The ICT channel reacts to shock of renewed COVID-19 lockdown

The ICT channel reacts to shock of renewed COVID-19 lockdown

Businesses pivot quickly back into business continuity planning mode

Jacinda Ardern (Prime Minister)

Jacinda Ardern (Prime Minister)

Credit: Governor General

New Zealand is back in lockdown after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced new cases of COVID-19 community transmission last night.

The ICT channel, however, has been here before and reacted quickly to the news.

Spark-owned distributor Telegistics split its shift in two to safeguard staff and ensure business continuity, the company told partners this morning.

"These shifts are running across an extended day with a defined gap in between, to ensure total separation," the company said in an email update. 

"While we will be making every effort to process and ship essential orders within our standard SLAs, please note that there may be some delays depending on the size and reduced windows for collection from freight companies."

New Zealanders were alerted to the move into alert level 3 in Auckland and level 2 for the rest of the country last night and again this morning by the shriek of the government's emergency mobile alert system.

Telegistics told partners it was fortunate to have a suite of tools to keep its business operating smoothly, no matter where its people were located. 

"We are therefore able to maintain our day-to-day operations throughout this lockdown period, supporting our partners’ requirements for goods and services, required by essential businesses as defined by the government. 

"In support, we have our logistics, provisioning and services teams on-site to facilitate the pick, configuration, pack, and dispatch as well as provide essential services."

Datacom told Reseller News it had been operating a hybrid model with its staff working both remotely or at the office. 

"We've seen this hybrid model work really well for our people's wellbeing and productivity," a spokesperson said. 

"Parts of the group are already working in lockdown in our other locations in Australia and as Auckland moves to level 3, we are implementing these same restrictions at all of our offices throughout New Zealand to be as consistent as possible."

Other parts of business have people working on-site supporting customers providing essential services. 

"Today, we're focused on making sure our people are settled back in and working with clients to support their moves to lockdown," the company said. "All is going well at this stage."

Auckland-based Lancom Technology said its systems were hosted in the cloud so the company has been able to transition its teams to remote working "fairly seamlessly". 

"Our team worked late last night and early this morning to contact our clients to ensure they’re fully supported to transition back to working from home," CEO Waruna Kirimetiyawa said. 

"We’ve opened up a free 24-hour, seven-day helpdesk for our clients, specifically to support any issues with remote working. 

"It’s useful to keep in mind to repeat what worked for you last time. We’ve all been here before and with a bit of kindness and respect we’ll get through it again.”

New Zealand was only just getting back into the swing of real-world meetings and events as the news broke. NZX-listed AFT Pharmaceuticals, for instance, notified the market this morning that its annual general meeting today had now been adjourned.

"AFT appreciates the support and understanding of shareholders with regard to this adjournment and apologises for any inconvenience," CFO Malcolm Tubby said. 

"We believe this is the prudent response in the circumstances to protect the health and safety of all involved and to comply with the guidelines announced by the government."

Tech companies with scheduled AGMs include Serko on 19 August and Infratil, part owner of Vodafone NZ and Canberra Datacentres, the next day at Te Papa.

The NZX itself  dived on news of the renewed restrictions. The NZX50 was down 2 per cent around midday or 134 points.

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