Providing Mission-Critical Assistance to ProSupport Customers in Earthquake Disaster Areas

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It was an ordinary Monday afternoon, and a new week had just begun in western China. At about 2:28 p.m. on Monday, May 12th (6:28 a.m. GMT) an earthquake with a magnitude of 8.0, capable of causing major damage, hit China. Over 1.3 billion people were impacted by this devastating earthquake that caused homes to crumble and massive panic to ensue. In the turn of a hand, the earth was moving, mountains were shaking, and buildings were falling. There was no time to run for help. Many lives silently fell into the ruins. People from all over the world mourned and paid attention to the area of Sichuan. Dell's services team quickly reacted out of compassion  to help mitigate service delivery delays in the disaster areas affected by the tragedy.

Dell's Global Command Center in Xiamen acted as the emergency command post by escalating and coordinating resources during the critical situation. At 3:01 pm, the first communication was broadcast out by the Command Center to all Dell teams when the earthquake hit Wenchuan. All impacted teams immediately responded and a corresponding message was sent at 3:10 pm to Dell global related functional teams. At 4:30pm, the Command Center coordinated and led the first initial meeting with all the Dell services teams from technical support, the services operations, logistics, and every Dell service provider to discuss and deploy support resolution strategies. Updates from CCTV News streamed into the center in order to capture new, impacted areas. At 5:50pm, the initial action plan was issued and published.

For 2 weeks, the command center scheduled crisis management meetings with representatives from every service delivery team to update all open dispatches and support cases in order to prioritize and escalate appropriately. The coordination and 24/7 efforts of all the teams from the technical support staff at the frontline to the onsite technician and parts delivery couriers who made contact with the customers was remarkable and unprecedented. Prioritized response went to rescue departments such as government, transportation, medical, earthquake bureau, telecom, water & electricity supply. Real-time tracking procedures were implemented for every service order which were on hold due to road damage by earthquake or governmental transportation control. The logistics department provided daily status of closed highways, railways & flights. Once the transportation systems were back online, spare parts fulfillment resumed to the affected areas. Logistics arranged for backup parts inventory while the Technical Support staff continually communicated with Dell customers to make them aware of the situation and provide the updated status on their parts and technician. During the period time when the Chengdu Airport was shut down, spare parts were transported to Chongqing to solve service delay issues caused by part shortages. This allowed for restored equipment to rescue teams. When a Dell Technical Account Manager (TAM) was informed that the Sichuan Police Department needed a technical support team to help the Police Bureau at understaffed cities, the TAM offered his contacts to the Police Department to ensure the promptest response was available.

On the evening of May 14th, the Sichuan Police Bureau contacted Dell's Support hotlines to report a downed mission critical server needed for information regarding earthquake rescue information. Despite the fact the system was out of warranty, Dell's mission critical team of technical engineers supported the customer with professionalism and urgency to get the critical server back-up as soon as possible. In addition to finding the technical solution, the Dell team had to brave aftershocks in Chengdu city, but stayed onsite to complete the work at hand.

Regardless of the insurmountable number of open technical support cases and dispatches, the Dell teams worked around the clock to complete the work at hand and get them all closed within 2 weeks. So many heroic stories occurred in the wake of the China earthquake, and at the heart of each support case was Dell’s determination and selflessness for ProSupport customers. In fact, one customer was quoted as saying "Dell – what an excellent service!"

About the Author: Wendy Wong

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