bmobile answers the call to support the national COVID-19 call centre
TSTT Corporate Communications
bmobile has partnered with United Way Trinidad and Tobago (UWTT) to provide further assistance to the national COVID-19 relief effort by lending support to the Ministry of Social Development and Family services (MSDFS). bmobile and United Way answered the call to support the national COVID-19 Support Call Centre by enhancing the use of the MSDFS’s virtual PBX and bringing the call centre to a fully operational status by providing technical support required, additional virtual PBX capacity, mobile phones and SIM cards for use by the volunteers operating remotely.
The COVID-19 Support Call Centre was set up to assist persons in need of MSDFS social support grants. MSDFS staff, volunteer staff from other Ministries, UWTT National Time of Caring volunteers and others from the general public, operate the call centre to provide information and clarify: the types of grants available; who are eligible for grants; the process to access grants; and how to fill out specific fields on forms. Operators also provide referrals to other COVID-19 relief resources such as food hampers and counselling services. Members of the public can call 800-1MSD Mondays to Fridays between 7am and 7pm and Saturdays between 1pm and 5pm.
Dr. Ronald Walcott, TSTT's Chief Executive Officer, stated that as the only local communications solution provider, bmobile has a strong and distinctive bond to the national community and continually seeks ways to contribute to the national COVID-19 relief efforts. “Each of us has a part to play and we immediately responded to the request for call centre support. bmobile will always be here providing our nation with the best-in-class technology services and solutions." bmobile’s support to the national COVID-19 Call Centre follows the free text-to-donate service provided to the UWTT's COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, free minutes given on the phones of over 100 frontline doctors and nurses, the free hosting of a virtual teleconference meeting between Ministry of Health staff and COVID-19 experts in China and the provision of free or zero-data access to the University of the West Indies and other educational websites, among others.
Dr. Walcott shared that the virtual PBX is not physically located at the premises of MSDFS or UWTT but is hosted on servers located at a TSTT data centre. When members of the public call the COVID-19 Support Call Centre between 8am and 4pm, Mondays to Fridays, the calls are routed to MSDFS staff and volunteers located at the ministry’s offices. Calls are routed to the homes and the donated mobile phones used by the UWTT volunteers between 7am and 8am and 4pm and 7pm, Mondays to Fridays and 1pm and 5pm on Saturdays. The COVID-19 call centre virtual PBX has been up and running since May 4th and will continue for at least one month initially and a second month if deemed necessary.
Dr. Jennifer Sancho, UWTT’s Chief Executive Officer, commended bmobile for its support with the call centre project, noting that there were only a few projects where there is opportunity for true public, private, and civil society sector partnership. “bmobile has been incredibly generous. They provided us the infrastructure including donation of the remote operator virtual PBX, phones, SIM cards and equally as important the technical support to get us up and running quickly. This support covered the setup of the PBX; walking us through how a call centre works; and the training of our staff on how to use and manage the virtual PBX ourselves. Many of our volunteers are still employed and working, and want to give back and help. The beauty of the virtual PBX is that it allows them to contribute their time and effort from the safety of their homes.”
Ian Benjamin, UWTT’s Chairman, added “I must acknowledge bmobile for their continued leadership. In these times leadership requires two things: the ability to conceptualize a solution to a problem and the execution of the solution. The real test is execution. What bmobile did was walk the talk and deliver. This was the difference.” He explained that the COVID-19 crisis had a very short response time meaning that the problem occurred and the impact was almost immediate. “So responders cannot be slow. bmobile was rapid and effective in their response. They were able to come up with a solution and swiftly and effectively provide a tool and the training that was required so we could be up and running in a short space of time. This filled us with confidence to work with them.”