Wipro: “Continuity” Is the Management Word of the Hour

April | 2020

What do companies do when things go wrong? We’re seeing the answer in real time, all around us, during this challenging and difficult moment. But it’s not a question managers ask themselves often enough in ordinary times. As we all struggle to cope and keep our teams healthy and focused, company leaders need to start thinking about the potential challenges their organizations might face and how to keep them running when disruption hits. We are entering a new era where organizations must be prepared to continue normal operations from anywhere, no matter the crisis.

Business continuity planning (BCP) is an entire discipline of strategy and management that has inspired countless books. Continuity—how to continue your company’s operations no matter what happens— focuses on several key areas. Managers need to be prepared to pivot in any of them when necessary. Effective BCP requires companies to have contingency plans in the event of disruptive scenarios, especially for these key areas: employee productivity, supply chains, technology systems and infrastructure, and, of course, ensuring that products or services remain available to customers. Yet in many ways, the current crisis challenges the traditional understanding of BCP, largely due to entire workforces being required to work from home (WFH). Business agility has become even more important.

Ensure your people can keep working.

Keeping your people productive is the number-one continuity challenge. It’s obviously in the forefront of every manager’s mind at this very moment, as COVID-19 sweeps through global society. Virtually nobody is working as they have before. Nearly every company has enabled WFH for their employees including Wipro where over 90% of employees now WFH and continue to serve clients without interruption. Enabling over 150,000 employees for remote working with the right technology and systems doesn’t happen without agility, commitment, passion, and global scale.

And it’s not even just about IT support. Some companies have a culture that makes it easy for people to switch modes and work out of the office. Others do not and must go through extensive adjustments when working from home becomes necessary. Human Resource teams have had to adjust or create policies overnight to support these new work arrangements.

Protect your supply chain.

One of the first business consequences of the COVID-19 crisis was the disruption caused when Chinese factories stopped operating. Companies around the world found themselves at least partially paralyzed, sometimes for want of just one relatively minor component. As a consequence, one of the most widely discussed predictions for the “new normal” when the crisis recedes is that production may move physically closer to the end consumer. The initial and still sometimes serious shortages of important medical products, ranging from masks to drugs, normally produced primarily in China, reinforce the likelihood we will soon see massive change in this arena.

How much thought have you given to potential vulnerabilities in your company’s supply chain? The issue quickly dovetails with the first point about employees. Since production around the world is now idled, with workers asked to stay home, many companies will inevitably accelerate plans to automate future plants. The factory of the future may be close by, but it may also be filled with robots.

Transform IT and operations.

How many corporate IT professionals have spent much of the last month frantically educating staff about how to use videoconferencing and remote working technologies, and reinforcing the back end of such systems? Let’s just say it’s been a large job. Although many companies (though by no means all of them) have longstanding data-protection and backup facilities, they’ve given little thought to how they would function electronically if the office became a ghost town.

One of the great assets of the modern global IT ecosystem is the vast availability of on-demand assets, which have become all the more essential during this crisis. But companies that have resisted moving data operations to the cloud are regretting it, and remote service providers are finding themselves so overtaxed that they’re imposing new limits on usage.

For the leadership of almost every company, it’s sinking in that the more digital they are, the better they will do in times of uncertainty. Many experts predict that the post-COVID era will be way more digital than the one that ended with the arrival of the outbreak. According to a Wipro Digital survey of 1,400 executives, it’s not too late for those who might be behind in their digital journeys. So perhaps the ultimate advice on how to achieve better agility, resilience and continuity is to accelerate the process of digital transformation.

Ensure customers can still buy your products and services.

Getting the employee, production, and IT issues right will contribute mightily to that all-important matter of ensuring customers still can buy and use your products or services. From helping banks roll-out COVID-19 loan products for impacted customers to making sure a global logistics company could continue delivering life-saving medical equipment and COVID-19 testing kits or to keeping a major airport open for commercial flights and cargo delivery (a key part of the supply chain), Wipro provided the necessary support, in a matter of days, so clients around the world could continue serving their customers – while everybody worked from home.

None of the considerations we’ve discussed here will be required only in this period of pandemic crisis. Companies need a well-developed continuity plan just as much as a plan for cybersecurity incidents, natural disasters, unexpected geopolitical tension, or even warfare and social unrest. There is no reason the current pandemic might not eventually be accompanied by one or more of these parallel challenges.

We are without question entering an era with more challenges than ever to business continuity. Preparing for disruption is a key part of an executive’s job. It may seem peripheral on an ordinary day in an ordinary year. But the companies that take BCP seriously will be the ones, long term, that thrive.

View the original article here. 

Daniel J. Loepp

Dan Loepp is president and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) and chairman of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association board of directors. In these roles, Loepp is leading a fundamental transformation of BCBSM and the Blues system to ensure the state of Michigan and the rest of the nation attain the essential objectives of real health care reform.

Loepp is driving a four-part strategy at the company that includes enhancing the value of health care by improving quality and constraining cost increases. This strategy saved more than $500 million between 2006 and 2010. It is also yielding substantial improvements in the stakeholder experience and rejuvenating the Blues’ unique, nonprofit social mission.

An innovative leader, Loepp joined BCBSM in 2000. Prior to becoming president and CEO in 2006, he led a two-year campaign that spurred health care reform in Michigan and stabilized health insurance rates for small businesses. Loepp serves on the Detroit Regional Chamber Board and also served as a past board chairman.

Devin Scillian

Devin Scillian is an anchor on WDIV-TV 4, NBC in Detroit, and brings national and international reporting experience to the position, which he has held since 1996. He also hosts the Sunday morning news program “Flashpoint.” He originally joined the station as a reporter in 1995.

Scillian has been honored for his work both at home and abroad. His assignments have taken him from Sydney, Australia to St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican, from the Red Sea to Moscow, from Jerusalem to Siberia. He has twice won the Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Documentary.

Scillian is also the author of 15 children’s books. One book, “A is for America,” became a national bestseller, while another, “Memoirs of a Goldfish,” won the Wanda Gag Award for the nation’s best “read aloud” book. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Kansas.

The Skillman Foundation

A voice for children since 1960, The Skillman Foundation is a private philanthropy that supports quality educational and economic opportunities for Detroit children. The Foundation works to ensure Detroit youth achieve their highest aspirations by focusing on three systems: K-12 education, afterschool, and college and career pathways. For more information, visit skillman.org.

Huntington Bank

Huntington Bancshares Incorporated is a regional bank holding company headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, with $118 billion of assets and a network of 839 full-service branches, including 12 Private Client Group offices, and 1,344 ATMs across seven Midwestern states.

Founded in 1866, The Huntington National Bank and its affiliates provide consumer, small business, commercial, treasury management, wealth management, brokerage, trust, and insurance services. Huntington also provides vehicle finance, equipment finance, national settlement, and capital market services that extend beyond its core states. Visit huntington.com for more information.

DCAN Summer Support 

Detroit College Access Network’s summer support is all about staying connected with Detroit students and families over the summer to help them stay on track to their post-secondary plans.

In a school year rife with obstacles, the incoming summer months revive a familiar but COVID-untested challenge for higher education: as many as 40% of low-income students who are accepted to college in the spring fail to attend in the fall, a trend commonly referred to as “summer melt.”

To combat summer melt, DCAN is working in partnership with the Detroit Chamber and Detroit Drives Degrees to ensure the class of 2020’s students do arrive — virtually or otherwise — to class in the fall. DCAN is offering free services to high school students (including the class of 2020), current college students, families/parents supporting students and adults seeking to enroll in a college or career program.

Workshops and one-on-one advising are available for:

  • Researching programs/colleges/careers
  • Completing applications/required documentation
  • Financial aid process
  • Soft skill development (e.g. time management, study skills)
  • Student advising available for anyone seeking guidance
  • Support for adults seeking a career change
  • Support for adults who want to finish or start a program

To learn more, go to https://www.detroitcan.org/summer.

Follow DCAN on social media:

FB @detroitcollegeaccessnetwork

Twitter @detroit_can

Detroit Public Television

Serving Southeast Michigan, Detroit Public TV (DPTV) is Michigan’s largest and most watched television station, with the most diverse public television audience in the country. DPTV is the state’s only community-licensed station, meaning it operates independent of any educational, government or other institution. Its funding come solely from the community.

Each week, more than two million people watch DPTV’s four broadcast channels, and nearly 200,000 people listen its radio station, WRCJ 90.9 FM for classical days and jazzy nights. In addition, DPTV is building the next generation of public media with a rapidly growing digital presence, which now reaches more than half a million unique visitors through its website, YouTube channels and social media platforms each month.

Detroit Regional Chamber, Detroit Public Television Launch New Digital Series Inspired by the Mackinac Policy Conference

MPC20 Conversations to feature Eugene Robinson, Andrew Yang, Harold Ford Jr., Gov. Whitmer, Mayor Duggan, and more.

DETROIT, MICH. (August 11, 2020) – Fulfilling the demand for statewide discussion on moving Michigan forward at this critical time, the Detroit Regional Chamber, in partnership with Detroit Public Television, is launching “MPC20 Conversations: Respond and Rebuild.” This free digital series offers national and local speakers and dialogue, inspired by the tenor of conversation traditionally held at the Mackinac Policy Conference, every Wednesday, and most Fridays at 11 a.m., from Aug. 19 through Nov. 13.

Headliners throughout the 13-week series include Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Mayor Mike Duggan, along with national speakers such as Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Eugene Robinson, former presidential candidate Andrew Yang, best-selling author Margaret Hoover, and political pundit Harold Ford Jr., who will also provide perspective.

“MPC20 Conversations will bring viewers, across Michigan and beyond, the type of public conversations that drive action around the crucial immediate and longer-term issues that will move our region and state’s prosperity forward,” said Sandy K. Baruah, president and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber. “There has never been a more important time to hold discussions among the state’s top business, government, and civic leadership.”

Discussions will focus on Michigan’s COVID-19 response and economic recovery, the 2020 election, and racial justice and achieving equity.

“MPC20 Conversations will reflect on the challenges impacting Michiganders during the current economic, public health, and racial justice crises. In the face of ongoing adversity, the Chamber seeks to bring together statewide leaders to discuss these challenges,” said Ryan Maibach, president and CEO of Barton Malow Holdings, and Chairman of the Detroit Regional Chamber Board of Directors.

The series will be livestreamed online via the Chamber (detroitchamber.com/mpc20-conversations) and DPTV (dptv.org). Additionally, DPTV will air recap segments on Sept. 17 and Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. on One Detroit.

“Detroit Public TV is honored to partner with the Detroit Regional Chamber for the 10th consecutive year to bring these crucial conversations to the widest possible audience,” said Rich Homberg, president and CEO of DPTV. “Even though these discussions are now taking place in virtual space instead of on Mackinac Island, they are just as important in setting the agenda for social policy and social justice for the diverse communities we serve – in fact, even more so considering the challenges posed by the many-sided crisis we currently face.”

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) is the presenting sponsor of MPC20 Conversations. There are 42 additional sponsors from the corporate and philanthropic community.

“MPC20 Conversations offers opportunities for discussions about the monumental issues facing our society,” said Daniel J. Loepp, president and CEO of BCBSM. “Considering the diverse viewpoints of these speakers and continuing the inclusive conversations will help our region and state emerge stronger with greater empathy and compassion.”

View the 13-week schedule: detroitchamber.com/mpc20-conversations/agenda/

Media interested in embedding live sessions on their website can request more information from Kelly Sweeny at ksweeny@detroitchamber.com or Matt Friedman at mfriedman@tannerfriedman.com.

Visit detroitchamber.com/mpc20-conversations to learn more.

Patti Poppe

Patti Poppe is president and CEO of Consumers Energy and CMS Energy. She previously served as senior vice president of distribution operations, engineering and transmission for CMS Energy, and its principal subsidiary, Consumers Energy.

Poppe oversees the company’s electric and gas distribution systems, energy operations and electric transmission. Her responsibilities include engineering, maintenance and operations of the electric and natural gas delivery systems.

Prior to her current role, Poppe served as Consumers Energy’s vice president of customer experience, rates and regulation. Before joining Consumers Energy, Poppe served as a director of energy optimization and as power plant director at DTE Energy overseeing five generating facilities. Prior to working for DTE Energy, Poppe held a variety of plant management positions in the automotive industry.

Delta Dental of Michigan

Delta Dental of Michigan, Ohio and Indiana, and its affiliates in Arkansas, Kentucky, New Mexico, North Carolina and Tennessee collectively are among the largest dental plan administrators in the nation. In 2019, the enterprise paid out nearly $4 billion for dental care for more than 14 million members.

Dental benefits is our core business and we are dedicated to improving oral health in the communities we serve. But oral health is not an isolated issue.

It is connected to public health, education and overall economic development.

That’s why Delta Dental of Michigan is committed to investing in initiatives that support healthy, smart, vibrant—and inclusive—communities. This ensures that Delta Dental is an essential business partner building solid, sustainable communities where our customers can succeed and where we can all raise our families and enjoy our lives.