F12 remains fully staffed and focused on supporting your operations in a safe, responsible manner. This week, we are fielding a large increase in requests for assistance with remote access, new laptops, and other matters related to COVID-19. We appreciate your patience as we assist you. Our technicians have been especially encouraged by the many kind words left in feedback surveys over the last week. Your thoughtfulness helps to bolster the team during this difficult period.
Phone System Enhancements
Last night, F12 implemented an enhancement to our phone system to support flexible work arrangements for our employees. Our team, like yours, is quickly learning to be productive in a new work situation. If you experience any challenges calling into F12’s support team, please let us know through an email or F12 Connect. My apologies for any issues experienced this morning.
Special Precautions for Onsite Work
Where safe, F12 will continue to provide onsite services, including project and deskside support. If your hours of operation or policy on visitors changes, please let our team know so we may accommodate.
We have implemented additional safety measures to protect our team and your team:
We appreciate your full cooperation with these measures.
Working with F12’s Client Relations and Inside Sales Teams
You may be used to direct email communication with certain F12 networkers, but the best way to request either F12’s client relations team (VPs and ITMs) or our sales team is to email firstname.lastname@example.org. Using this central address affords the following benefits:
Continue to place ordinary IT support requests through F12 Connect, telephone, or email (email@example.com).
I am immensely proud of our team, of our clients, and of our nation for taking dramatic measures to slow the spread of this virus. We are fortunate that Canada is late to this pandemic and is learning from the experiences of other nations. I wish the very best to you and your families and will provide further updates by email and at https://f12.net/resources/blog/covid-19
We have all watched, with growing concern, the worldwide spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). While the public health risk to Canadians is currently low, the situation can change rapidly. Indeed, yesterday the World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared a pandemic. We are part of a global community; we are in this together.
Steps to Protect Our Community
Last week, F12 initiated an early phase of our Emergency Preparedness Program and adopted reasonable measures to protect our employees, clients, vendors, and communities:
Further, anyone who has travelled to or been in close contact with someone who has come from a high-risk area must work from home. If COVID-19 starts spreading in our communities, which seems increasingly likely, anyone with even a mild cough or low-grade fever (37.3 C or more) will need to stay at home. These measures are in keeping with WHO’s Getting your workplace ready for COVID-19 recommendations.
Rather than overreact, we will continue to take guidance from the Public Health Agency of Canada and the World Health Organization.
Helping Our Clients Prepare
Many of our clients are assessing their preparedness for a potential lockdown or widespread self-quarantine. F12 has your back, and we are here to help.
First and foremost, wherever possible, ensure essential members of your teams can work from home:
Cloud Infrastructure Customers
If your infrastructure is in the Public Cloud or F12’s Private Cloud, reserve capacity is readily available to accommodate an influx of remote users. F12’s support teams will assist our customers with any difficulties in remote access. We recommend your essential staff review and test their remote access immediately. Reach out to your F12 Client Relations representative to review your current capacity.
Onsite Infrastructure Customers
Many clients have secure remote access options in place, such as VPN or Remote Desktop Gateway access. Now is the time to ask essential staff to review and confirm home access. If you do not presently have a reliable remote connection method, speak with your F12 Client Relations representative. Old remote access methods such as direct RDP access, are risky. We can help you select the right solution. We can also help you review your internet connectivity to ensure you have sufficient capacity for an increase in remote workers. If you subscribe to F12 Rescue, we can temporarily move you to an F12 Datacentre if your infrastructure is constrained.
Please share this link so that your team can easily connect with your F12’s support team from home: https://f12.net/support
Next, consider adopting technologies that can enable a productive remote workplace. Most of F12’s customers utilize Microsoft Office 365. There has never been a better time to get collaborating on Microsoft Teams. You can easily hold sales calls, vendor meetings, internal meetings, and more remotely. For many, Microsoft Teams is already part of your Office 365 package. Here are some resources to help to get you started:
Finally, your employees, customers, vendors, and investors may want to hear from you about your actions and any disruptions for which they should prepare. F12’s Client Relations Team can help you navigate conversations about your technical readiness.
F12 has a robust Business Continuity Plan (BCP) and can leverage several F12 assets to ensure continuity of service delivery:
At this time, these measures are not necessary. But, we stand ready to ensure we have our resources focused on supporting your organization through these challenges. We expect an increase in requests from customers who have not previously planned for a work-at-home scenario. We appreciate your patience, especially if you require assistance modifying your environment. In the greater interest of our communities, we will give special priority to our health services clients.
COVID-19 has disrupted the global supply chain. F12 has stocked up on new F12 Plus assets so that we can respond quickly with asset replacements, additions, and upgrades. If you purchase your equipment, please be mindful of considerable delays in product delivery. Please plan 6 to 8 weeks in advance for additional equipment orders for new employees. The entire IT industry is scrambling after the same limited stock.
We will send out further updates as the situation at F12.net changes. In the meantime, our F12 family wishes you and your family well.