Research operations can continue in the time of a pandemic

by Glen Kelley | published on March 23, 2020

As a firm that handles large amounts of personal data for Fortune 100 firms, we have significant data security and business continuity plans that have been in place for years. Our main campus business continuity plan has been duly reviewed and tabletop exercised annually in what has been a pretty academic exercise.

Enabling stable work from home environments

As the COVID-19 pandemic loomed larger in early March our CEO, John Sessions, asked about those capabilities and insisted that now was the time to be absolutely sure our plan can — and will — work. Bellomy must be able to continue to provide services to the clients that depend on our work. Our technology team handled small issues that came up as we tested our VPN connection and capacity in a series of live, work from home exercises. These practice sessions culminated in our entire team proving that we can operate in a work from home environment without losing connection with each other, our clients, or our data. It's gratifying to be able to back up statements about your team being nimble, innovative, flexible, and committed with a real-life example.

Continuing call center operations from disperse locations

With 30 years of telephone surveying experience, established infrastructure, and ample space to allow safe social distancing in our remote contact center, we were prepared to continue our data collection efforts with relatively few changes in that operation. As the COVID-19 threat grew, John insisted that we prepare to conduct telephone surveys with work from home agents. Our technology team once again accepted the challenge and was able to identify, test, and implement a softphone system to give us the "at home" capability needed. Our contact center staff, like many others, has proven their ability to pivot on short notice to a new world of working from home. We are still collecting data for our clients and have even managed to increase our capacity with the changes. It turns out that more people are at home and also somewhat more willing to share their opinions — perhaps from boredom or a need to express themselves during this self-isolation and shelter-in-place orders.

We are proud of the resourcefulness, flexibility, and commitment of our entire team, researchers, technology, and contact center during this difficult time.