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

Search News

comments powered by Disqus

MORE COMPUTING NEWS

Transceiver warrantees: ProLabs separates fact from fiction

Value-added distributer, Networks Unlimited distributes ProLabs’ product line of high-quality, OEM-compatible optical transceivers and direct-attach cables offering at significant cost savings, often up to 70 percent less than OEM branded products, across the African continent.  Read More

Resolving the data centre disconnect

The disconnect between virtualised applications and physical storage is costing businesses time and money.    Read More

Huawei’s Botswana footprint ‘commendable’: MD

Gao Wenli, Managing Director of Huawei Botswana, is upbeat about the progress his company has made in the country so far.  Read More

Huawei stages inaugural ICT conference in Botswana

Huawei Technologies Botswana held its inaugural ICT conference where a lot of its cutting edge technology was on display.  Read More

Huawei initiates e-learning in Ugandan schools

In a bid to deepen ICT adoption among Ugandans, Huawei Uganda has provided internet connected computers to schools in western Uganda. Read More

F5’s latest plugins create compelling argument to move to OpenStack

OpenStack has emerged as one of the most popular cloud computing platforms, allowing organisations to easily build and scale next-generation applications in an open source environment.  Read More

Dealing with the dark side of rapid digitisation in financial services

Mobile payments and digital banking is evolving at breakneck speed across Africa, raising new digital security risks.  Read More

Networks Unlimited Recognised as Riverbed Distributor of the Year for South Africa

Networks Unlimited, a value-adding distributor of converged technology, data centre, networking, and security technology throughout Africa, has announced that it has won the Riverbed® Technology Distributor of the Year 2015 Award for South Africa.  Read More

MP says ICT can improve service delivery

An Inter-District Public Service Celebration has given the Member of Parliament for Tati West, Biggie Butale the platform to encourage other public servants to take advantage of opportunities provided by ICT and youth talent to enhance service delivery. Read More

Technology drives competitive advantage in West Africa

Sage has attributed economic growth in West Africa sub region to developments in the region’s technology landscape. Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage EnterpriseSAP AfricaTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoiceMicrosoft 4AfrikaNetworks UnlimitedArbor NetworksEricssonTigo Ghana

FEATURED STORY

Government should encourage youths in ICT earlyGovernment should encourage youths in ICT early

Youths should be given more encouragement to develop their ICT skills, an 11-year-old app developer told Kokumo Goodie.

IN DEPTH

IBM Opens First Cloud Data Centre in South AfricaIBM Opens First Cloud Data Centre in South Africa

IBM is opening a new IBM Cloud Data Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa. The new cloud center is the result of a close collaboration with Gijima and Vodacom and is designed to support cloud adoption and customer demand across the continent.