It’s hard to imagine that just 3 weeks ago, I was skiing in the French alps with friends. The concept of Coronavirus felt a million miles away from my reality and definitely not something that I needed to be concerned about.
Fast forward to today and 1/3 of the global population is currently in lockdown – India the largest populous on earth being the latest – and I like many people are isolating in my small flat in London, alone and uncertain about what this all means. What was utterly inconceivable a concept a few weeks back is now the new norm.
As Zoom, Teams, WebEx and Google hangouts become our new medium for daily interaction with our clients and customers and millions of people adjust to being webcam ready, instead of commuting and priming their living rooms for daily streaming. I am hugely aware of how lucky I am to have the technology around me to enable my life to maintain a sense of normality and a company which is primed for full home working and has support in place to enable business to continue.
Yet, for many companies and industries – maintaining business as usual is near impossible with employees off sick or unable to come to their place of work – supply chains are overrun and they’re struggling with the economic impacts of companies going under, people spending less and interest rates at rock bottom levels.
As a company Blue Prism has decided to use the power of its RPA community – our internal developers, consultants and analysts; our partners, alliances and customers – to come together and offer to those in need, donated software licenses and service support to enable them to automate the key manual/repetitive/analytical/data entry tasks that they’re struggling to maintain in light of our new reality.
So far we’ve had almost 20 requests through and have approved work to begin on projects with healthcare providers in the UK and US to help with staff management and other key back office functions, monitoring the spread of the virus in prisons, sharing data between trusts and enabling access to virtual appointments. We’ve also approved work to begin with a leading research university in the US on investigating and mapping the protein sequencing for a potential vaccination; and many more besides.
Any companies or charities in need of help are requested to fill out our online Covid-19 form, to start the process of qualifying for donated resources as soon as possible; we’ll then be in touch with next steps, once our Executive Committee approves the proposal. Our highest priority is getting help to those frontline responders in healthcare, government and emergency services; while our second level is key industries like food supply chain, manufacturing, travel and finance – who have been heavily impacted and require immediate support.
Our aim is to get help to those in need, as quickly as possible – so we will get back to you within a matter of days regarding our decision. We’re keen to hear from anyone with genuine needs, so please do reach out.
On a final note - as we adjust to this new norm, remember it’s the power of our community that is going to get us through this. Do your bit to stop the spread, stay home, isolate and remember to reach out to those you care about, your colleagues, your friends, your family and finally – be kind. We’re all in this together!