The coronavirus (COVID-19) has an increasing impact on public life and the economy. As Global Data Centers EMEA, a division of NTT Ltd., we work hard to protect people who work for us or visit us from the virus and to keep the impact on our business processes as low as possible.
We therefore ask you to support us in our pandemic planning and to consider the following points:
- Reduce data center accesses to the operational minimum
- If employees of your company have recently travelled to an area identified by authorities as a risk area or already show symptoms of disease associated with coronavirus, please do not visit the data center
- The same applies if employees of your company have had contact with persons from risk areas or with infected persons and suspected cases of infection in the last 14 days
- Data center campus tours should not be conducted
- In addition, ensuring preventive measures for your employees is also very important for us, as this is the only way to ensure comprehensive protection
Please inform your contact person from Global Data Centers EMEA by phone about confirmed cases of coronavirus in your company and share the information if the infected person has had access to the data center.
If symptoms of illness are observed during a visit to a data center, end the visit, avoid contact with third parties and inform your contact person from Global Data Centers EMEA by telephone. If acute medical assistance is required, follow the emergency procedures on site.
Frequently asked questions regarding pandemic planning of Global Data Centers EMEA, a division of NTT Ltd.
Please find below the answers to frequently asked questions on pandemic planning Global Data Centers EMEA, a division of NTT Ltd.
1) How is pandemic planning done?
Pandemic planning is governed by a pandemic plan. This plan includes preventive and reactive measures, which are implemented taking into account the risk situation. A pandemic team has been established to coordinate the implementation of the necessary measures. Within the framework of risk management, the development of COVID-19’s global distribution is monitored daily. Our employees have been informed how they should act in case of suspicions, including an internal notification to a central point of contact.
A selection of measures taken:
- Health & Safety instructions for the best strategies to minimize contracting COVID-19
- Provision of disinfectants
- Employee information
- Reduction of access to sensitive data center areas to the operational minimum
- Restrictions on employee travel
- Preventive leave of absence for the incubation period for employees who have privately travelled to high risk areas
- Supply chain monitoring of critical service providers
- Review of the existing Business Continuity Management (BCM) measures in order to maintain data center operations even in worst-case scenarios
2) How is the operation of data centers protected against the effects of the coronavirus?
In addition to preventive measures, the data centers are protected by a Business Continuity Management System, which includes the concept of "resilient operations". Technical high-availability solutions have been implemented for the critical systems and organizational measures have been taken to ensure that the data centers remain capable of acting in the event of emergencies and to maintain data center operations. Substantial services, such as the supply of power, cooling, connectivity and access protection to the data center, are guaranteed even without manual action.
3) How are coronavirus suspicions handled?
An internal reporting procedure for suspicious cases has been implemented. The basic principle is that a report is made by telephone, the suspicious cases are recorded centrally, and employees are required to stay home for the duration of the incubation period if the suspicion is justified. The employee is instructed to contact a doctor. Employees must inform HR if the suspicion is confirmed. When assessing suspected cases, an analysis of possible contact persons is always carried out to assess whether further measures are necessary.
4) What happens if a data center site has a confirmed coronavirus case?
The health of people who work for us or visit us has the highest priority; therefore the medical care is ensured in accordance with the official regulations in this case. The BCM on-call service is notified immediately and activates the crisis team. The crisis team evaluates which location is affected and decides to send people home and ensures that the official instructions are followed. In this case, the affected data center would be monitored by another data center location in order to continue monitoring the security and operational facilities. During the remote monitoring by another data center location temporary access requests and delivery of goods for the affected data center have to be denied. The travel restrictions imposed as part of the preventive measures have reduced the risk of cross-site infection. Client/Customer communication takes place via the defined emergency contacts.
5) How is the supply of power, cooling, connectivity and access protection for the data center ensured in the event of a pandemic?
Substantial services for data center operation, such as the supply of power, cooling, connectivity and access protection to the data center area, are guaranteed even without manual action.
6) How are official access restrictions affecting a data center handled?
In the event that the authorities restrict access to an area where one of our data centers is located, the affected data center would be monitored via another data center location in order to continue monitoring the security and operational systems. Contact would be made with the authorities and customers would be informed of the access restrictions.
7) How is it ensured that events at service providers or suppliers do not lead to disruptions in data center operations?
Critical service providers have been identified as part of the Business Continuity Management. These will be included in the pandemic preparedness plans with appropriate communication. This includes a query of the current situation and the measures implemented to protect business processes. In addition, they were requested to provide information immediately if there was a risk that the services could no longer be provided. Should it nevertheless occur that a service cannot be provided, the technical infrastructure of the data centers is designed to remain productive even in the event of longer downtimes of service providers.
8) Can the coronavirus lead to client restrictions?
The health of our employees and clients has the highest priority. Through the preventive measures that have been implemented, face-to-face appointments have been reduced and where possible replaced by virtual appointments. Internally, access has been reduced to the minimum. Event centers are operated at some data centers. The renting out of these event centers is suspended until further notice. The same applies to internal campus tours. These measures may lead to a slight reduction in service. The continuation of the core services - the secure and highly-available data center operation - is ensured by preventive and business continuity measures.
9) Are construction projects at risk from the coronavirus?
Within the scope of construction, project management, service providers and suppliers are monitored for delivery capability. This ensures early identification of bottlenecks and the selection of alternative solutions. The development of coronavirus’ spread and the effects on supply chains are difficult to predict. Should delivery problems or restrictions in services occur that lead to delays in construction, contract partners are informed at an early stage.
10) Can the Pandemic Plan and Business Continuity Plans be shared?
The plans are internal documents only. Please see FAQ’s and if you have a specific question please get back to your responsible contact person of Global Data Centers EMEA and they will check if they can share the information with you.
11) Are there any measures in place to prevent potentially infected people from entering the data centers?
Every person entering the premises of our data centers will have to answer two COVID-19 related questions before security will grant access. The questions are as follows:
1. Have you experienced any cold or flu-like or other COVID-19 related symptoms in the last 14 days which include but are not limited to:
- Sore throat
- Difficulty breathing
- Loss of taste or smell
2. Have you or someone in your household had any close contact with anyone that has had any cold or flu-like symptoms or has been diagnosed with COVID-19 within the last 14 days?
Depending on the answers, access may be denied.
As an extended measure, from 18th May 2020 every person is required to pass a body temperature measurement, taken by a fever detection system. The measurement takes place in designated areas and follows all data protection regulations. The measuring instruments are not connected to a network and there is no local recording of personal data. In case of doubt, the measurement of the fever detection system can be repeated by a manual handheld device. If the core body temperature is 38°C or above, access to our data centers is denied.
In addition, every person entering the reception or buildings of our data centers will have to sanitize their hands. These measures may cause slightly longer waiting times before entering our sites, however, the health of our employees and clients is of the highest priority. Please be prepared to allow a little more time for the registration process. For your own protection and for the protection of others, we kindly ask you to keep the recommended minimum distance of 2 meters to other people in case of possible waiting times. Thank you for your cooperation.
12) Who can I contact if I have further questions?
Please get back to your responsible contact person of Global Data Centers EMEA.