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

VMware unveils vCloud for NFV with Integrated OpenStack to accelerate service innovation

VMware, the global leader in virtualisation and cloud infrastructure, today debuted VMware vCloud for NFV, an integrated Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) platform that will combine VMware’s production-proven virtualised compute, networking, storage and management solutions with integrated OpenStack support.  Read More

Continual service improvement: key to tackling top ITSM challenges

A lack of understanding of ITSM and its impact on business hindered its effectiveness in 2014, says Marval Africa.  Read More

Advanced analytics and telecoms – a power combination

Telecommunications and advanced analytics are a symbiotic duo that can help fast track African development and revolutionise business, says LGR Telecommunications. Read More

Cameroon college gets affordable, quality Keepod devices

Teaching and learning have since dramatically changed and improved at the College Socka Bongue in Cameroon thanks to the supply by Keepod of 650 computing devices and 26 laptops, with each device costing as little as US$7. Read More

Elephant census not ready for drone technology

Dr Chase and Minister Khama Elephants Without Borders, a Botswana conservation project which is bankrolled by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, has shelved the use of drone technology during future elephant census expeditions. Read More

Indigenous technical skills critical to growth, says Skysat chief

Skysat Technologies Limited CEO Izzat Debs says the conscious development of indigenous technical skills in Nigeria remains one of the ways of developing the ICT sector of the country to make it grow the nation’s GDP. Read More

Products and services to go on show at WATSE 2015

Telecoms operators, smartphone companies, ICT service companies and other allied companies will showcase their products and services at this year’s  West Africa Telecom Summit and Expo (WATSE 2015), to be held on 21 – 22 May at Movenpick Ambassador Hotel in Accra. Read More

Silicon Congo project to boost ICT entrepreneurship

ICT entrepreneurs in Congo Brazzaville have been given a platform to take off, grow and prosper by Silicon Congo, a new project launched early this week in the capital Brazzaville by the BantuHub Foundation. Read More

Cisco opens 5th academy in Botswana

Cisco Systems has opened its 5th Cisco Academy in Botswana, with online curricula, virtual learning tools, instruction support as well as teacher training and professional development opportunities.  Read More

According to VMware the future of the SAN is virtual

Customers looking to deploy SAN based environments that can scale quickly, support software-defined computing and deliver on increased performance need look no further than VMware’s new Virtual SAN 6. Read More

PRESS OFFICES

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

FEATURED STORY

2bn priced out of internet access2bn priced out of internet access

A new report from the Alliance for Affordable Internet shows that the price of broadband remains prohibitive for billions in developing and emerging countries, with women and rural dwellers hardest hit.

IN DEPTH

Kenya’s digital TV battle hots up Kenya’s digital TV battle hots up

Kenya’s journey to Digital TV broadcasting took a new turn this week, when the Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK) accused three local media firms of intent to disrupt the process.