2021. What an interesting year. With the world turned upside down by a pandemic that seemingly had its sights set on...
DataExpress – moving data around the globe remains of paramount importance for business today!
It was only a month ago that we wrote of how well our equipment move to the centralized Data443 North Carolina location had gone and how much we appreciated our new IT environment. We have a managed environment for which we are most appreciative. When the decision was taken to make DataExpress an integral part of Data443 it was also a decision that would have long lasting implications. With Data443 based in North Carolina and now our NonStop systems collocated nearby, plans were set in place as far back as October 2019 for the DataExpress team to become remote workers.
We wrote of these changes in our article published here last month and even as it reflected a new work environment that we were readily adapting too, we did not fully appreciate that this new working environment would prove so beneficial in today’s current climate. Of course, no business ever plans to function in a world that exists as it does today, where the specter of a global pandemic is upon us. Yet for all of us, maintaining a degree of separation, where “social distancing” could be put into practice, has become an all-important consideration that we embraced from the beginning of the year.
As the US enacted increasingly onerous work and social interaction limitations, DataExpress has maintained its ability to support our DataExpress customers with no noticeable changes for these users. “The recent ‘stay at home’ enforcement didn’t affect the DataExpress team in the slightest,” said Data443 Engineering Manager, Billy Whittington. “When we look back at those October plans, we missed the ability we used to have to simply walk to someone’s desk to ask a question, but as time went on, we all got used to tools such as slack and zoom and yes the telephone and in time and with familiarity, video conferencing became routine to where it’s all now just ‘the way it works!’”
The beauty of being a small company is that in some ways, we benefitted from having few defined roles. It was a matter of daily interactions with our NonStop users that everyone could do everything with the result that at any time, there was always someone who could step in to help a user. “This hasn’t changed at all as we continue to operate in this world of social distancing even as being this flexible has enhanced the customer experience as all of us continue to be reached at all times.”
“That goes for both Support and Development,” said Whittington, “with the obvious benefits for our DataExpress team in that working from home isolated them from the general population, the sharing of elevators, office hallways and entrances etc. has provided us all with a degree of comfort as well as assurances that we will do just fine no matter how long this enforced separation lasts. We have always had a contingency plan in the event of crisis, but safe to say, we hadn’t envisioned an extended outage like this,” added Whittington explaining that such plans not only had to cater for a system or network outage but access disruption driven by unexpected loads coming from locations spread across the country.”
DataExpress continues to do what it does so well regardless of the environment out there, and that’s moving data. There is no letup in the creation of data or the need to report on data as we see so much activity shifting to eCommerce and ePayments. For us here in DataExpress in development and support roles, there are customers who need support and we are there to support them. “New opportunities may arise as companies realize that depending on manual file transfer or home-grown solutions may not be the optimum way of doing things,” said Whittington. Looking further ahead it’s not hard to imagine that there will be changes coming with the way we conduct business.
“Some of these changes might prove to be permanent just as they will be far-reaching,” Whittington noted even as he can see companies looking more closely at how best to support a totally remote crew, either fulltime or on a very short notice. “There will be new business created that capitalize on opportunities to educate companies in this new world we see evolving right before our eyes and already consideration is being given by many companies to just how much real estate is actually required for future operations.
Our participation within Data443 has proved not only invaluable to us as we transitioned to working remotely but in many ways, has helped us understand the future of development and support for many NonStop vendors. There is little indication that for many vendors there will be little enthusiasm to returning to former models of operation. Data443 will continue to expand its product lines even as today, we have DataExpress NonStop (DXNS) and Open Platform (DXOP) that both serve markets where moving data is of paramount importance. Should you have any questions about our product development plans and roadmaps please don’t hesitate reaching out to us directly at Data443.
For more information, please visit www.data443.com