At a time when it seems as though the world is coming apart, tech companies around the globe are working to not only hold it together but also do good. From a video conference with colleagues at home to rapid home delivery of nearly anything, our world is relying on technology more than ever. There is tremendous stress on high-tech OEMs and medical device manufacturers to continue supporting their customers with spare parts, technical services and field engineers. Amid the chaos though, many high-tech companies are finding ways to help on the front lines. There are hundreds if not thousands of amazing examples. Here are a few from tech companies.
Communication and Collaboration
How do you collaborate and learn together when you can’t be in the same room? Remote learning, meetings, and group collaboration tools make it possible.
- Zoom removed its 40-minute meeting time limit on free accounts in many countries. It’s also working with closed school districts to provide free access and support for both teachers and students.
- WebEx expanded the features on its free offering to include unlimited usage without time restrictions, and calls now can support up to 100 people. It also increased its free security offerings to help people keep important data secure while working remotely.
- Slack is offering free support and upgrades for teams working on “coronavirus research, response, or mitigation.“
Donations and Diversions
Support isn’t just coming in the form of technology services. Tech companies are supporting their communities with cash donations and free or reduced-cost services.
- Many technology companies are donating masks and other medical equipment to help hospitals affected by shortages of personal protective equipment and supplies.
- In Santa Clara County (California), Cisco is offering financial assistance to people “who may be at risk of homelessness due to coronavirus-related illness.” The company is also “allocating $8 million in cash and $210 million in product to the global coronavirus response.“
- Pure Storage and 24 other Bay Area companies are teaming up to contribute an initial $22 million to the CDC Foundation, United Nations Foundation, or the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.
- Google is matching donations totaling up to $7.5 million to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund to support global preparedness and response to the outbreak.
- F5 and NGINX have made a list of free resources to help IT professionals and webmasters keep sites up and running.
- Many streaming services are offering longer free trials — up to 30 days in most cases. Sling TV has launched a “Stay In and Sling!” initiative to offer free access to many streaming channels and ABC News Live. No subscription is required.
- Internet companies have agreed to open WiFi hotspots to the public, postpone service terminations for 60 days, and waive late fees.
Education and Expertise
The best things about the Internet and social media — the ease of connection and communication — can also be the most dangerous in a crisis. That’s why search engines and social media companies are working to push fact-based information to the top of search results and social media.
- Facebook created a “Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information Center” where users can find updated information, ask for assistance, or offer to help.
- Twitter launched a dedicated search prompt to help users find credible information about COVID-19.
- Google is using its services to connect people who are suffering with COVID-19 to reliable information and resources.
Meanwhile, education technology companies are opening their platforms to provide free educational resources for students. TechForLearners.org maintains a searchable database of education resources for both K-12 and higher education.
The Service Supply Chain
Technology helps us maintain connections to friends, family, and coworkers without leaving home. However, technology alone can’t do everything. Warehouse workers, repair technicians, logistics and spare parts managers, delivery drivers, and trade compliance professionals play important roles in a global service supply chain that supports everyone. Let’s pay tribute to these unsung heroes who make it possible for others to self-isolate and maintain social distance.
On behalf of the entire logistics and supply chain community, we know that many companies and their employees are struggling to deal with these unprecedented challenges. Amid the disruption and chaos, there is opportunity.
Flash Global is honored to serve many high-tech companies so they can do what they do best — keep the world’s critical infrastructure running. Our staff is proud of the work that we’re doing to make a difference.
We salute everyone who is giving their all to keep the world turning, and we’re here to help in any way we can.