Service outsourcing companies, most of whom have resumed normal operations, have come up with software applications for corporate clients to remotely manage and ensure the health of employees.
Most of these made progress in work resumption as China has urged local governments to provide assistance, such as introducing special working-hour schedules, to support service outsourcing companies. Outsourcing is a business practice where a company hires another company to perform tasks.
Pactera Technology, the Beijing-based IT service provider, has introduced a number of measures at its over 20 branches in the nation to guarantee employee health and security.
According to the company, employees are getting flexible in the way they resume work, like home offices. Software and other tools for working remotely are available, and requirements for information security are clearly laid out. For those coming to the office, the company urges them to avoid peak commuting hours so as to reduce exposure to those who are potentially infected.
Most importantly, Pactera has developed a solution for industrial zones to prevent the spread of the epidemic. "The intelligent solution aims to address issues concerning digital personnel management, epidemic control, and digital security," said Chen Haiyan, vice-president of Pactera and the project leader.
For instance, the product enables infrared temperature measurement－which was embedded with artificial intelligence and thermal imaging technologies. "With it, companies are able to check their employees' temperature with a human touch, and will get an alarm if anyone's temperature is beyond the normal range," Chen said.
On Feb 17, a package of tailored solutions was first introduced in two zones in Shanghai－namely the Tianhua IT Zone in Xuhui district and the Zizhu National Hi-Tech Industrial Development Park in Minhang district. These two zones are home to over 2,000 companies. By 8 pm the same day, the product had collected information about more than 2,000 entries and exits.
"The solution can be adapted to various needs with optimized functions, which the company aims to promote among the over 300 zones in Shanghai," Chen said.
Advanced technologies enable service outsourcing companies, especially information technology service providers, to develop solutions aimed at restarting work while effectively ensuring virus prevention.
Luculent Smart Technology Co Ltd, the Nanjing-based provider of software solutions, also launched a product for epidemic prevention and work resumption, which is suitable for enterprises, zones, schools and government departments.
"Through the application, companies and other clients can collect data about the health condition of employees and visitors, visualize the density of people and peak hours so as to work out prevention priorities," said Xu Mian, general manager of the government and corporate business unit with Luculent.
Xu said the product has proved to be very useful. "For instance, the canteen offers takeout food for staff to have lunch at their own office cubicle. With the application, the canteen will get instantly notified about the attendance data for each day－which makes it easier for the cook while preparing the meals in advance."
According to a circular recently unveiled by the commerce ministry, provincial and city-level governments should ensure the supply of anti-epidemic materials to large-scale service outsourcing businesses, and organize catering enterprises to offer "mobile canteens" and food take-away services.
To prevent possible infection caused by the novel coronavirus outbreak, local governments also should guide service outsourcing companies to adopt flexible working hours to carry out the work. Companies can apply for export-related documents via the government online platforms for qualification review, before the government officially announces the epidemic has ended, the ministry said.
In 2019, the value of outsourcing contracts for services performed by Chinese enterprises amounted to 1.57 trillion yuan ($223.7 billion), up 18.6 percent year-on-year, according to the ministry.