This year has seen some dramatic changes to how businesses operate and for LINX it has been no different. We caught up with our Network Operations Manager, Anne Bates, to ask how the LINX Technology team have adapted to the ‘new normal’ of remote working.
In the days and weeks before lockdown there was an inevitability that usual working practices were likely to change. How did the LINX Technology team prepare?
One of the first things we did was to organise new laptops for the NOC team to help set them up for home working. This has allowed us to maintain uninterrupted support 24/7 which is a key service requirement. For team communications we have been holding regular Zoom meetings, including a 24/7 Zoom meeting room for any urgent issues. The Teams platform has also been extremely important with project groups being established to help us keep on track with our targets.
How has your day-to-day activities and project work been affected by the changes in work environment?
Unfortunately, much of our major project work has had to be put on hold for the time being. This includes establishing the Iron Mountain site at LINX NoVA, a new LON1 site at Equinix (EQ4) in London and the second site for LINX Wales at the Next Generation Data centre in Newport. Currently we’re focusing on work that can be completed remotely such as software testing and route-server automation. We’re also committed to develop the knowledge of our team so we’ve made sure training has continued online as well. We are delighted that Joe Jefford has passed the LAIT3 exam via the virtual training programme. In addition Joe and Mo Shivji have also passed a RIPE certification exam which is great news.
What about service delivery? Has there been any noticeable changes in orders from the membership?
Provisioning has been very busy with a higher than normal number of orders coming through to the NOC team. The Network Engineers have been working with them to bring up the services while utilising data centre remote hands to save our engineers making physical site visits.
Finally, what about staff well-being? How has the Technology team ensured colleagues don’t feel isolated?
We take staff well-being extremely seriously. It’s important to get the day off to a good start so we have instigated daily ‘Good Morning’ calls at 9am in addition to our usual team and Scaled Agile related meetings. We also hold weekly Friday quiz at the end of the day and whoever wins prepares the quiz for the following week. This interaction is very important and it’s clear that everyone is benefiting in both a working capacity as well as socially, even if it is only online at the moment. At the end of the day we’re all in this together!
An ‘In the Spotlight’ interview with…
LINX Network Operations Manager