Recently we all read/saw the news about the ‘Black out in India’ (Black Out = Power failure). Vantage Agora has two centers in India, which provides back office support to several US customers. Naturally, some of our customers asked us if VA operation was affected by the ‘Black Out’.
I was in the US and I did not even know about the black out until one of our customers asked me about it. When I was asked this question the first time, I checked my dashboard (We provide complete management dashboard (VA Matrix) for all our customers that enables them to see their operation status every morning) and said “Not really, and given that your dashboard and numbers look all right, we seem to be okay. Let me check with the team and get back.” I quickly checked into Club VA (VA’s patent pending enterprise social network) for answers and within minutes I had an answer that read something like this:
“Yes, there was a power outage in parts of Northern India during the night but life in general was not affected since literally every company has its own generator back up to provide power without any interruption.”
I was happy that there was no impact to our operations and pressed:
“What would the impact be to us if the power outage was in Bangalore?”
The answer was quick and sharp:
“We thought of the same situation. The IT and Admin team have already done a surprise test in house on both the Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) and the diesel generator for nearly 4 hours today and everything works just fine. We are ready to take on a power outage of nearly 48 hours without even heading out to get more fuel. In fact this was the same test that we did when we got our SSAE 16 certification earlier this year for the second year in a row.”
I was happy with the response; I got back to our customer, and let them know that everything is working fine and that there is no problem at all.
Then over lunch, I was talking to our sales team that had similar questions for me. In fact, one of them sent me an article that was published in a reputed insurance journal talking about how companies were impacted because of the power outage in India. That is when I got to thinking; how a reputed journal and media companies like CNN can publish news like this without any responsibility towards their audience. Now let’s look at what they have claimed and clarify any misconception that they might have created in your mind.
Myth: They (The news media) tell us that the power outage in India can cause a problem in service levels because Indian companies cannot operate their machines; the usual picture that most people get is that entire city is plunged into darkness and there are massive lootings and chaos.
Truth: Power problems are routine in not just India but most of South East Asia and Africa. So much so that most companies and houses have battery back-up for their electricity needs that can last up to 2 hours if all the lights in the house/office are left on. This runs on rechargeable batteries. For crying out-loud, I have one in my house and every one of my friends has one in their houses (Uninterrupted Power Supplies – UPS).
Most companies that affect the US services from India do not have any heavy machinery to operate like factories or manufacturing plants in China. Meaning, these back up power can last or days if not weeks with literally no impact on service delivery.
In reality, as far as the US services industry is concerned all signs are positive because the Indian power infrastructure had been bad for the last 50 years. The Indian government has recognized this and has signed a multibillion-dollar nuclear power generation plan with President Obama when he was in the India in 2011. This is one of the biggest service contracts for the US nuclear power sectors. This will generate large number of jobs in the United States. In short, it means that India will be outsourcing work to United States. Why does this not get press? I wonder.
We can state many more reasons why the entire article about ‘The Indian Black Out’ is nothing but press for the sake of creating fear, uncertainty, and doubt in the minds of viewers and readers simply because bad news sells.
For those of you interested specifically in the Vantage Agora operations and its welfare, here is a short statistics about how well your operation in India works.
Vantage Agora has a concrete business continuity and disaster preparedness plan, which includes the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for Disaster Recovery (DR), for various types of disasters. VA DR covers VA operations in case of:
Type1: Natural disasters and issues that will require us to move out of the current site before getting back to normal operations. This includes:
Flood / Water Damage
Type2: People related issues that will cause disruptions in operations:
Resignation and Absence
Type3: Systems and process related issues that can cause disruptions to the operations:
At VA, our prime focus is to help our customers and their business. VA has planned all its operations keeping in mind YOUR business and productivity. Our customers will remain unaffected by the wrong speculations and myths created by the media.
About Vantage Agora
Vantage Agora (VA) is a global provider of back-office solutions, custom IT services and consulting services for companies in the insurance, finance, and healthcare sectors. As a SAS70 Type II audited company,Vantage Agora utilizes advanced data processing and quality control systems on a secured network to ensure efficient, comprehensive management of back-office functions such as payroll, accounting, financial and administrative tasks. Founded in 2004, Vantage Agora has offices in Cleveland and Dallas.