We have a very simple goal: when someone contacts us to ask for help with any kind of technology, we say, "Sure, hold on and I'll put you through to the right person."
Orca's Operations During COVID-19 Lockdown
Whew, who’d have thought that this is where we’d be three months into 2020.
In a drastically changed world, the leadership being shown by our president Cyril Ramaphosa is inspiring and it’s up to all of us to play our roles as citizens and as business leaders to keep our communities and country going forward in these trying times.
With that in mind, I want to share how Orca is going to operate while continuing to provide our services and, at the same time, protecting our staff and those who they come into contact with.
First, let me share our contact details.
Helpdesk - 028 341 0383
Sales / finance / alternative helpdesk - 028 341 0385
After hours - 071 367 4471
Our services and maintenance will continue to function at the current high levels and although our offices will be closed we can be contacted using the details given above. As our engineering staff will be keeping normal office hours while working from home your calls and emails will be promptly dealt with and resolved. We’ve increased our capacity to do desktop support over this time as Stuffed Creations, our services arm in Stanford, will also be closed.
Frans will be directly contactable on the normal number of 076 054 5772 and he will also be part of the pool of contactable people via the normal Orca numbers. In addition to providing the improved remote support offerings, we will also be able to deal with sales, support and finance queries.
Telephonic support will aim to quickly deal with the bulk of any issues and while being aware that some remedies require an on-site visit these will be batched in order to minimise the time that our engineers are away from their homes thus possibly resulting in a slight delay of service. New installs will be done with an emphasis on connectivity, consciously spending as little time as possible inside houses and these installs will be batched so as to minimise engineer exposure. This means that for both your protection and that of our engineers and instead of hours spent making sure network cables aren’t visible we will be installing and activating but returning at a later stage to neaten up interior cabling.
If we have any systemic issues on our network we will, as always, let you know via SMS. If you do not receive such a message then the chances are that any connectivity problems are likely to be on your premises. The first port of call there is to power off the internet equipment (remember there are 2 plugs, one for the router inside and another for the one on the roof), wait a minute, and then plug them back in, wait for 2 minutes before testing.
Additionally, we provide an online test to see if any of our high sites are experiencing problems. You can test this from your phone (on 3G) and it will tell you if any of our sites are experiencing problems - test here.
Capacity is also going to be an issue over this period. Not for local services (we have more than sufficient capacity available), but streaming services (particularly in the USA) are starting to throttle international access to Europe, and we in South Africa access US content primarily via Europe. An article which discusses this can be found here. This is a rapidly changing factor and there are an increasing number of content providers making similar changes.
Another factor influencing speeds is the number of devices on your network. In addition to any visiting family, friends, guests, we do find that customers have people using their internet without their knowledge. For Orca customers on our network, the following tool shows the devices currently connected to your network which might help you identify any unknown users, on the back of which you can contact our helpdesk and your wifi password changed - see tool here.
Alongside connectivity, we’re well aware that there is a need for assistance on general tech issues. We’re looking to help people within our coverage areas with remote support for this. These software support services are aimed to help resolve issues on your - Phone, Laptop, Tablet, PC, Mac.
Please note the emphasis on SOFTWARE as we are currently not servicing activities requiring access to physical hardware.
While it is essential for the well being of all of us that we have water, food, housing and electricity it is necessary, and in order to avoid panic, that we also have the means to communicate and stay updated with the situation and it is our intention to effectively provide that latter service for you. If we experience some glitches along the way, please be patient as we are expecting to be even more busy on the back of this offer of assistance.
We are and have proven to be, a strongly orientated community business and we want to ensure that everyone is able to overcome this current COVID-19 crisis.
Stay safe and take care.