Today marks two hundred days since California went on lockdown because of COVID-19. While EVP Systems continues to function at full capacity, we thought this would be a good time for an update on how our work has changed and what the future looks like.
On March 19, 2020, the governor of California issued a work-from-home order and EVP Systems closed its two offices—the headquarters in Santa Barbara, and the secondary office in Woodland Hills—the next day. Since then, we have been working out of our homes. The company was well-positioned for this transition, because we’ve spent years making all our business-critical systems redundant and usable from anywhere. We had anticipated an earthquake as the emergency that would trigger the plan—we are in California, after all—but a pandemic fit our recovery model, too. Standardized laptops, e-mail, IP phones, shared documents and files, intraoffice chat, video conferencing, and cloud-based servers allow any of us to work from anywhere there’s an Internet connection, including a folding table next to the bedroom and the credenza in the living room.
Normally, we test all these systems by closing an office every six months—Woodland Hills in June and Santa Barbara in December—and have staff commute to the other to work for the day. We skipped June’s test this year, for obvious reasons, and it looks like we’ll be skipping December’s check as well. But all the services are all functioning as planned.
This past week was also the start of a new month and a new quarter, which means that we executed our Security Audit and Failover Test. The Security Audit is a monthly, manual review of system logs and threat metrics, to supplement our automated intrusion-detection systems; the Failover Test is a quarterly check of our geographically-redundant data center—we turn off one side of the infrastructure to ensure that all EstateVal requests automatically execute on the other side, and then reverse the process to test the opposite functionality. There were no problems with either inspection. (To learn more about how we test our systems and how they’re built, please see our Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity and Intrusion Detection and Audit Process whitepapers, and all our other compliance documentation.)
So, if the technical infrastructure that EVP Systems’ staff uses to do our day-to-day work continues to function normally, what’s been different during lockdown? Not much! Someone from the staff visits each office during the week to get the physical mail and water the plants (and confirm that the candy jar still works), but other than that, work goes on close to normal and without interruption. We continue to provide our free technical support, evaluate estates through Professional Services, and release new versions of EVP Office. Other than not getting to see each other in person and having much worse haircuts, things are running well, and we see no reason that we can’t continue to provide all our services without disruption for as long as the COVID-19 lockdown lasts.
On a final, personal note, everyone at EVP Systems has been lucky enough to remain healthy, without symptoms or positive tests, along with our families. We sincerely hope that you can say the same.