Email to all customers 6th May 2020
We are all now in the seventh week of adjusting to the Covid19 lockdown and the uneven but massive impact this has had on all of us.
Now that there are signs that an easing of restrictions might be coming in the near future, we felt it would be timely to give an update on what has been happening at IS Oxford and what we will continue to do to help you, our customers.
We are acutely conscious of the impact the virus has had on your resource centres and libraries and with them, you and the services that you are able to offer. Many of you are now working remotely with very few libraries still open. We are providing lots of support so that you can continue to access Heritage Cirqa, make plans and improve your knowledge of the system during the closed period.
The emphasis of what we have been doing at IS Oxford has also shifted. We are now entirely focused on you, our existing customers and your current and expected future needs. This means that no one has been furloughed.
The flexibility of the design of Heritage Cirqa has meant that we have been able to adapt it quickly to these changing needs, enabling our development team to implement new features and reports which have then been rolled out by our support team (e.g. the new ‘Quarantined’ status). We are also continuing work on upgrades to Heritage Cirqa. Upgrades are a major part of our annual maintenance service.
The most significant new development at present is a complete rewrite of Heritage Online. Many of you will have recently received an invitation to take part in a survey about it. This is one of several initiatives that have come from our sales and marketing teams during this period. We are also working on version 5.6 of Heritage Cirqa which will include bug fixes and new features.
As our day-to-day maintenance-related operations have not been interrupted by the lockdown, we have no plans at present for discounting our services. We will, however, periodically review this position over the coming months, taking into account the need to be balanced and fair whilst also recognising your individual circumstances.
We also understand that it may take longer for payments to be made than in the past. We have always been understanding in this respect, so please do let us know if you need to delay payment or if there are other particular circumstances that you consider need to be taken into account.
We hope that you will all remain safe and well. Whilst things will likely never return to how they were, we hope we will all eventually settle into a better future.
We look forward to assisting in rebuilding your service to meet that challenge.
David Salvesen Managing Director
Earlier statement updated on 24/03/2020
IS Oxford is continuing to monitor the rapidly evolving situation relating to the coronavirus (COVID-19), determining our actions from the advice provided by the UK government and other well-regarded sources. In doing this we are seeking to ensure that we act in a manner that balances the need to protect our staff, and the public as a whole against the spread and impact of the virus with providing as near as normal a service to our customers as we can.
Following the latest guidance from the Government on the 23rd March we are all now working remotely when we can. A very small number of staff will be in the office each day to deal with any matters that cannot be handled remotely, such as swapping backup tapes and resolving issues with desktop computers.
Email is being handled as usual and phones have been rerouted. We will receive alerts resulting from missed calls, however, if you have a problem contacting us by phone, please email email@example.com instead.
We anticipate that these changes should not have a noticeable impact on the services that we provide. We will also seek to provide whatever assistance we can with facilitating not just our customers's need to work remotely but also with the tasks you make seek to carry out due to the closure of your physical services.
As of Monday 16th March, we ceased to offer any on-site services, such as training or software presentations. These will either be carried out online, or postponed accordingly by agreement.
It is to be anticipated that we may see a reduction in our staffing levels due to illness or caring for others, but we are able to redeploy team members from other less urgent, non-customer facing activities to assist as may be necessary to maintain our level of service.
We recognise that the demands on our services may increase or decrease depending on the needs of individual customers. On balance we consider that the effect of this will be at worst neutral and will not necessitate any additional changes to how we operate beyond what has been described above.
IS Oxford’s dependence on external suppliers necessary to continuing its business is limited to utilities in the form of electricity supply and internet access and services. At present there is no evidence either of disruption of these even in countries heavily affected by COVID-19, nor is this expected to occur. We are therefore not currently proposing to implement additional measures to address their potential impact but will continue to monitor this as part of our ongoing review.