Splunk Saves Lives: Connecting People to Essential Services During COVID-19
As the COVID-19 pandemic made its way around the globe, it seemed no industry was immune to disruption. While some companies moved to a remote workforce, others were forced to furlough or lay off employees.
Even data security companies were affected. At bitsIO, about half of the company’s scheduled business had to be either postponed or canceled. However, rather than laying off or furloughing employees, bitsIO used the situation as an opportunity to expand its philanthropic initiatives.
“We always want to be part of the community and help others, so we decided to give away our team’s time to nonprofits,” says Suman Gajavelly, bitsIO’s chief technology officer.
These efforts not only gave the company a way to help some deserving organizations, they also helped the morale and financial well-being of bitsIO employees.
“It was our top priority to take care of our team and make them feel secure in their jobs in these challenging times by keeping them occupied and bringing them opportunities that boost their confidence,” Gajavelly explains.
Philanthropy Is in Their DNA
As a Splunk Partner company with Elite status, bitsIO was already involved in the Splunk for Good program. This program helps qualifying nonprofits, universities, organizations and individuals who need the expertise of Splunkers. Splunk encourages employees to help their community through volunteer work. They can give back by securing data infrastructures, ensuring operational efficiency or helping to develop new solutions to power the organization’s overall mission.
“We were honored to partner with Splunk for Good to help the community,” says Gajavelly. “While Splunk gave away product for free, we gave our services free to nonprofits.”
The challenge facing many nonprofits, according to Gajavelly, is that once Splunk donates its product, which makes machine data accessible across an organization, very few nonprofits have the necessary expertise to install and configure it.
“It’s a very specialized skill,” he says. “So, our Splunk team used our pro bono services and offered our time.”
Splunk identified candidates to participate in the program, and bitsIO then provided what those candidates needed, including Splunk implementation services and security and IT operations insight.
“While nonprofits are doing the heavy lifting of helping the community, we are doing our part to support them,” Gajavelly says. “Nonprofits are always on a tight budget, and with Splunk offering its product for free, and bitsIO’s free implementation, we help nonprofits become more secure and better able to serve the community.”
Generosity in Action
During the pandemic, bitsIO has worked with five nonprofits, including Benefits Data Trust. This national nonprofit connects people in need to public benefits that can help them and give them better access to essentials such as food, healthcare, housing and more.
“Working with Benefits Data Trust was a great experience for us, as they are helping millions of families by increasing access to those services,” Gajavelly says. “We were able to help them improve their security posture as well as their infrastructure monitoring.”
To help Benefits Data Trust, for example, bitsIO first addressed the security aspects of the nonprofit’s infrastructure, then deployed Splunk for IT operations, application performance and remote work insights.
“They were happy to work with us, and they were successful in improving their security aspects as well as keep their deliverables on time,” explains Gajavelly. “One of the insights they gained was to monitor their employee work hours so they know employees are not putting in a lot of overtime. Now, they have full visibility across their network, applications and endpoints.”
Other nonprofits that bitsIO has worked with include Community Health Centers, OCHIN, USS Midway, Ceres and cyberpeace. Gajavelly says they helped with use cases like IoT analytics, IT operations and business analytics. For each organization, bitsIO offered up to eight hours of pro bono services and has now donated about $15,000 in public service hours to nonprofits.
Feeling Good About Doing Good
While the companies all benefited from the work that bitsIO donated to them, Gajavelly says that employees and the company as a whole were also recipients of goodwill because of their volunteer work.
“It helped our employees to stay positive and know that we have business coming in, so they didn’t have to worry about their jobs,” Gajavelly says. “The team has enjoyed helping nonprofits. It felt good to be part of a social cause. As a business, one of our goals is to be part of the community, and this was the perfect opportunity to help more nonprofits with help from the Splunk for Good team.”
Since nonprofits are always on a tight budget, Splunk continues to offer its product to qualifying organizations at no charge, and bitsIO continues to provide free implementation of it for qualifying candidates. Existing nonprofit Splunk customers are being offered a 40% discount on services.