Pandemic Continuity Plan
COEO’s most valuable assets are our customers and our people. Therefore, a core component of our business continuity efforts is around pandemic planning. We believe pandemic planning and response efforts are a continuous cycle of information sharing and teaming with experts to help prevent, contain and recover from life threatening infectious diseases and viruses impacting our people and our clients.
While COVID-19 presents new challenges, COEO’s approach to managing external risks remains the same — including our commitment to the safety of our people and having an open dialogue with internal and external stakeholders. Our Business Continuity Program is executing our pandemic plan with our leadership team. Here are the key actions we’ve taken:
- We’re monitoring the spread of the virus on a daily basis and mapping emerging clusters of cases against our assets to take actions to protect the firm.
- Our network is actively reviewing information presented by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance.
- We’re also monitoring local & state guidance and updating our own travel restrictions, site access and meeting policies accordingly.
- We’ve launched a centralized task force and reviewed various scenarios with our teams and stakeholders in preparation for possible COEO cases and other types of impacts.
- We're reinforcing how our people can get support for questions, guidance or to report potential exposure.
- We’ve updated our travel guidance and site visits and will continue to do so as the situation evolves.
- We’re committed to providing clean, safe spaces to work and collaborate in our offices. We are also verifying with our suppliers they have plans to support continuous services.
Given the current levels of concern about the COVID-19 pandemic, we have prepared the below Q&A to help answer any questions you may have around our actions and our ability to continue with the provision, maintenance and support of services.
1. Do you have a plan to mitigate the potential impacts to COEO of a widespread outbreak of COVID-19?
Our team has identified four phases to manage the cycle of a potential pandemic threat and the importance of managing timely information. They include:
- Monitoring: Reviewing and monitoring local and statewide activities as they relate to the spread of infectious diseases and viruses.
- Detection: Identifying the location and spread of cases with guidance given to the pandemic phases defined by City, State and Federal Authorities.
- Response & Containment: Responding to data, assessing the impact and implementing responsive measures.
- Recovery: Applying business continuity plans to restore normal operations, e.g., staffing levels, Network Monitoring, Engineering and Support.
Two of the key aspects of COEO’s pandemic plan are maintaining active staffing levels throughout the pandemic’s duration and working to reduce exposure to the virus. This approach includes the following factors:
- Identifying staffing needs for the next three-, six-, and twelve-month periods, both by business unit and at a company level
- Taking pre-emptive action to reduce pandemic exposure risk
- Leveraging staff across the regions to support impacted service and engineering teams
- Understanding the speed of the lifecycle of the infection, from contraction through treatment, to inform our response and actions
- Understanding the rate of increase of pandemic cases in geographic locations
- Working closely with Human Resources to make informed predictions in a timely manner that will lead to effective short- and long-term staffing decisions and solutions
Continuously Serving our clients and doing everything possible to protect the health and well-being of our clients and people are our priorities. Given our work from home solutions, mobility and our robust network technology infrastructure, our people and our customers have the capacity to work virtually for any period of time. This arrangement gives us flexibility to manage client responsibilities even during potential disruptive events that may threaten our operations.
2. What will COEO do to promote continuity of my services in the event of major disruptions to building access or workspaces?
Everyday flexibility is part of the way we work at COEO, which means that our people are able and equipped to work remotely, including from home, at another COEO office or virtually anywhere. As a telecommunication provider COEO is listed by Federal and State Agencies as an Essential Service. As per State and Federal guidelines COEO is able to visit and service any site should a major disruption occur. All precautions would be taken to protect our employees and the customer on site.
If it were to become impractical or undesirable to travel to meet face-to-face, your COEO engagement leader will work with you to agree on suitable alternative ways of working, training or installation of services, such as Video Conferencing or other Collaborations solutions.
If you have particular concerns, please talk to your COEO Sales or Project leader.
3. What are you doing at COEO to protect the continuity of your supply chain?
We’re in touch with our suppliers and service partners who have contractual obligations to have appropriate plans and arrangements in place to ensure the continuity of the supply of goods and services to COEO.
We maintain an appropriate multi-vendor, High Availability and Geo-Redundant core infrastructure and other technologies essential to running our network and ensuring active services for our customers.
4. What other precautions are you taking?
We’ve updated our travel guidance and will continue to do so as the situation evolves. At this time, we have issued business travel restrictions to staff and stated that all non-essential business travel should be deferred until further notice.
We’re encouraging the use of virtual options for collaboration and meetings.
Anyone returning from an area on our restricted travel list is required to self-quarantine at home for their first two weeks back before going to the office or a client site.