Contactless options to become a trend in post COVID times, Amol Pitale, CIO, Crompton Greaves Consumer Electricals
The ongoing situation has created the need for health and safety, setting a high standard of hygiene across every domain. The future outlook will ensure that every stakeholder - Consumers, Influencers and trade partners are likely to opt for digital and contactless options throughout the purchase process, given the heightened awareness nowadays around hygiene and safety
BCP Plan activated – what all have you done as a part of the same?
From an IT BCP standpoint, we had already enabled our workforce to be equipped to work from home. We have our hosted DC provider, giving us complete redundancy for all Critical IT and Business Applications.
Along with this, from a voice and video communication perspective, even more so from a unified communication perspective, we have adopted Microsoft Teams in a big way during this pandemic. The MS teams provided us with not just the formation of teams but also in connecting the whole organization and its leaders, thereby, enabling them to know exactly what’s happening around their huge company with zero information lag.
Apart from Microsoft, One Drive has also given us the additional leverage to backup and secure all end-point data safeguarding it seamlessly in this unforeseen / remote scenario. Our very robust Enterprise VPN is another technology which also came in handy having facilitated secure access to work from home for all our employees as well as our contractors. Moreover, we have also made use of Data Cards that have enabled 70-75% of our workforce to have additional access mediums, apart from their home WIFI Networks.
Is there any time window for which the network resources will be made available during the day?
All network resources along with access to critical applications are being made available to everyone at all times. Moreover, people who have been using Data Cards, also have a secondary access that is seamless in nature.
Your BCP is as per recommendations of which industry body / vendor / international convention, etc.
We consistently strive to follow the best industry practices; therefore, we refer to the ISO27001 for our BCP and DR plan.
What about the feet on street (now since they will work from home and not make customer visits), are they doing virtual customer meets?
Considering the ongoing situation, Virtual Customer meets are taking place on Teams as it creates a provision of a unified platform for collaboration even with externals.
What kind of support did you get from your implementation partners?
All our partners have been extremely cooperative and agile in reaching out and supporting us with the implementation and support of our IT landscape. Our critical partner teams have also played a crucial part in enabling the work from home provision which, in turn, helped us maintain the service levels as usual. As a matter of fact, with this current unprecedented period, we do understand / realize that normal efficiency can be achieved nonetheless whilst working from home.
Lessons learnt from the crises
Crisis are going to be, unfortunately, recurring incidents which will take place in the future and as an organization, we need be prepared with whatever life throws at us. Therefore, proactiveness is key to having an advantage/upper hand in dealing with any situation/ problem. During this period, we have garnered quite a few insights in order to facilitate the seamless working of an organization. One of them being the inclusions of a BCP. The access to some applications like MS Teams can stay with low adoption, however, it has proven useful and pays off immensely especially during these tough times. Furthermore, the importance of strong security layers is essential and should be built irrespective of the situation. Every company, as a result, should aim to have zero deviation from the IT policy.
How are you preparing the backend for higher availability of your customer facing platforms?
Our customer facing platforms are best in class OEMs that reside on their respective cloud platforms. They, hence, ensure close to 100% availability making us prepared for any future outcomes.
What kind of features in your customer facing applications will drive usage in the times to come?
The ongoing situation has created the need for health and safety, setting a high standard of hygiene across every domain. The future outlook will ensure that every stakeholder – Consumers, Influencers and trade partners are likely to opt for digital and contactless options throughout the purchase process, given the heightened awareness nowadays around hygiene and safety. In view of this, dependence on connectivity, integrated systems and user-friendly interfaces will also experience a quantum shift.
Your views on relationship with vendors, partners?
All our partners are highly professional and have adapted well during this crisis to maintain a great working relationship with us. The businesses that both parties bring showcases the fact that each needs the other. We, therefore, trust and respect our partners for the expertise that they provide us. At the end, we always aim to have a trustworthy relationship with them that further creates a beneficial long-term.
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