Business continuity

At TELUS, we believe a robust and agile business continuity program is a cornerstone for delivering on our customer first commitment, providing reliable products and services, and supporting our communities.

Planning and readiness

TELUS recognizes the potential of threats that could disrupt our ability to meet our obligations to customers, our team members, the community and shareholders. We demonstrate our commitment to these stakeholders through a sustainable business continuity management program focused on managing the evolving risks and related business impacts that could cause disruptions to our operations. Our business continuity capability is enabled by the following key program elements: A governance structure with executive sponsorship, oversight at the Board of Directors level, and engagement at all levels of the organization

  • A risk-based program and planning framework based on industry-leading practices
  • Ongoing monitoring and management of threats and projected impacts, and the application of mitigation and preparedness measures to respond to them
  • A comprehensive emergency management framework with a consistent approach for all types and levels of threat
  • A crisis management team comprising senior leaders, and direct linkages with key internal and external stakeholders
  • A culture of resiliency that drives business continuity leadership, ownership and continuous improvement, including training and awareness, annual exercises, and embedding resilience into organizational processes

In collaboration with internal and external stakeholders, the TELUS business continuity program continues to challenge the status quo in pursuit of making TELUS a more resilient and reliable service provider. The following are some of the key highlights in 2018:

  • Conducted semi-annual seasonal weather preparedness workshops to review corporate preparedness and discuss seasonal risks such as flooding and wildfires
  • Proactively prepared for the 2018 Canada Post labour disruption to limit operational impacts, manage expectations, and ensure customers continued to receive TELUS products
  • Performed a major update on how critical TELUS sites and assets are identified and ranked across the TELUS portfolio. This ensures that the most critical sites receive the appropriate level of risk control
  • Launched a portal that supports customer-facing teams in responding to customer enquiries regarding the reliability of TELUS' network, products, services, and our ability to maintain and recover them in an emergency
  • Supported outreach and awareness initiatives by conducting workshops and delivering presentations to external partners, customers, and professional associations
  • Facilitated an enterprise-wide scenario-based emergency exercise involving 120 team members from 18 teams across TELUS.

Driven by our commitment to continuous improvement, in 2019, we plan to reinforce our business continuity program by:

  • Developing new business continuity planning templates that enhance our ability to understand and manage operational risk, as well as strengthen our ability to respond to and recover from business disruptions
  • Facilitating an enterprise-wide business continuity exercise leveraging plans, procedures, and playbooks
  • Facilitating a crisis management exercise to prepare the Emergency Management Operating Committee (EMOC) for their roles and responsibilities during an emergency
  • Refining our incident management processes based on lessons identified from major events in 2018, such as wildfires, floods and severe weather events
  • Strengthening the resilience of our supply chain by ensuring that our most critical vendors and suppliers can meet contractual obligations to TELUS in the event they experience a business disruption.

Responding to incidents

TELUS has a proven track record of effectively managing the impacts of disruptive incidents. We have responded to wildfires, floods, and severe weather events that have threatened our operations and the communities where we live, work and serve. During these events, we have consistently demonstrated our ability to maintain telecommunications services in challenging circumstances. In addition, where appropriate, we have supported communities, customers and team members through these challenges by:

  • Providing free voice, text and data services
  • Waiving monthly payments and late payment charges
  • Suspending collection activities for customers with overdue bill payments
  • Replacing damaged equipment at no cost and providing loaner mobile phones
  • Developing special contact centre queues to address specific needs of affected customers.

TELUS’ commitment to a robust and agile business continuity program has consistently been recognized by premier international business continuity organizations, including being a finalist for the 2019 Disaster Recovery Institute’s Service Provider of the Year for our response to the 2017 wildfires in British Columbia.

Collaborating with external agencies to support communities in their time of need

At TELUS, we understand the critical role of telecommunications to public safety.

In collaboration with all levels of government, TELUS supports emergency preparedness initiatives by participating in risk assessments, exercises and other planning initiatives. During an emergency, TELUS supports emergency operations by providing critical services and equipment, and aligning TELUS’ response and recovery efforts with government and community priorities.

In 2018, TELUS developed and distributed the ‘Supporting Your Operations in an Emergency’ brochure to proactively inform government emergency agencies on how we can support their emergency operations. We have also provided the following community support in emergencies:

  • Emergency mobile phones for first responders and officials
  • Telecom services at community reception and welcome centres
  • Comfort items for evacuated residents
  • Support for community re-entry after major evacuations.

TELUS is a founding member of the Canadian Telecommunications Resiliency Working Group (CTRWG), which is a national group of telecommunications carriers and federal government representatives dedicated to building resilience. During an emergency, we work closely with the CTRWG to share information and resources.