Covid-19 update: Technical support for mission-critical technology in key sectors

Marc Sanderson

Qcom is committed to full technical service and support provision throughout the unfolding Coronavirus / Covid-19 situation.

We are working hard to further strengthen our already robust contingency planning to ensure that we can continue to ‘go the extra mile’ for the technology manufacturers, distributers and end-users who rely on us.

We are mindful that our engineers, technicians and support specialists are responsible for mission-critical technology in many of the sectors vital to the UK and Europe’s economic, social and personal wellbeing including: healthcare; supply chain and logistics; food retail; manufacturing and industrial automation.

Qcom managing director Neil Anderson said: “With Covid-19 already causing an unparalleled degree of disruption, we believe that our responsibility remains to do all we can to keep vital technologies and equipment working efficiently and reliably.

“We are doing, and will continue to do, all that we can to help keep production lines running, healthcare services open, transport infrastructures intact and the supply chain moving; as well maintaining the kiosks, ticketing and payment technologies which remain essential as we all look to continue our everyday lives as much as possible.”

Key details from our contingency planning include:

  • Our field engineers are dispersed throughout the territories we support, and we are confident of maintaining regional resource even at the peak of any epidemic. For site visits, our engineers will be working to an enhanced personal hygiene regime and will be following the Government’s advice – updated daily – relating to contact avoidance, handshakes, and other practicalities. They will also be ready to comply in full with arrangements made locally at each site they visit.
  • Our stock system is spread across engineers’ boot stock, 14 forward stock locations, and our central warehouse in Droitwich. We also have stock in our Irish subsidiary as a secondary resource if required. While we are aware that IT supply chains are being disrupted globally, we have not seen any issues with product supply.
  • In terms of head office, helpdesk, and service management teams, our facilities are now in lockdown with access limited to essential workers only. We have sufficient mobile and cloud-based capability to fully operate all systems remotely, and we maintain a full Disaster Recovery plan (with features such as duplicated servers and back-up premises) in the event that we lose power, IT or access to these facilities.
  • In the event of worsening conditions our contingency approach will be to prioritise calls for critical Tier 1 users i.e. healthcare, supply chain (including supermarkets and FMCG (with perishables  and dairy as a priority), and courier companies (in view of their need to deliver food to self-isolating patients). Tier 2 users such as manufacturing plants will then be prioritised over any non-urgent or non-essential requirements.

As well as continuing to provide a break-fix response, we are also strongly encouraging customers not to suspend or postpone routine maintenance and other preventative support. Experience shows that such interruptions inevitably and rapidly lead to increased failure rates and faults which can prove harder to resolve without further disruption to normal business operations.

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