Contact centre fire underlines disaster recovery importance

COMPUTING

|
Image: By BiztechAfrica
Contact centre fire underlines disaster recovery importance

A recent fire at a South African contact centre has underlined the importance of a disaster recovery and backup plan, reports Jasco.

The fire caused significant damage to Blake’s call centre building in Durban, South Africa. However, a fast, efficient recovery saw 90% of agents back at work by the next Monday morning, albeit at different locations, thanks to quick action by every one of Blake’s team, including founder Howard Blake; Blake’s Interactive team; and partners like Jasco ICT.

Says Paul Fick, Divisional MD at Jasco Enterprise: “Blake is an important client with whom we have developed a close relationship in the 10 years that we have provided the organisation with their call centre infrastructure including an Avaya contact centre platform, a dialler, and a voice recording solution.

As Blake’s Durban call centre building housed call centre agents for Blake and the JD Group, a significant shareholder in Blake, as well as all the contact centre servers, diallers and recorders for Blake and the entire JD Group Financial Services contact centre, the fire was a potentially debilitating disaster for the organisation. We reacted quickly, mobilising all staff at our Durban branch as well as others at our head office to help with disaster recovery.”

When the fire started in the offices of another company in the building, sprinklers and water from the fire fighting teams quickly doused the flames. However, this caused significant water damage, with Blake’s offices under five or six inches of water. Smoke from the fire added to the challenge and, in addition, the gas-based fire suppression system in the data centre triggered, leaving the data centre saturated, and uninhabitable.

While Blake’s interactive team worked fast to remotely get servers back up and running, it was determined by Sunday morning that no-one would be able to enter the offices. Staff had to be relocated to keep the call centre support services for Blake’s clients and the JD Group working.

“The Jasco Enterprise team set to work to order headsets and telephone instruments from our suppliers, couriering everything from Johannesburg to Durban. These were deployed to the alternative sites and our technology teams were onsite to install them and get them working. It was a considerable feat. No production time was lost and by the following Friday, all 180 JD Group staff were also up and running,” says Fick.

A key success factor, stresses Fick, was that Blake had its disaster recovery and business continuity plans in place, staff roles were clearly defined and everyone, including trusted partners, knew how to respond to get the business back up and running quickly and efficiently.

There was an element of luck on our side, but mostly the fast recovery was thanks to the extremely professional way that this disaster was managed. Says Fick: The diesel generators started up when electricity was cut, giving the Blake team time to close down the servers in an orderly fashion, while the CCTV system fed real-time information on the status in the data server room throughout. In addition, the call centre operations and management teams could act on the information, putting in action the disaster recovery plan to deal with the physical and consequential damage.”

Howard Blake and the management team at Blake were on the scene from Saturday evening until the late hours of Sunday evening. On the following Monday it was work as usual at Blake. The call centres were back online, working and functioning as usual.



Share the News

Get Daily Newsletter

comments powered by Disqus

MORE COMPUTING NEWS

Telecom Namibia implements information display system at Ondangua airport

A team of Telecom Namibia engineers and technicians successfully implemented for the Namibia Airports Company (NAC) a Flight Information Display System (FIDS) over the Telecom Namibia network at Ondangua airport recently. Read More

Associated Discount House migrates to Finacle 10

Computer Warehouse Group (CWG Plc) has powered the successful migration of Associated Discount House banking services to the Finacle 10 core banking application in a bid to improve their efficiency and improve their customer experience.  Read More

Cisco Systems joins GITS in Ghana to improve customer experience

Cisco Systems has joined Global Information Technology Solutions (GITS) an elite technology partner of Cisco Systems in Ghana, to engage key stakeholders in the Ghanaian IT industry. Read More

Lagos says HP’s Technology Tour will boost ICT development

Nigeria’s Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology, Mrs. Nike Animashaun, has said technology forums such the HP Technology Tour will help fast-track the growth of ICT industry and the economy, stressing that it provides stakeholders opportunity to brainstorm. Read More

As curtain falls on MDGs, what next?

Dr. Bjorn Lomborg, president of the Copenhagen Consensus Centre, speaks to Biztechafrica about setting smart targets. Read More

Huawei to train 1,000 African students over five years

Huawei has announced that over the next five years, 1,000 students across Africa will join its technical training program, Seeds for the Future.  Read More

Worldwide sales of cellular-embedded devices to pass 112m units this year

More than 112 million non-smartphone connected devices will be sold worldwide in 2015, as demand for ubiquitous internet access for mobile, social and information drives greater adoption, says Gartner. Read More

Benin collection drive nets over 20 tons of e-waste

An e-waste collection drive coordinated by MTN and Ericsson in Benin has collected over 20 tons of e-waste. Read More

ASUS steps up Southern African service

ASUS has appointed Ensure Services as its authorised service partner, building on the company’s strategy to enhance after-sales service levels in Southern Africa.  Read More

Huawei: data centre investment will boost Nigerian connectivity

An increase in data centre investment would enhance connectivity in Nigeria and other developing countries, Huawei Technologies Company Limited has said. Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoiceMicrosoft 4Afrika

FEATURED STORY

IHS plans to inject fresh $500m to grow capacityIHS plans to inject fresh $500m to grow capacity

Mohammed Darwish, managing director of IHS Towers, says the firm will soon inject another $500million into the business after raising some $2.5billion to finance expansion drives. Darwish spoke with biztecafrica.com in Lagos.

IN DEPTH

As curtain falls on MDGs, what next?As curtain falls on MDGs, what next?

Dr. Bjorn Lomborg, president of the Copenhagen Consensus Centre, speaks to Biztechafrica about setting smart targets.