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
Last week we 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 work space.
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 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 Tele Services 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
- Personnel Hiring Practices
- Training and ongoing evaluations through a peer review program focusing on 99.9% annual run time.
Audit Areas include:
Our mission critical servers are in a virtualized environment so if any one 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 backups system offsite.
Climate Controlled Environment
Our server room is climate controlled with a separate air-conditioning unit to keep optimal temperatures at all times. A continuous temperature watch system is also employed and our in-house and on call staff are notified immediately of any issues.
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 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.
Generator & Uninterruptible Power System
Our Generator and Uninterruptible Power System or UPS is continually running so as to handle any variations of power from PG&E. This also allows us to bridge the gap of time prior to the generator powering on. Direct Line houses an onsite diesel generator that allows us ongoing service in the event of a power outage. The 100-gallon capacity provides three (3) to four (4) days of continuous service. We also have a strategic alliance with a fuel service provider in the extremely rare case that more fuel is needed.
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 corporate office 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 second offsite location. Call Agents are able to login from any PC and process all calls.
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 remote 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 occurrence in the San Francisco Bay Area, we will be able to reroute all calls to a variety of our colleagues with little or no down time. Their 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.
Equipment housed in Datacenter
As of November 2019, all mission critical servers are housed at a Datacenter in the Sacramento area. This will reduce our risks of natural disasters in the San Francisco Bay Area and provide multiple power and network redundancies. We are now able to deploy agents at our office locations, agent remote locations or other offsite locations as necessary in case of any business interruption at any one location.