was getting hit with over 1,200 users with current Cisco Firepower 2130 infrastructure. WWT provided additional Cisco ASAs on loan to help alleviate the increased capacity. 

Financial services

Remote call center to help roll out relief programs

A U.S. retail and commercial banking customer needed to set up the core infrastructure to enable their contact center employees to work from home. The bank was expecting high demand from their customers during the COVID-19 pandemic and had no options for their customer service agents to work from home. Within minutes of receiving the order for equipment, WWT worked to fill the order. A WWT team then went on-site with the bank’s team to help setup the core infrastructure to enable solution implementation, which helped the bank work directly with customers to roll out a series of loan and relief programs to help customers during this time.

Conclusion

We are dealing with a situation no one could have predicted just a few months ago. 

WWT is providing a variety of services — from back office IT infrastructure support to application services and consulting — to help these companies and government entities fight this pandemic.

However, it's important to know we aren't doing this alone. We’ve been inspired in how our organization has worked hand-in-hand with our customers and partners to help keep vital public services and infrastructure operational.  

Such collaboration makes us confident that we will get through this together. And, of course, we are here to help in any way we can during such challenging times.

 

Don't hesitate to contact us with questions about how to maintain continuity for your organization.
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