Contact centre fire underlines disaster recovery importance
COMPUTING| April 16, 2012, 10:56 a.m.
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.
MORE COMPUTING NEWS
Botswana women missing from ICTThere has been a rallying call for women in Botswana to consider a lifetime participation in the Information and Communication Technology if the sector is to realise any meaningful growth as well as a fair gender representation. Read More
Globecomm, Tanzania Support Foundation take computers to rural schoolGlobecomm announced today that it has donated desktop computers to a school in the Tanzanian village of Selela to aid the mission of the Tanzanian Support Foundation to help small communities become more self-sufficient in education, healthcare, hygiene and clean water. Read More
The Network is dead. Long live the network!Your network is vastly bigger than the Internet itself, says Infoblox. Read More
Schneider Electric’s off-grid solar and backup power inverter/charger now in southern AfricaSchneider Electric Solar Business, a global leader in solutions for the solar power conversion chain, has released its off-grid solar and backup power inverter/charger, the Conext SW, in the southern African region. Read More
Phase3 seeks digitally enhanced life for special needs kidsWest Africa’s largest independent fibre optic infrastructure and telecommunications services provider, Phase3 Telecom, has urged stakeholders in the ICT industry to offer children living with disabilities a good quality of life through the deployment of assistive technology. Read More
Kenya, China partner to grow ICT skillsGlobal technology company Huawei, in partnership with Kenya’s Ministry of Information and Technology, has dispatched to China the first beneficiaries of the “Huawei Seeds for the Future” Internship programme. Read More
Big trends for 2015Industry experts share their thoughts on the innovations that will impact business next year. Read More
ASUS appoints Andre Goosen as Country Service ManagerASUS, the Taiwanese technology innovation brand, has appointed Andre Goosen to the position of Country Service Manager, a new role created in line with ASUS’ increased focus on after sales service. Read More
iWayAfrica managed service solution launched in KenyaPan African telecoms operator, Gondwana International Networks (GIN) has announced that its iWayAfrica business has launched a managed infrastructure and services solution in Kenya. Read More
Kenya Ports Authority first to deploy Pamoja’s RUBiQ cloud platformThe Kenya Ports Authority is the first institution in East Africa to adopt the RUBiQ Cloud-based governance, risk and compliance platform. Read More
FEATURED STORYPWC: Optimism abounds but a bumpy journey ahead for some
PwC’s ‘Capital Projects & infrastructure in East Africa, Southern Africa and West Africa,’ report says infrastructure spend in the region is projected to reach $180bn per annum by 2025.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAfrica lags on digital migration
Only three African countries have so far completed the digital migration process, and serious issues are hampering the migration in other nations.