With the Coronavirus (COVID19) outbreak now developing in the UK, Manx Technology Group is closely following information and advice from the Isle of Man Government, UK Government, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and CDC.
MTG has developed plans that ensure any impact on our service provision is minimised or mitigated.
Our policy serves as general guidance for our customers.
Please note: This is a general policy. In select cases, MTG does have separate agreements, policies and contingencies in place with selected customers and suppliers.
SFR108 – Coronavirus Policy – Customers
MTG staff have been advised to adhere to best practice guidelines for minimising the transmission of infectious diseases such as coronavirus in the workplace.
The guidelines include, but are not limited to:
- Effective use of Microsoft Teams and conference facilities.
- Freeze on non-essential business travel.
- Avoiding handshakes or close conduct with others.
- Strict hygiene and preventative measures to limit contamination.
- Internal meetings are minimised, and instead, the use of Teams and collaboration tools are mandated.
- Notifying the company and entering self-isolation after travel from known high-risk areas.
- Notifying the company and entering self-isolation and remote-working if they experience any symptoms associated with coronavirus.
- Regular, professional cleaning of surfaces and communal areas.
- Staff under self-isolation or staff considered high-risk will not undertake site-visits.
MTG offices also have supplies of soap, hand wash and hand sanitizer.
Signage has also been placed throughout the office, reminding staff of their obligations.
All MTG core systems are location independent; allowing our helpdesk, commercial and technical teams to operate from home, and with immediate notice.
Our remote workers have secure remote access to critical systems; protected by firewalls and two-factor authentication.
MTG has already undertaken tests to ensure the reliable, remote operation of core business systems including e-mail, helpdesk, back office, video and telephone systems.
With further precautionary advice expected; MTG will prioritise the use of remote technical support over on-site support, except in exceptional circumstances.
Exceptional circumstances may include critical hardware or network failures, or similar situations that make your business unable to function.
The preference for remote-access support will reduce the risk to your staff and our own.
When on-site support is required due to a hardware issue, MTG will assess the severity of the incident and consider workarounds or alternatives – prior to committing to a site visit.
Where appropriate, our team may advise your staff to follow necessary troubleshooting steps to negate the need for MTG to attend site in person.
If we determine that a site visit is required, our engineers will attend the site with the necessary precautions:
- Site visits will be planned, and the customer must confirm.
- There will be minimal interaction with customer staff members unless strictly necessary.
- Engineers will be acting under clear instructions to focus on the task at hand.
- Engineers will wear disposable gloves when using customer equipment.
- We would ask your staff to respect these guidelines, avoid contact or ask for assistance with any tasks other than those related to the visit.
- The engineers will use hand sanitizer upon arrival and departure.
Where MTG needs to hold customer meetings or project discussions, our policy will be to use Microsoft Teams or audio conferencing rather than an in-person meeting.
For managed IT customers, engineers will not remove equipment or material from customers sites due to the risk of contamination.
Where MTG is engaged as a warranty agent or undertaking a hardware maintenance contract:
- Hardware that is collected for return will be placed in a sealed bag, away from the MTG office and stored in our secure parts/storage unit.
- Hardware that is collected for diagnosis or repair will be disinfected prior to work taking place in the MTG secure parts/storage unit.
During the above works, engineers will take precautions and wear gloves.
Where there is an existing project underway, MTG will endeavour to continue to implement the project as per the original project schedule.
You will recognise that there may be constraints or delays relating to the project due to supply-chain dependencies, or other factors related to coronavirus that may impact your staff or the MTG technical teams (despite controls and policies being in place).
Where on-site operations are required for project work, the same process to On-Site Support will be followed.
Where new equipment or computer hardware is supplied to the customer, MTG will take reasonable measures to ensure there is no risk of contamination.
Despite these measures, we would recommend that customers thoroughly disinfect or clean computer hardware before it is used by staff.
MTG will not be held responsible for any contamination resulting from equipment supplied by MTG.
You must inform MTG if any of your staff have symptoms or other risk factors associated with COVID-19.
SLAs and prioritisation
MTG services a wide range of customers, each with different levels of SLAs and service entitled. If the coronavirus situation develops and introduces additional challenges that may impact service provision, MTG helpdesk and technical teams will prioritise work based on the following:
- Customer Type
- Customers will service agreements (ITaaS, ServiceCare or Cloud customers)
- Customers with ad-hoc, pre-paid arrangements.
- Customers with no formal technical support arrangement.
- Severity and Service Impact
- Service levels in your contract apply, otherwise:
- Critical incident – outage and normal business operations effected.
- High severity – an outage or degraded service
- Service levels in your contract apply, otherwise:
- Medium – minor incident or degraded performance
- Low – noncritical assistance or technical support
- Project work
- Project and installation work will continue, subject to the evolving situation and the policies contained herein.
If you would like to understand your service entitlement in more detail, please speak to your account manager.
In some cases, MTG and our clients will be reliant upon third party suppliers and our supply chain for certain aspects of service provision (i.e. telecoms, couriers, etc.).
We are working with our suppliers to understand their policies towards coronavirus and what measures they have in place to mitigate against a potential outbreak.
The datacentres used by MTG that are home to our hosted environments all have direct-access or remote-hands capabilities, ensuring datacentre services will be maintained throughout any quarantine-type scenario.
MTG has hardware maintenance contracts in place, and your important IT equipment will be covered if it was purchased with hardware warranty. Hardware warranty calls with manufacturers should function as usual. However, there is a risk that if there is a significant UK-wide outbreak, this may lead to a Force Majeure scenario with the respective vendors.
Due to potential issues with manufacturer warranties and supply chains, MTG is doing its best to ensure we have stock of desktops, laptops, WiFi adapters, headsets and accessories in the event there is an impact to supply chains or courier firms.
In the past weeks, we have already been made aware of hardware shortages and long lead times that may impact warranty work and new hardware supply. These delays are in part due to coronavirus and a heavily impacted, inconsistent supply chain out of Asia.
Our management team is closely monitoring the situation and reviewing guidance from the relevant bodies. While the situation is still developing and the impact unclear, MTG is confident that we have sufficiently assessed the risk and ensured that we have the appropriate measures in place to minimise the potential impact on service.
If you have specific questions relating to your service or support from MTG, and how the coronavirus outbreak could affect service provision, please contact your account manager.
If your business needs assistance with mitigation, spare computer hardware, business continuity or remote working, please contact your account manager, and we will engage our solutions team to discuss.
We have seen a surge in demand for home working and remote working provision from our customers. Our distribution partners in the UK and EU are also reporting significant demand for laptops, notebooks and related accessories to support remote working. We would advise our customers that if hardware devices or accessories are required to support remote working, you should start developing and implementing plans ASAP.
MTG has proactively purchased stocks of laptops and notebooks from our suppliers but there is a diminishing supply.
MTG is on-hand to best advise the most practical, cost-effective and appropriate solutions for our business. For more information, please review our article about Remote Working or contact your MTG account manager.