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News : Call Centre, IT Services Struggle to Work from Home Amid Coronavirus

#contactcenterworld, @nasscom

New Delhi, India, March, 2020 - As the coronavirus pandemic pushes India into a lockdown, the call centres and IT services firms that function as the world's back office are struggling to piece together work-from-home solutions and other business-continuity plans.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday ordered 1.3 billion Indians to stay at home for 21 days to stem the spread of SARS-CoV-2, following earlier lockdown orders in many Indian cities and states. As of Tuesday, India had reported over 500 cases of the virus and nine deaths.

Many of the companies that provide business services such as call centres, information technology services and business process automation were not prepared for work-for-home arrangements, according to interviews with more than a dozen employees of several companies.

That raises questions about whether one of India's showpiece industries can function smoothly amid the coronavirus crisis. "The industry has been scrambling to set up its own business continuity plan," said R. Chandrashekhar, a retired federal government official and a former president of India's IT services lobby group, NASSCOM.

In the southern tech hub of Bengaluru, an employee working at a JPMorgan (JPM.N) call centre said that until last Friday, her managers had repeatedly declined staffers' pleas to work from home. "Even if I am infected with the virus, I know the death rate for young people isn't very high, but I am very very scared that I might transfer it to family," she said on condition of anonymity, as she was not authorised to speak to the media.

After a state government order, JPMorgan on Sunday asked its Bengaluru staff to "stay at home until further notice," according to a message to employees seen by Reuters. In some cases, companies must seek client permission before allowing employees to work on sensitive projects outside the office, a senior human resources executive at a top Indian IT firm said of working remotely.

"These days the challenge is not really the technology, the challenge is the regulations, and, in case something goes wrong, who's going to take the responsibility," the person said on condition of anonymity. Indian software services firms, led by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS.NS) and Infosys (INFY.NS), gained prominence by giving Western clients low-cost solutions to routine computer problems. Over time, they assumed a major role at many global companies.

Three employees of midsize IT services firm Mphasis (MBFL.NS) in the western Indian city of Pune said they were all being asked to come to the office until last Friday, even as some expressed concerns about working in close proximity with roughly 90 other people. Maharashtra state, where Pune is located, had imposed restrictions on private company employees going to offices in an effort to curb the spread of the virus. But it made exemptions for essential services including some IT companies.

During the past week, security guards barred employees from venturing outside one of the Mphasis offices in Pune to avoid attracting the police, fearing a forced shutdown, two employees said, declining to be named as they were not authorised to speak to the media. One said a human resources executive told him not to wear a mask as it would "panic people who come to work".

As Maharashtra enforced a curfew starting Monday, some Mphasis employees were being asked to remain home this week, even though they lacked equipment such as laptops, the employees said.

Mphasis said in a statement that not all of its staff were working remotely. But the company said it was speaking with clients and trying to enable as many people as possible to work from home while ensuring employee safety.An employee of French tele-services provider Teleperformance (TEPRF.PA) on the outskirts of Delhi said his company had been reluctant to let staff work from home. But he said employees were finally told Sunday the company would begin installing corporate desktop computers at their homes after a wider lockdown in several cities.

JPMorgan and Teleperformace did not respond to requests for comment. Some have been able to make a temporary and quick transition to the work-from-home scenario. Qualcomm Inc (QCOM.O), the world's biggest supplier of "modem" chips that connect mobile phones and other devices to wireless data networks, said about 90% of its workforce in India was able log in to work-from-home since the lockdown started in the country.

"I can tell you that in the last 24hrs 90% of Qualcomm's workforce in India logged in, indicating that our employees have been pivoted well to working from home", a Qualcomm spokeswoman said in an emailed statement.

India's home ministry, in guidelines issued on Tuesday, advised states to exempt essential IT and IT-enabled services from the national lockdown. NASSCOM, the lobbying group, said several states had listed IT and e-commerce among essential services that are exempt.

#contactcenterworld, @nasscom

Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
Source: https://www.businesstoday.in


About NASSCOM:
Company LogoNASSCOM is the trade body and chamber of commerce of the IT-BPO industries in India. NASSCOM is a global trade body with more than 1200 members, which include both Indian and multinational companies that have a presence in India. NASSCOM's member and associate member companies are broadly in the business of software development, software services, software products, consulting services, BPO services, e-commerce & web services, engineering services offshoring and animation and gaming. NASSCOM’s membership base constitutes over 95% of the industry revenues in India and employs over 2.24 million professionals.
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Today's Tip of the Day - Please Hold…

Read today's tip or listen to it on podcast.

Published: Monday, March 30, 2020

Printer Friendly Version Printer friendly version

2021 Buyers Guide Headsets

 
1.) 
All Ears Ltd

Freemate headsets, and sanitary solutions for headsets
Freemate headsets available, corded and wireless for telephony and USB. 3 year warranty compatible with all model phones. We supply accessories from downleads, USB leads, ear cushions, leatherettes and we service call centre headsets, these are sanitised and repaired or serviced as required.

We supply the corporate environment, Government departments, security, medical and professional offices and meet the needs of many of New Zealand's SOHO market.

We can even develop and create one-off solutions for those with mobility or disability limitations opening up a world of freedom in communications. And we like to have fun on the journey.
PH: 644 9201929

2.) 
Comfort Telecommunications

Smith Corona Headsets
3 year warranty compatible with all model phones. Accessories also available. Cords, earpads, etc all factory direct pricing
PH: 800-399-3224

3.) 
CTCOMM

Plantronics
Jabra
Sennheiser

4.) 
Headsets123


Since 1998 Headsets123 has been supplying Call Center Grade corded phone headsets, wireless headsets, headset telephones and a wide range of headset accessories to accommodate Medical, Insurance, Financial offices and large Call Centers environments offering you value, comfort, flexibility and increased productivity in your day to day business.

Our offices are located just outside of Seattle, WA. We hope you enjoy our wide range of headsets and accessories.

5.) 
Jabra

Jabra
Jabra is a leader in engineering communications and sound solutions – innovating to empower both consumers and businesses. We are committed to letting people hear more, do more, and be more than they ever thought possible. Through sound and video, we help transform lives. Jabra engineering excellence leads the way, building on 150 years of pioneering work. This allows us to create integrated headsets and communications tools that help professionals work more productively; wireless headphones and earbuds that let consumers better enjoy calls, music, and media; and pioneering video conferencing solutions, enabling seamless collaboration between distributed teams. Jabra employs approx. 1,400 people worldwide
PH: 800-826-4656

6.) 
JPL Telecom

Based in Dorset, England, JPL designs and manufactures innovative professional telecom headsets. We have a wide range of professional telecom and call centre use headsets in wired, wireless DECT and Bluetooth styles.

Making sure that your customer’s voice can be heard is vital. JPL Telecom ensures that your customer’s experience is first-class. All headsets have our Surround Shield™ noise cancellation to make certain your customer only hears what you want them to hear. Comfortable and attractively designed headsets are built to withstand the constant use in any call centre environment.

Our aim is to continuously improve customer choice, offering a fair price and value to our resellers and end users.
PH: +44 (0)1258 820100

7.) 
Unicom Services Ltd.

Contact center headsets and conference solutions
Unicom Services Ltd. is a distributor of professional headsets and communication solutions for all possible applications.

Products and Services:
* Headsets for contact center, office, small office and home, mobile phones, computer headsets and adapters.

* Conference systems - audio video terminals, personal and group multipoint conferences.

* Telecom Products - office wired and wireless phones, dect systems, softphones.

* Video conference software for contact centers and offices.

* Unified Communication Solution.
PH: +35924110203

8.) 
Xiamen Mairdi Electronic Technology Co., Ltd

Call Center Headsets
Mairdi is a professional call center headsets maker in China. We've designed, produced and exported professional communication headsets for 16 years. Our headsets were exported to over 120 countires in the world.
Our headsets are widely compatible with nearly all IP Phones, desk phones, PC and mobiles. They are all noise cancelling and with built-in hearing protection technology. Our headset accessories are Plantronics or Jabra compatible. All the headsets and accessories are CE,FCC, RoHS certificated.
PH: 0086-592-7177232
 

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