COVID-19 Strategy: Update March 17th

COVID-19 Strategy: Update March 17th

COVID-19 Strategy: Update March 17th

First, remember there is always hope.

As of today, with the exception of onsite support, the Options teams in London, Belfast, New York and Auckland have been working exclusively from home for a week. We estimate that 90% of our desktop customers are now exclusively working from home, with the remaining 10% running split teams between home and the office. A remarkable pivot in a week.

Meanwhile the sun is rising in the East. A number of our customers have now fully reopened their Hong Kong offices, the leaders who were the first to move to home working back in late January. This will pass.

General

Following from previous updates:

– We’re extending WFH for the London, Belfast, New York and Auckland offices through to Wednesday, April 1st;

– We’re extending the non-critical change freeze until Saturday, March 21st;

– We’re reviewing the situation in Hong Kong and Singapore, but the current plan is that those offices will operate as normal;

– We’re drawing up plans to allow flexible working where staff have children out of school or nursery;

– Continue with travel restrictions

The support team has seen the three biggest call and ticket volume days in the history of the firm in the last week. The new record was set yesterday. This surge in support tickets represents the load from migrating over 5,000 desktop users, many with complex setups, to home working. We believe we are 1-2 days away from the end of that storm. We’ve cancelled holidays broadly across the team to ensure we’re fully staffed.

In the process, we’ve built circa 50 fully functional DR-BCP home offices for traders, in many cases exactly replicating their complex office sets. Effectively creating an “Investment Bank Grade” IT infrastructure in the garage.

Our plan is to lift the non-critical change freeze in the coming days and we expect to be operating fully business-as-usual from Monday, March 23rd.

Overall it should be said that our global network, Managed Colocation and Managed Applications platforms operate as usual with no notable incidents. We expect this to remain the case.

School Closures 

We’ve taken a global view and will endeavour to provide support and flexible working for staff who wish to take their children out of school or nursery irrespective of government policy in that jurisdiction. Outside of the UK all the schools are closed anyway.

As well as being the right thing to do we believe supporting the parents on our team is smart business.

Key client questions and concerns 

Two weeks ago the biggest concern from clients was whether we could operate their infrastructure in a situation where one or more of our offices were closed forcing our engineers and support staff to work from home. We’ve comfortably answered that question at this point.

The biggest concern last week was around internet and remote access capacity. Would the infrastructure saturate if all our clients switched to working from home at once? We invested in 10GB internet links in the UK and US in 2018 so we are well ahead of the curve there. Citrix remote sessions are very bandwidth efficient and can run over 4G/5G if required.

Onsite 

As of today we continue to take our lead from Clients regarding onsite and we are reviewing our position daily as the situation evolves.

Security: EternalDarkness 

Finally, we are monitoring developments in respect of the ‘EternalDarkness’ exploit Microsoft disclosed in recent days and continue to take all necessary action to manage what is an added complication during an already testing time.

Have a great St Patrick’s Day!

– Danny Moore, President & CEO

 

Cybersecurity Update: EternalDarkness

COVID-19 Strategy: Update March 12th

COVID-19 Strategy: Update March 11th

COVID-19 Strategy: Update UK Morning March 9th

COVID-19 Strategy: Update March 8th 

COVID-19 Strategy: Update March 2nd

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