COVID-19 IMPACTInterviews

COVID-19 Impact: Having a Well-Designed Business Continuity Plan is Key

Raj Sabhlok, the President of ManageEngine, speaks about the contingency plans his company has planned if the COVID-19 crisis persists or gets escalated

During this COVID-19 crisis, what measures have you undertaken to continue your own business without disruption?
ManageEngine is fortunate in that we can operate from anywhere. Our products are hosted in the cloud or run in the cloud, so our employees and our customers alike can access our products even when our staff is working from home.

Also our personnel were able to move to a work-from-home mode fairly seamlessly. The tools they need to do tasks like support, development, and sales are all provided by cloud based applications from us and from our parent company, Zoho Corporation. Additionally, our data centers operate in primary and secondary modes so that all applications run with 99.999 percent availability.

Finally, we had a well-designed business continuity plan (BCP) that allowed us to continue business without interruption. Even with highly available systems, it is critical to have a BCP that outlines who needs to do what in a crisis.

Have you put in place any contingency plans if this crisis persists or gets escalated?
All of our contingency plans have contingency plans. For example, all of our data centers run with full redundancy. So, any disruption will cause users to be redirected to an available data center where they can access their applications and data without interruption.

What sort of business and financial impact do you expect for your business as a result of COVID-19?
It is too early to say at this point because it is not clear how long this crisis will persist. Right now, our primary concern is for our employees and our customers. I will say that we have built our business in a very disciplined way. We don’t have debt or leverage in our business model, and that gives us tremendous resilience. We have always set very competitive prices and remained profitable, even while charging customers less. It may take time for the economy to recover, but we are confident that ManageEngine will be the go-to IT management solutions when companies are ready to focus on IT.

Have you kick-started any initiatives for your employees to better handle this crisis?
Yes. We moved over 8,000 employees to work-from-home mode within a weekend at the beginning of March. Not only were we able to move ManageEngine personnel to safety, but we did it with no downtime. After the crisis, we will review our decisions and execution and use the findings to make any necessary changes to our Business Continuity Plan. Analyzing how you performed in a crisis is something I would recommend to all companies.

Which top industry verticals and markets have you seen the maximum traction? How has COVID-19 impacted business with existing customers in those verticals and markets?
Covid-19 has definitely affected all verticals of businesses across the world. That said, businesses especially in public sector as well as IT and tech-backed sectors like ed-tech, fintech, and healthcare are expected to survive this crisis with less negative impact. For the past many years, the private sector has been an agent of change and one of the leading contributors to the world’s economic development.

But given current events globally, the private sector could become the most affected section of the global economy. Especially industries such as retail, hospitality and manufacturing may have their growth severely, adversely affected at this time. How has this crisis affected our business with customers across all these verticals? It’s too early for us to tell at this point. We hope this crisis passes soon, and we learn new things to be better prepared in the future.

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Chris Fernando

Chris N. Fernando is an experienced media professional with over two decades of journalistic experience. He is the Editor of Arabian Reseller magazine, the authoritative guide to the regional IT industry. Follow him on Twitter (@chris508) and Instagram (@chris2508).

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