The COVID-19 pandemic is a particularly strong threat to people and operations in any business.
Last week, DLGL deployed a series of measures destined to first insure the safety of all employees:
- Verification and completion of capabilities to work from home for all employees, in communications with DLGL, partners and clients, as well as peer-to-peer.
- Redistribution of equipment between headquarter buildings and Site 2 hot recovery site.
- Recommendation that all employees who are not useful on-site to support DLGL infrastructures work from home.
- Preparation of a live-in commando plan for the case where access to buildings are denied by civil authorities.
- Suspension of all business travel.
- Cancellation of any group meetings (retirement party, sugar shack, etc.)
- Mandatory quarantine for all employees returning from any trip to anywhere.
- Distribution of a number of masks for each employee and their family (from a stockpile constituted in January)
- Immediate purchase to be installed in 15 days of the latest air purification systems to bring the quality of air at DLGL headquarters to hospital quality level.
- Immediate installation of additional collaborative software to facilitate massive off-site work in communication with DLGL, partners and clients.
- Constant communications on evolution of the situation.
- Incentive program to indemnify employees up to 50% of the loss on cancelled trips.
We acted early (sometimes described as overreaction…) and hopefully this will make a difference in the level of penetration of the virus in the DLGL team.
DLGL has a very complete disaster recovery plan on which to rely for the above measures.
- DLGL operates from two distinct buildings on its campus in Site 1, each with autonomous computer and software infrastructures.
- A third site, distanced by 25 miles, in a different municipality, designated as Site 2, is a hot recovery site operationally used daily for certain applications.
- These sites are fed by two different ISPs (Videotron and Bell).
- A third ISP source comes in from microwave radio communication towers to the two DLGL private single use towers of Site 1 and Site 2, line of sight.
- Should Hydro Quebec fails, there is an automatic switch-over to natural gas (NG) powered generators that would take place with full load capabilities, including heating and A/C.
- If both Hydro Quebec and natural gas fail (never happened in history), everything will be switched to a diesel powered generator with full load capability.
- A complete array of transfer switches and UPSs make this mostly automatic.
A crisis situation like the current one is also opportunity for the bad guys to act up. DLGL has an elaborate security strategy:
- The fundamental approach to security is:
- The bad guys will eventually get in.
- There must not be anything of value to steal (there is no client data that is not “masked”).
- Going back to the previous image of reality must be quasi-instantaneous (anti-ransomware)
- Data is triplicated and mirrored on different equipment, in different buildings, on state of the art storage technology.
- All workstations are virtualized under technology that allows reverting to previous image quasi-instantly.
In a nutshell, DLGL is taking all possible precautions to keep employees safe and able of supporting partners and clients. These employees will be able to tele-work efficiently, and the infrastructures to enable their work are plentiful, well protected and tested.
DLGL and VIP have substantial presence in health care institutions across Canada; our responsibility to spare no effort to support clients and partners could not be greater and it will be met.
And finally, there is the business risk aspect of all this. No one can tell right now if COVID-19 will have been the pin to burst the debt bubble manufactured by free money required to make government debt bearable and keep the stock market in a frenzy for political reasons. No one can tell if that burst will turn in to a recession.
If that was the case, the odds are that most corporations will turn in to cash conservation mode. HCM projects in that context will have a low priority, especially those that require “silly money” levels. New sales will be fewer and further between. We have already heard of cancellations in just the last two days of last week (not in our pipeline).
Contrarily to certain high-flying competitors who lose money by the hundreds of millions of dollars each year and need 30% growth to keep running ahead of the axe, DLGL is not fragile.
Profitable every one of its 40 years, with cash reserves in excess of 3 years of sales, no debt, and paying no interests, able to turn a profit without any new sales indefinitely, knowing on Jan. 1st of each year where 90% of its revenues will come from, and with a stellar slate of clients who will continue to be in business and manage their employees with the best software (our VIP) that happens to be the low cost option in the market, it would be safe to say that DLGL is resilient. And will be there to support you.
Beyond resilient, there is anti-fragile. That describes an organization that stands to thrive when the going gets rough, when competitors with unsustainable business models disappear, and when cost of projects and return on investment re-become fashionable. We think DLGL is anti-fragile; we saw that once in the Y2K panic, twenty years ago.
We wish all our friends at client and partner organizations a safe crossing of this crisis.