While people across the world are in self-isolation under stay-at-home orders imposed by public officials, tech companies are scrambling to bring support – and a sense of normalcy – to the economy.
Here are several examples of how tech companies are helping the world during the COVID-19 crisis.
1. Syncro is battling scammers and bringing the MSP community together
Small businesses need help, but managed service providers need help, too. That’s where Syncro MSP comes in. Syncro has shipped a variety of new features to help clients combat the impact the coronavirus. For example, Syncro launched a job listings website for the MSP industry to make finding extra help easier. They’ve also created a Google spreadsheet for the MSP community to crowdsource information by location to answer whether MSPs are considered “essential businesses.”
To empower MSPs to tighten security measures, Syncro has enabled multi-factor authentication (MFA) for customer portals. MFA isn’t automatic. Businesses will need to enable the feature to require MFA for customer logins.
Security is always a priority; however, cyber criminals are taking full advantage in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. Wired.com reported that coronavirus phishing scams began in January and a hospital in the Czech Republic suffered a ransomware attack that postponed surgeries. These are just two examples of what’s happening around the world, demonstrating the importance of tightening down security.
2. Intuit is helping small businesses with $8 million
Intuit has pledged $8 million through a variety of programs to help small businesses deal with the economic disruption caused by the novel coronavirus. So far, the company has initialized three main programs.
- Crowdfunding support by matching pledges
Through a partnership with Yelp and GoFundMe, a $1.5 million fund has been set up to match the first $500 pledged to each COVID-19-related small business campaign on the GoFundMe platform.
- Loan deferment
Intuit is offering an 8-week deferment on all Quickbooks Capital program business loans.
- Free software for immediate access to funds
Intuit customers will soon be able to get a free version of QuickBooks Instant Deposit – a software program that makes cash available on the same day. The purpose, according to Bizjournals.com, is to help small businesses avoid fees while providing immediate access to funds.
3. Webhosting companies are the foundation of support
Right now, all webhosting companies are the foundation for small businesses. Most business is being conducted online and entire teams are working remotely. This wouldn’t be possible without the vast number of webhosting companies across the world.
4. Three tech giants joined the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium
Amazon, Google, and Microsoft have joined the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium. The COVID-19 HPC Consortium brings together government, industry, and academic leaders for extensive research in bioinformatics, epidemiology, and molecular modeling. The consortium aims to understand the COVID-19 threat and develop defensive strategies.
Some active projects include:
- Simulating possible SARS-CoV-2 proteins to find the best-ranked drug candidates for treating COVID-19
- Using NASA’s Ames supercomputer to define risk groups for developing ARDS from COVID-19 and other viruses
- Building deep learning models to screen more than 1,500 FDA-approved drugs and at least 5,000 experimental drugs in the DrugBank for treatment of COVID-19
5. Three tech giants joined the COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition
The corporations joining the new COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition include tech giants Amazon, Microsoft, and Salesforce. This coalition is a private-sector led response that “brings together healthcare organizations, technology firms, nonprofits, academia, and startups to “preserve the healthcare delivery system and help protect U.S. populations.”
The coalition provides a platform for experts and industry leaders to share plans and resources and collaborate to bring more awareness to those working on the front lines of this crisis. The ultimate goals are to improve clinical care, stabilize healthcare systems, support affordable supply chains, and use data-driven insights to inform social policies.
Tech companies want to help the world to return to normal
Many small businesses are doing quite well despite stay-at-home orders and social distancing rules. These small businesses are particularly suited to the demands of the crisis. For example, food, alcohol, masks, and paper goods are booming right now due to high demand.
The tech companies going all-in to help during the COVID-19 crisis want the world to go back to normal as quickly as possible. They also want people to be safe and are working hard so that other businesses can open back up and return to business as usual.
Larry Alton is a professional blogger, writer, and researcher who contributes to a number of reputable online media outlets and news sources. A graduate of Iowa State University, I’m now a full-time freelance writer and business consultant.