With the World Health Organization officially declaring the COVID-19 coronavirus a world-wide pandemic, and with many EVP Systems clients reviewing business continuity documents and planning to implement best-practice recommendations to prevent the spread of the disease, we've prepared the following frequently-asked questions list. If you have questions about that aren't answered below, please feel free to send them to our Support Department.
Does EVP Systems Have a Disaster Recovery / Business Continuity Plan?
Yes. It's available on our website. It documents EVP Systems' redundant facilities, including -- and particularly important to the current crisis -- multiple offices.
We maintain locations in both Santa Barbara and Woodland Hills, California, and employees do not regularly travel between them. (The last inter-office visit was February 13, 2020, currently outside the incubation period for COVID-19.) In the event that one office needs to be closed, all administrative functions can be moved to the other without the transfer of personnel. All of EVP Systems technical functionality is hosted at Amazon Web Services and is unaffected by office closures.
What Happens If EVP Systems Employees Need to Enter Quarantine? Will Your Services Still Be Available?
Our employees' health is a primary concern, and if they exhibit any symptoms (of COVID-19 or any other disease), they will be relieved from work and put in a doctor's care immediately. We regularly cross-train employees, and their job functions will temporarily be taken over by other EVP Systems staff.
If they do not have symptoms but have potentially been exposed to COVID-19 and asked to voluntary quarantine, they will be provided with a company computer and phone, and sent home. Because of EVP Systems cloud-based technical infrastructure, they will be able to continue their work from any remote location with Internet access as normal.
As of 7:30am Pacific on March 11, 2020, there have been no COVID-19 cases reported either in Santa Barbara or Woodland Hills, so currently employees continue to work out of our offices.
The Stock Markets Have Been Very Volatile. Can EVP Systems Keep Up?
Yes. All our systems continue to function normally. EVP Systems only reports end-of-day pricing, so temporary market closures do not affect us, our pricing, or our reports.
For the data we host from our own databases, we do not download until several hours after market close, allowing temporary disruptions to be corrected at the exchange-level. Further, if there is a problem, we run data-integrity checks on all data downloaded to our systems, to ensure that we have received what we expect.
For real-time queries to Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), our primary data provider, we actively monitor broken connections and incomplete responses, and are receiving regular system status updates -- all is functioning normally currently.
ICE's COVID-19 advisory is here and their business continuity plan is here.
If My Company Decides to Have Us Work from Home, Can I Still Use EVP Systems Services?
If you are using EstateVal or any of the other applications from EVP Office, the simplest solution is to ask your IT Department for remote access to your at-work desktop machine, through a company laptop with a virtual private network (VPN). If a VPN isn't available, the EVP Office programs can be installed on any Windows machine (XP through 10) with an Internet connection, including your personal machine or a company laptop. As always, the software is available for free, from our website at www.evpsys.com/software. (If you need an Account Information Key during the installation, or an older version of the applications to match what you are currently running at the office, please contact our Support Department at email@example.com.) Since EVP Office applications don't transmit any Personally Identifiable Information (PII), EVP Systems can't automatically synchronize at-home evaluations or billing records back to the office if you run them outside of your normal environment or a VPN that connects to it. Keeping careful track of your work will make returning the data to the office easier. The software can produce reports as PDFs or word-processing files, if printing them is no longer useful and they instead need to be sent electronically.
If you are unable to run the EVP Office applications from a remote site for technical or security reasons, but still need valuations, please consider using our Professional Services Department, at firstname.lastname@example.org. They can provide complete gift or estate evaluations quickly and easily, though at a higher cost per security.
If you normally use our Professional Services Department, they remain open and fully functional. Please continue to use the service as normal, via all the usual channels.
Finally, EVP Everywhere is a fully automated remote system, so it will be unaffected by your location.