COVID-19 Response Plan
In response to the unprecedented global Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, we are open and want to share with you what we are doing in order to ensure service continuity. Our two priorities right now are providing continued and uninterrupted service to our clients and maintaining the safety and well-being of our employees. To ensure that our team remains healthy and fully functional we have done the following:
100% Remote Working For All
We have switched to remote work entirely and we all work from the safety of our homes now. To make things easier all of Direct Line’s employees have company equipment successfully set up in their home offices so that they can create a secure, comfortable and efficient workspace.
100% Ready Infrastructure and Redundancy
Our infrastructure has been completely ready for the massive work-from-home situation long before the Coronavirus outbreak. We have always provided remote work options and many of our employees have taken advantage of it over the years. So the system has been used, tested, and ready for this situation.
Keeping The Human Touch
We are all aware of the challenges of social isolation. To combat the negative effects this can have, we are organizing regular video calls within and across the teams to actually see each other and keep the morale high.
We continue to run our operations 24/7/365 as normal and we do not anticipate any disruption. We are doing our best to ensure the usual availability, quality and speed of our customer service. However, we would like to thank you for your understanding in case of occasional delays. After all, this is an extraordinary situation and it might take us some time until we get fully used to it.
Our Standard Business Continuity Plan
After a third-party, independent audit conducted by ATSI (Association of TeleServices International), Direct Line has achieved the 24/7 Gold Site Certification which is the highest degree of Business Continuity Certification in the industry. This certification indicates that we have met and exceeded the highest standards in the following areas:
- Business Practices, Life Safety, Operations, including normal and emergency procedures.
- 24/7/365 preparedness.
- Proficient recovery techniques.
- Effective hiring practices.
- Training and ongoing evaluations through a peer review program focusing on 99.9% annual run time.
Audit Areas Include:
Secure Climate Controlled Environment for Servers
All of our servers are housed at a highly secure, climate-controlled Datacenter in Sacramento, CA. This reduces our risk of earthquakes and allows us to provide five-9 uptime. QTS Sacramento specs include full backup power, cooling security, and network providers. The facility compliance includes Soc 1, Soc 2, PCI, ISO 27001, and HITRUST. All servers are housed in a locked rack with full hand biometric, iris scan, and badge security to enter the server areas with 24/7 live security.
Our mission-critical servers are in a virtualized environment so if anyone physical server has issues, the other cluster nodes can handle the load. This system is then backed up to another server on site and as well as a cloud backup system offsite.
Multiple Service Providers
Direct Line utilizes multiple SIP (VOIP) providers, over multiple internet connections as not only our primary outgoing call “trunking” but also our “failover” solution should our Primary SIP provider traffic is disrupted in any manner.
Alternative Internet Providers
As mentioned above, we have two internet providers in each of our offices, one via a Fiber Optic cable loop and one via coaxial cable. As you may know, AT&T handles the last mile of most connection points into any residence or business.
By having a secondary means of the internet that is not on the AT&T loop we are able to bypass our reliance on any one provider. Our redundant firewalls are not only used for security but also can automatically switch between internet providers should one be inoperable.
We are proud to now announce we have the ability to route calls off-site and utilize an ACD switch with our provider in the New England Area. If there is an issue, such as a major natural disaster(s) or something catastrophic within our data center such as a fire, we would be able to route the calls to this offsite switch for seamless processing. This is the third source of backup for our system data and a second offsite location. Call Agents are able to log in from any PC and process all calls.
As of March 2020, Direct Line implemented almost a 100% WFH agent workforce. This allowed us to continue operating in the COVID era seamlessly.
As things begin to re-open we will allow agents back into our Stockton and Berkeley locations.
Part of our Business Continuity planning is to have some of our professional Call Agents located outside of our immediate geographical area. We have a 2nd office in Stockton. CA along with Call Agents working remotely in various cities within CA and outside of CA.
In the case of a natural disaster or technical event, it is important to note that Direct Line has many collaborative relationships within our industry to support our Business Continuity Plan. For example, should there be a major disaster occur in the San Francisco Bay Area, we will be able to reroute all calls to a variety of our colleagues with little or no downtime. Our English and Spanish-speaking Call Agents will continue to answer calls and dispatch for our clients seamlessly.
Mobile Command Unit
We now have a mobile command unit with generator power that can be used to deploy in case of an office or more of an area-wide event.