COVID-19 SUPPORT FROM CAE AND OUR VENDORS

Important Note

 

This page and the information contained therein, is confidential and remains the property of CAE Technology Services Limited (CAE). The document may not be reproduced, or the contents transmitted to any third party without the express consent of CAE.

 

In absence of any specific provision, this document has consultative status only. It does not constitute a contract between CAE and any other party. Furthermore, CAE does not accept liability for the contents of the document, although it has used reasonable endeavours to ensure accuracy and correct understanding.

Contacts

Aggrey Lutta
CAE
Director of Communications
bidmanagement@caeuk.com

Pamela Williams
CAE
Bid Coordinator
bidmanagement@caeuk.com

CAE’s Impact Statement regarding Coronavirus

We continue to monitor the ongoing situation regarding the disruption caused by the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

At present, we are making the following provisions:

Lead time of hardware and software

Most manufacturers have released statements indicating that they expect there to be a lengthening of lead times as a result of disruption to supply chains.

 

It is not clear exactly from when, and for how long, this may impact availability of deliveries. Specific updates will be shared with you as and when they are received; in the meantime, the possible impact should be raised as a project risk where relevant.

Engineering projects

Where it is possible to complete engineering tasks remotely, and where it will not impact on project timescales, we are recommending this as a precautionary course of action.

 

If, by following advice issued by a relevant authority, a working environment is not suitable to attend or a resource is unable to attend, we will work with you to mitigate impact based on the most current information available.

 

All international travel has been stopped to any area where FCO advice is not to travel, and in all other areas unless considered essential.

Service Desk / Network Operations Centre (NOC)

There is a tested contingency plan to ensure the continuous availability of the Service Desk / NOC in the event that resource need to work in isolation at home.

 

This should have a minimal impact on service levels and will only be invoked if there is a confirmed instance of the virus within our Watford Office, or government-issued medical advice is updated that means a greater level of isolation is required.

Other Meetings

Where it is possible to use voice or video to conduct meetings, this is recommended, but it is at the joint discretion of you and the relevant representatives from CAE.

 

As mentioned above, all international travel has been stopped unless considered essential.

Updates

We will continue to use reasonable endeavours to minimise the impact of all business operations during this time. We will provide an update to this statement if there is any material change to the information we receive from manufacturers or a relevant government body.

Vendor Statements

We have compiled the list of statements offering support from our vendors below.

Vendor Statement from Cisco

Further to the recent announcement from Cisco, which outlined our FOC 90 days Webex offering to help our customers mitigate collaboration challenges associated to Coronavirus working practices.
https://blog.webex.com/video-conferencing/cisco-webex-supporting-customers-during-this-unprecedented-time/

 

Free Webex – Provisioned Instantly – No Financial Commitment
Our team have summarised the following additional offerings, which support of our customers during this period of uncertainty, including security for remote employees by providing extended free licenses and expanded usage counts at no extra charge for three of our key security technologies that are designed to protect remote workers anywhere, anytime and on any device.

  • Cisco Umbrella protects users from malicious Internet destinations whether they are on or off the network. Because it is delivered from the cloud, Umbrella makes it easy to protect users everywhere in minutes. With this offer, existing customers can exceed their user limit to support an increase in remote workers, and new customers can access a free license

 

  • Duo Security enables organizations to verify users’ identities and establish device trust before granting access to applications. By employing a zero-trust model, it decreases the attack surface and reduces risk. With this offer, existing customers can exceed their user limit to support an increase in remote workers, and new customers can access a free license

 

  • Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client empowers employees to work from anywhere on company laptops or personal mobile devices. It also provides the visibility and control security teams need to identify who and which devices are accessing their infrastructure. Existing AnyConnect customers can exceed their user limit to support an increase in remote workers, and new customers can access a free license. To get started, existing and new customers should talk with a Cisco representative or partner to get the requested usage counts.

These offers will be available from now until July 1, 2020.

 

Also, Cisco Collaboration & Vbrick Systems are teaming up to offer FREE live streaming for a limited time to companies impacted by coronavirus to replace cancelled destination events and to support employee, partner and customer communication. https://vbrick.com/live-events-impacted-cisco/

 

As an update to our own status, some of the Countries and regions are in a temporary (but mandatory) work-from-home policy with immediate effect, and we are ALLbeing strongly advised to only travel where absolutely necessary and to leverage our Secure Collaboration technologies and remain as close to our Partners and Customers as possible.

 

We realise that this practice is one being adopted Globally and would therefore urge you to share these offerings with your Technologists, Sales teams, and Specialists to leverage with your customers wherever possible.

Vendor Statement from Dell Technologies

A Letter to Partners: Our Commitment in Unprecedented Times

 

To our partner community:

With the impact of COVID-19 continuing to spread, there’s no doubt about it, these are unprecedented times. Our customers are navigating uncertainty and complexity, and it’s up to us – Dell Technologies and you, our partner community – to help them. Through all of this, the full Dell Technologies team is committed to supporting you, too.

 

Last week, Michael Dell published an open letter to customers and partners. He emphasized our focus on keeping our communities healthy and safe, all while taking care of our customers’ and partners’ most critical needs. We know that our teams and technology are critical in enabling your customers to achieve their business goals in this rapidly changing environment. You can learn more about the steps we have taken to ensure we have the right support for our teams and communities on our corporate blog.

 

In addition, many of you are reaching out for advice on remote working solutions. We’ve consolidated resources for you based on lessons learned from our Connected Workplace program, which has empowered our team members to work remotely since 2009. We’ll also be hosting a webcast on March 24 featuring our HR, IT and Security experts who were responsible for shaping and implementing our flexible work environment, and we welcome you to join.

 

It’s a great honour to be part of this remarkable partner community that continues to empower both large and small organizations around the world, especially in these unsettling times. Until we can meet again in person, you can expect to hear from us virtually, and we’re on standby to answer your questions.

 

Thank you for your partnership and know we are here for you – even if just for simple, human advice, support and friendship.

 

Joyce Mullen
President, Global Channel, Embedded & Edge Solutions

Vendor Statement from Microsoft

Our commitment to customers during COVID-19
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/blog/2020/03/05/our-commitment-to-customers-during-covid-19/

By Jared Spataro, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft 365

 

With COVID-19 continuing to impact people and countries around the world, teams everywhere are moving to remote work. Earlier this week, I posted a letter from Lily Zheng, our colleague in Shanghai, detailing her team’s experience using Microsoft Teams to work from home during the outbreak. Lily’s team is one of many. Here at Microsoft in the Puget Sound, we’re encouraging our teams to work from home as much as possible, as are many organizations in this region. And we expect this trend to continue across the world. At Microsoft, our top priority is the health and safety of employees, customers, partners, and communities. By making Teams available to as many people as possible, we aim to support public health and safety by keeping teams connected while they work apart.

 

As we have read through your responses to Lily’s letter, it has become clear that there are two big questions on your minds. First, how can people access the free Teams offerings that Lily referenced? Second, what is our plan for avoiding service interruptions during times of increased usage? Below, you’ll find detailed answers to both. And over the next few days we’ll be sharing more tips, updates, and information related to remote work here. So check back often.

 

Making Teams available for everyone
Teams is a part of Office 365. If your organization is licensed for Office 365, you already have it. But we want to make sure everyone has access to it during this time. Here are some simple ways to get Teams right away.

 

Individuals

If you want to get started with Teams, we can get you up and running right away.

  • If you have an email address through work or school, sign in using this link. We’ll get you into Teams in no time.

 

  • If you’re using an email address like Gmail or Outlook, you can sign up for the freemium version of Teams by following this link.

IT professionals

The self-service links above work great for individuals, but if you’re an IT professional who wants to roll out Teams centrally, here’s what to do.

  • If you work for a business that isn’t currently licensed for Teams, we’ve got you covered with a free Office 365 E1 offer for six months. Contact your Microsoft partner or sales representative to get started today. (Note: the same offer is available in the Government Cloud, but not available in GCC High and the Department of Defense.)

 

  • If you work in education and want to set up teachers, students, and administrators on Teams, use Office 365 A1. This free version of Office 365 is available to all educational institutions. Sign up by following this link.

Keeping Teams up and running

You and your team depend on our tools to stay connected and get work done. We take that responsibility seriously, and we have a plan in place to make sure services stay up and running during impactful events like this. Our business continuity plan anticipates three types of impacts to the core aspects of the service:

  • Systems: When there’s a sudden increase in usage, like the surge we recently saw in China.

 

  • Location: When there’s an unexpected event that is location-specific, such as an earthquake or a powerful storm.

 

  • People: When there’s an event that may impact the team maintaining the system, like the COVID-19 outbreak in the Puget Sound area.

We’ve recently tested service continuity during a usage spike in China. Since January 31, we’ve seen a 500 percent increase in Teams meetings, calling, and conferences there, and a 200 percent increase in Teams usage on mobile devices. Despite this usage increase, service has been fluid there throughout the outbreak. Our approach to delivering a highly available and resilient service centers on the following things.

  • Active/Active design: In Microsoft 365, we are driving towards having all services architected and operated in an active/active design which increases resiliency. This means that there are always multiple instances of a service running that can respond to user requests and that they are hosted in geographically dispersed datacenters. All user traffic comes in through the Microsoft Front Door service and is automatically routed to the optimally located instance of the service and around any service failures to prevent or reduce impact to our customers.

 

  • Reduce incident scope: We seek to avoid incidents in the first place, but when they do happen, we strive to limit the scope of all incidents by having multiple instances of each service partitioned off from each other. In addition, we’re continuously driving improvements in monitoring through automation, enabling faster incident detection and response.

 

  • Fault isolation: Just as the services are designed and operated in an active/active fashion and are partitioned off from each other to prevent a failure in one from affecting another, the code base of the service is developed using similar partitioning principles called fault isolation. Fault isolation measures are incremental protections made within the code base itself. These measures help prevent an issue in one area from cascading into other areas of operation. You can read more about how we do this, along with all the details of our service continuity plan, in this document.

Adjusting to remote work can be a challenge. We get it, and we are here to provide the tools, tips, and information you need to help you and your team meet that challenge. We’re inspired by the agility and ingenuity that impacted schools, hospitals, and businesses have shown throughout COVID-19, and we are committed to helping organizations everywhere stay connected and productive during this difficult time.

Manage the Office 365 E1 Trial

New in March 2020, a free 6-month Office 365 E1 Trial, including Microsoft Teams, is now available. Microsoft is making this special E1 Trial license available in response to the increased need for employees to work from home (WFH) in response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.

 

To learn what’s available with an E1 license, read Office 365 E1.

 

Don’t miss all of our guidance for supporting remote workers with Teams.

External (Partner Ready & Customer Ready) Resources:

Considering the current lockdown we have in place, many of us (and our customers) are moving to working from home – Which is now the new norm!
We wanted to share with you all best practices and tips and tricks for those that are using Microsoft Teams.

Vendor Statement from Palo Alto Networks

Launch a Remote SOC Today with Cortex XSOAR
Protecting your enterprise and maintaining business continuity have never been more important. In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, many of our customers have been asking for advice on how they can rapidly shift their SOCs to support the new reality of a fully remote workforce, while maintaining a strong security posture.

 

Through our own transition to a remote SOC, we’ve seen first-hand the power of a centralized view of incidents, security focused case management and real-time collaboration among analysts working from their homes in different locations across the globe. The remote operating model has further amplified the need for seamless collaboration, speed and efficiency. We have internally addressed these pressing demands by leveraging Cortex XSOAR for automation, case management and real-time collaboration. We would like to share our journey and best practices, along with a series of resources, to help jump-start your transition to a remote SOC:

 

Best practices from Palo Alto Networks SOC leaders: Register for our webinar, “Running Your SOC Remotely: How Cortex XSOAR will help you get there,” on Monday, March 23, at 8 a.m. PT. The webinar features Matt Mellen, head of Palo Alto Networks SOC, and Devin Johnstone, Staff Security Operations Engineer, as they detail their journey to fully remote operations, share best practices and answer your questions.

 

Accelerated on-boarding for Cortex XSOAR: In an effort to help SOCs immediately get their remote operations up and running, we are offering a free, accelerated on-boarding package when you purchase Cortex XSOAR in the next 30 days. This package includes remote deployment assistance to set up Cortex XSOAR quickly for new customers, including configurations for case management, customized incident layout, alert ingestion, remote analyst assignments and the virtual War Room.

 

One year of free hosting for Cortex XSOAR: To further speed your deployment and on-boarding, we are offering one year of free hosting for any new customer that purchases Cortex XSOAR in the next 30 days.

https://blog.paloaltonetworks.com/2020/03/cortex-remote-soc/

Move beyond remote access VPNs – What is a Cloud VPN
There was a time when users connected to remote access VPN to reach applications in the data center, and disconnected to get better internet performance. But when users disconnect, IT loses visibility and the ability to enforce inline security policies. That creates a security problem that’s only gotten worse as applications have shifted to the cloud. Organizations need to find a way to minimize the risk, as users access different types of applications.
https://www.paloaltonetworks.com/prisma/sase/mobile