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Wednesday, July 22nd, 2020

At home with WIOCC’s NOC Engineers

In response to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, our team of Network Operations Centre (NOC) Engineers, who provide 24/7 support for our unique, pan-African hyperscale network infrastructure, have been set up to support clients entirely from home.

Our Nairobi-based NOC Engineers are our clients’ first point of contact for network-related queries and issues, so following a Kenyan government directive to socially distance it was imperative to rapidly adapt our systems and working practices to ensure that they could work efficiently and effectively from home. “Our strong local supplier relationships meant that within 24 hours we were able to procure all the equipment needed for our NOC Engineers, including laptops, monitors and home office furniture. Our IT team re-configured the 24/7 Service Desk telephone line, introducing Zoiper to create a private branch exchange that routed calls directly to our laptops or mobile phones as VoIP calls,” explained Magdalene Wahome, NOC Engineer and Team Lead for the ‘Tembo’ team (“elephant” in Kiswahili), one of WIOCC’s four NOC shift teams.

She continued: “In Nairobi, we often experience local power outages and fibre cable cuts. To mitigate against such problems, we have provided our NOC Engineers with a wireless home connection and a modem as an alternative internet access point. Each NOC Engineer also has uninterruptible power supply apparatus and a power bank to provide a further six to eight hours of uptime in the event of a power outage. Our teams of NOC Engineers work 12-hour shifts, supporting each other by standing-in for anyone who experiences an extended power outage at home during their shift.”

Throughout this period, our clients have continued to benefit from the exceptional client service and support they expect from our NOC. Network incidents are typically resolved in less than an hour for equipment faults, within two hours for terrestrial network cable cuts and escalations to our second-level support team have remained under five percent on all reported incidents.

“My team maintains close-knit personal relationships by regularly communicating via WhatsApp and through video calls. We also share experiences in resolving challenging network faults, in addition to recording specific details on our NetSuite ERP system, meaning that all team members have the knowledge and ability to resolve similar incidents in future. Working from home saves me about four hours of commuting to and from work, which I now spend reading to improve my skills and communicating online with friends and family,” she concluded.

Our NOC Engineers will continue to be available to WIOCC clients around-the-clock throughout the Covid-19 outbreak.

Building Africa’s hyperscale infrastructure