Virgin Media Business has been working hard to keep customers connected during the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the people helping to make this happen is Simon Green, a consultant engineer in the data services team, who has helped the 111 service to deal with the increased number of calls.
Simon has worked for Virgin Media for nearly 20 years – since before it was known as Virgin Media. He is based in the North West of England and delivers bespoke solutions for Virgin Media’s enterprise and public sector customers – including the NHS. “I spend most of my time delivering these bespoke solutions and could spend months on end, working on customer sites, working mainly on the technical implementation aspects of the project,” he says. “Our aim is to integrate the latest technologies into the customers’ existing communications and IT infrastructure with as little disruption to their business as possible.”
As the UK entered lockdown in March, Simon found that his role started to look slightly different. He wasn’t able to visit customers in the same way and now has to carry out a lot of his work from home. Normally, Simon’s job involves installing and upgrading systems out of normal business hours. But, with many of these businesses closed or restricted due to the lockdown, Simon and his team aren’t working the unsociable hours they’re used to.
“This is allowing us to focus on delivering more services in a shorter time frame for our key NHS service customers who are a high priority at this time,” he says. “Luckily the team I work with are very agile and have the ability to be adaptable so having to step up to the plate is not totally alien to us.”
One of the customers that Simon has been able to help during the lockdown is the North West Ambulance Service. “They run the 111 contact centre within the north-west region,” he explains. “We, as a team, built their communications infrastructure and it was my responsibility to work on the contact centre software, which has been happily churning away for five years now.”
However, the coronavirus pandemic has put the 111 service under pressure with an increase in the number of calls they are dealing with. Simon recently received an email on a Friday afternoon asking for help in redesigning the contact centre software.
He explained: “This was to help them deal with the huge increase in call volumes due to the coronavirus. They wanted this completed by the following Monday. Normally this work would take weeks due to process order entry and design. However, because of the current pandemic, we worked all weekend and late into the night to complete the requested changes ready for Monday morning.”
The team at the North West Ambulance Service were thrilled with how quickly they were able to implement changes to the system – and it made life a lot easier for their team.
Since that change was implemented, Simon and his team have helped to support the NHS GoodSAM volunteers who are helping with the increased demand in call volume. He says that he’s proud to be able to help during the pandemic. “There are so many doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers in the NHS who are putting their lives at risk to save the lives of others and I’m sitting at home changing some scripting, or a bit of code that makes it easier for them. It doesn’t feel like much to me, but when the customer at the other end of the phone is overjoyed at the result of your work, you definitely feel a little buzz.”
Read more about how Virgin Media and Virgin Media Business are keeping people connected during the coronavirus pandemic.
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