India is the dominant source of offshored IT workers, and home to big facilities for plenty of global IT companies. India is also in lockdown and workers there cannot leave their homes except under limited cirumstances.
So The Register decided to ask big global IT companies if the situation has changed the way they deliver services from India, or their ability to do so. We asked how they are ensuring business continuity. And with half an eye on the future, we asked the lockdown has impacted product development or R&D.
Most didn't answer our questions directly, but none said they're experiencing any real disruption.
Here's a summary of their answers.
AWS answered with a simple "no" to the question of whether its services or R&D have been impacted. The cloud colossus also told us: "We have taken measures to prepare and we are confident we will be able to meet customer demands for capacity in response to COVID-19."
Dell didn't have much to say beyond detailing efforts to meet customers' needs, especially for remote working tools, and this statement: "The coronavirus situation continues to evolve and Dell Technologies is monitoring the situation closely."
HCL today popped out a new statement, saying: "Given the extended nature of this situation, we have looked at ensuring that we put in medium-term sustainable measures in place to ensure continuity of all our operations and client deliverables. We have been successful in achieving this as of today. A large number of our clients have expressed their deep appreciation of our efforts and speed at which we have been able to achieve the current state." The company added that 76 per cent of its Indian workforce, and 92 per cent globally, are now working from home.
HPE didn't directly address offshore service delivery issues, but did say that "HPE India R&D team members are all working remotely with a few exceptions to ensure break-fix support and to enable support for customers by providing essential services for our mission critical customers." The company is also working to secure lockdown exemptions for jobs that require its staff to go on site.
Intel told us: "Prior to the current lockdown, Intel India had already put in place measures to address the situation and had been operating with most of our employees working from home." Once the lockdown became official, Intel told them to stay there.
Microsoft offered us the following comment: "Essential infrastructure and processes are in place so that employees can work remotely without sacrificing collaboration, productivity or security including in areas such as customer service, product development and research."
SAP told us: "Every Project Manager in India is working with their individual clients to implement clear action plans to support remote working while delivering the right quality of execution and governance to the client. A senior Services leader has been appointed in each region to work with the Project Managers to support the creation and implementation of these plans." For those who must come to the office, social distancing is being observed, but teams are being split up to avoid infection.
VMware said it was using its own end-user computing products and has "quickly modified our work and delivery patterns so that it minimally disrupts our overall operations". Product development work continues using electronic collaboration.
IBM asked to be excused from the story. Google, Lenovo and Oracle had not responded at the time of writing.
If you've heard from your offshore service provider, or haven't, feel free to send me a message and we'll follow up. ®