Confinement: how ETSI helps its members and staff to work remotely round the world

Sophia Antipolis, 15 April 2020

With over 200 e-Meetings organized by ETSI and 3GPP technical groups in March (with up to 300 participants per meeting!) and with the entire ETSI staff now working remotely, the ETSI IT department has stepped up to ensure that all core standardization activities can continue to run smoothly during the COVID-19 lockdown. Even if the situation we are in is exceptional, e-Meetings are not new to ETSI groups. The ETSI IT department has been able to lean on their established business continuity plan to adapt and up-scale our online services, in these unusual times.

A lot has already been done to guarantee network resilience, data security and privacy across ETSI sites and communities. The ETSI facilities in Sophia Antipolis benefit from several security back-ups which include real time hardware synchronization between the campus buildings; to ensure that if one site goes down the other site can take the load. In addition, every day, all of the ETSI production servers are synchronized to a remote data centre, thus backing-up all data stored on ETSI drives, web sites, and email servers.

For ETSI secretariat business; emails, calendars and Microsoft Teams are now on Office 365, allowing remote access on multiple devices, with all ETSI staff now accessing services by VPN or via direct access. All personal data managed by ETSI is General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliant.

During this critical period, in case of any service failure or major incident outside of working hours, the ETSI IT department has established a reliable on-call person process to ensure seamless business continuity.

In addition, the use of our GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar licenses has been optimized. As 3GPP has moved to on-line only meetings, ETSI has freed up over 20 licenses to allow support officers to 3GPP to keep 5G standardization on track.

All of these actions allow our members, partners and staff to conduct online meetings in the best conditions and keep working on the standardization of the 50+ technologies ETSI, oneM2M and 3GPP are addressing.

In this unusual situation, where many face-to-face meetings are being postponed or cancelled, ETSI has successfully run interoperability tests remotely, like Plugtests events and Hackfests and is organizing new webinars on latest technical topics before people can safely travel again. So, stay tuned!