Western Governors University
State Farm Business Contingency Plan
The qualitative risk analysis performed in a previous report identified eight notable risks associated with setting up a call-center presence in Québec, Canada. As those risks are successfully managed, the call center will commence operation and start handling telephonic insurance requests from mostly French-speaking customers. (Only one-quarter of employees at this center will handle English-speaking calls from Canadian customers.)
Because there will be a sole call center in Canada handling 100 percent of the French-speaking calls and one-quarter of English-speaking calls, it will be imperative to establish a business contingency plan, or BCP. Because of the aforementioned propensity for natural disasters in Canada, this plan will address continuity of business in the event of a natural disaster, such as a tornado. The specific areas of business continuity to be treated are
1. Pre-incident adjustments,
2. Ethical use and protection of sensitive data,
3. Ethical use and protection of customer data,
4. Communication plan, and
5. Post-incident continuity.
The goal of this plan is to reduce pandemonium associated with natural disasters’ effects on normative business operations.
It is important to understand the principal components that contribute to the locomotion of a well-functioning call center. These components include:
1. A functioning telephone-delivery system, also known as a PSTN 2. A functioning networking system for data sharing
3. A functional group of computers for customer processing 4. A functioning electrical system
There are other less-crucial components that contribute to a normative operational environment, such as fax capabilities and office equipment. The focus, however, will be on major components.
It is obvious that a call center requires the ability to manage inbound and outbound calls. A tornado of any strength has a high likelihood of disrupting this call management ability. (Please review the risk register and attendant risk report for more information on the level of severity and likelihood.)
Public Switch Telephone Network
The call center is dependent on a public switch telephone network, or PSTN. This is an array of externally managed networks employed to deliver calls throughout the world; this network uses coaxial cables, fiber optics, land lines, and satellite communication to support communication. A natural disaster can physically affect this aspect of the communication network, which effectively prevents the delivery of calls to the call center’s own internal automatic call-delivery system, or ACD. This is an obvious impediment to the nature of a call center.
In order for call-center employees to make and receive calls, the PSTN must deliver the calls to the call center’s networking system, which comprises the business telephone system, or PABX, and high-speed data delivery lines, such as ISDN. If a tornado affects the PSTN, the call center’s networking system for call delivery would be useless, and no calls would be delivered or could be made. If the tornado damaged the call-center structure, the networking system would also fail, not only preventing the handling of calls but the appropriate transmission of data. If there are onsite servers or mainframes, they may also be damaged.
Computers are required in every aspect of call-center operation. Front-line employees cannot process calls or customer requests without access to a computer. Information-technology workers cannot support the existing call-center network without a computer to interface with the network. A direct impact of a tornado would most likely destroy a significant number of workstations, causing elevated levels of inefficiency and the inability to meet...