Need some more Jump modems – who are you going to call?

Well not Ghostbusters, that’s for sure. Not Skinny (refer to my earlier blog post). Not the Spark Foundation. Not a Spark retail store. Not Father Christmas.

Well then, who you might ask. Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa (DIAA)- now you are getting warm. But not Eleanor. Not Leilani. Not Sue (although she seems to be the hot favourite!). Who else is there?

Laurence, Alistair and Shelley of course! Laurence handles modem inquiries through DIAA’s Jump email hotline (jump@diaa.nz) and Shelley handles modem inquiries through DIAA’s phone hotline (0800 463 422). And
Alistair handles our back office systems that keep the supply of modems flowing to you.

So please DO NOT CALL OR EMAIL anyone else on the DIAA team if your inquiry has anything to do with modem supply or distribution. This just creates an unnecessary clutter in voicemail and email in-boxes.

We have weathered the Covid storm by putting our shoulder to the wheel and creating new delivery options to ensure the modems keep flowing, so even when partners have had to shut up shop, we have simply expanded our home delivery option. But we don’t have super powers and have no control over issues in the global market such as microchip or neon shortages, resulting from Covid lockdowns in China and the war in Ukraine, respectively. Neon gas is a vital component in the laser lithography of silicon chips, and around 50% of the global supply comes out of Ukraine.

Nor can we solve New Zealand modem suppliers problems caused by large numbers of their staff having to self-isolate. Unlike many of us who can continue to work from home, these staff are hands-on, provisioning and packaging Jump modems.

What all this means is that we are all going to have to be patient. You will run out of modems. Customers waiting for home deliveries will call you to find out when their modem is going to arrive.

Please use the systems we have put in place to keep you and your customers informed:

(1) Make sure you are completing a Jump Profile form for every modem issued – this controls the re-stocking process.

(2) Check your Jump GDoc to find out when further supplies have been ordered, either from Ingram or transferred from another Jump delivery partner.

(3) Use the NZ CourierPost tracking number associated with each modem shipment to monitor progress with the delivery of modem supplies.

(4) For individual home delivery inquiries, please email jump@diaa.nz and we can give you a status report. But please note that we currently have a 7-10 day backlog with over 150 households waiting for a modem. By the time we get further supplies this backlog will have increased to over 200. We expect to make these deliveries next week.

(5) Any partner with surplus modem stock, please contact Shelley. During the last week, she has arranged the transfer of nearly 100 modems between delivery partners. Thank you to those partners who have assisted with this. She is still looking for another 200 modems to transfer.

Don’t call Skinny for modem supply issues

I have been receiving a few redirected calls from the Skinny Care team with requests from partners about modem supplies.

PLEASE DO NOT CALL THE SKINNY CARE TEAM FOR ANY DETAILS ABOUT MODEM SUPPLIES.

The Skinny Care team has no role in the supply of modems. This is our (DIAA) responsibility, working with you, our Partners.

Any inquiries about modem supplies should come to jump@diaa.nz

Thank you.

“I am down to my last Jump modem; when will more supplies arrive?”

This is one of the most frequent questions that we get asked. We do try to respond promptly to individual requests, but with over 300 delivery partners, we do get a bit swamped at times with email and phone requests.

You have access to the same information that we do, so we would like to encourage you to check this out first.

Let me remind you how to do this:

(1) Go to the GSheet Jump register for your organisation. You may need a Gmail account to do this. If you don’t know how to access this, send us an email (jump@diaa.nz) and request access. Please make sure you identify your role with Jump deliveries so that we know you are legit, as these registers contain confidential customer information. We will send you a URL link.

(2) Check Cell F4. This represents the number of unallocated modems that we think you have. If this doesn’t align with the number of modems that you actually have, then this could mean that modems have been issued without Profile Forms being completed. If this is the case, you should mark up in Column B any modems that you no longer have. Type in the word “Allocated” and you will see you stock count (cell F4) reduce by one.

(3) Note Cell G2. This is your re-supply trigger. When the number in Cell F4 reduces to the number in Cell G2, cell F4 is shaded red and this signals to us to arrange for further modems to be sent.

(4) When we place an order, we enter IMEI numbers in Column W and include the date, initials of person placing the order and the source of the modems (e.g. ex Ingram) in column X.

(5) Note the IMEI number is a 15-digit number commencing in “86…”. When modems are shipped from Ingram, there can be a short delay before we get the shipping schedules so we enter a dummy set of numbers, e.g. 860501, 860502, etc. We replace these with the full IMEI number as soon as possible.

(6) When the modems have been shipped we enter the NZ Post Courier tracking number in column Y (shaded yellow) and the shipment date in column Z. You can monitor progress by entering the tracking number into NZ Post’s website.

If all this is too confusing, or for some reason you are unable to access the GSheet, just let us know when your modem stocks are low and we can review for you.

Jump home deliveries impacted by modem shortages

As at this morning (Tuesday 8 March) we have 280 families waiting for their Jump Modem to be delivered by courier. Our last courier deliveries were on 23 February 2022, so anyone who has applied since then will still be waiting.

We are expecting 100 of these to be on the courier this week, but the others are unlikely to be sent until next week.

This is a direct result of the modem shortage discussed in my earlier post. When modems don’t arrive after soon after online application forms are completed, people do start to call partners to find out what’s going on.

Partners are welcome to get in touch with Shelley on 0800 463422 and she can check the status of the delivery.

Our goal with online applications is to ship modems the day after the application is received, but of course we can’t do this when we don’t have any stocks! So if customers do call, please kindly explain that things are taking a bit longer than usual.

Delays in the supply of Jump modems

Many partners are noticing a delay in the supply of Skinny Jump modems and we apologise for this. Our goal is for partners to never run out of modems, but this is proving challenging when supply chains become constrained.

There are currently two contributing factors:

(1) Ingram Micro (the supplier of Jump modems) is currently operating at 60% of its capacity due to staff shortages (as a direct result of Covid self-isolating requirements);

(2) New Zealand distributors of computer products (including Jump modems) are also being impacted by global chip shortages.

At this stage, we are facing 2-week delays from the time orders are placed until they are shipped by Ingram. We do have large numbers of modems being held by partners, some of whom appear to be inactive, so we are making efforts to redistribute these as an immediate measure.

Jump Partner details updated on Skinny website

Today, we have applied a major refresh of the Jump partner details that appear on the Skinny Jump website when customers go searching for a nearby partner.

In August 2021, we changed most of the contact information to indicate that Jump delivery partners were temporarily closed because of the Covid-19 lockdowns; customers were advised to contact Jump partners by phone for assistance when applying for Jump modems that would then be sent by courier. Since 18 August, we have couriered 1264 modems to families using this process. What is amazing is that during the same lockdown period, partners have managed to distribute a total of 1734 modems. So that’s 3000 more households connected to affordable internet.

So while some partners continue to face challenges in distributing modems, most have opened again and are offering limited services within the Covid-19 guidelines. As a result we have decided to revert most partners (except Auckland libraries) to the standard wording for Jump connections:

Contact us during normal business hours to sign up for Jump

Auckland customers will continue to be directed to the special call centre number (09 977 1415).

All partners continue to have the choice of issuing modems themselves or assisting customers complete an online application form. As we move to the traffic light system, we expect that most partners will be able to resume issuing modems, and we will return to the position we were in before the latest series of lockdowns with 90% of all modems being issued by partners.

This is by far the best delivery model as partners are able to provide local support for customers connecting to the internet for the first time.

Please check the listing for your venue on the Skinny Jump website by typing in a local address or zoom in on the map to find your venue. If you would like any details changed, please contact us at jump@diaa.nz

Possible problem using the Jump online order form

One of our partners alerted us to a problem she was having with our Jump online order form; I alluded to this in a previous post, but have now had the opportunity to investigate further.

As I suspected this is a case of Google trying to be helpful, but not for the reason I thought. This is a new feature Google introduced into their forms from 3 August 2021, so this is the first time we have noticed this.

If you are signed into a Google account when you access our Jump application form the form will automatically add in your email address and start automatically saving your responses as a draft for 30 days. You can find more information about this feature here. The purpose of this is that you can return to the form anytime within 30 days to complete the form without having to repeat information that you have already entered.

This is not a feature that is required for our form and, as the form owner, we are supposed to be able to turn this feature off. But I have checked this out and we don’t have the option, possible because the form was created before 3 August 2021. Maybe a bit more googling will find a workaround.

But in the meantime, I think we will just have to live with it. The concern expressed by our partner was that her personal email address would somehow be included in the form responses and shared with the family requesting the Jump modem (who do get a copy of the application form when completed).

We have no evidence that this is happening; the feature appears limited to saving a draft of the form in the identified google account. However if you have any concerns about this please use a different browser, one that is not linked to your google account, or open an incognito window (ctl+shift+n).

Jump Modems still available during Covid lockdown

With the country returning to a Level 4 lockdown today, all Jump partners will have to suspend the delivery of Jump modems to their communities. However the online ‘self-service’ option remains available. This involves completing an online application form that can be found here. You can also find this form on our Stepping Up website – go to ‘Jump’ in the top menu bar and select ‘Get Jump’; scroll to the bottom of the page and you will find a link to the self-service form.

We hope that most partners will be able to continue supporting their communities by accepting applications by telephone and submitting the application form on behalf of their customers. This worked really well during the Level 4 lockdowns in 2020 and as a result, thousands of households were able to connect to the internet at a time when their physical movements were severely constrained.

We acknowledge this is not as good an option as face-to-face delivery, where you can help your customers set up their Skinny accounts, but it can still be a lifeline for households without the internet.

An update on Skinny modems that haven’t been provisioned for Jump

I have had a number of partners contact me today expressing concern about modems they have recently received that were not provisioned for Jump. As explained in my blog yesterday this has just been brought to our attention and we immediately raised a red flag with Spark Foundation. They advised late this afternoon that they have implemented a solution which will take about 24 hours to take effect and agreed to provide an update tomorrow.

Partners who have experienced this problem when issuing modems might be asked to contact affected customers to confirm that modems issued during the last few days have been correctly provisioned. As we be able to assist with this as most customers provide a phone number in their Profile Forms.

There is no need to take any action at this stage, at least until we get an update tomorrow.

Alert on Jump Modem Deliveries

On 22 February, we transferred to a new delivery process to get modems to partners. Since the start of the Jump programme, we (DIAA) have provided a national distribution centre for Jump modems to partners; modems have been couriered to us in large quantities (up to 500 at a time) and we have arranged distribution to partners in more manageable lots, typically 5 or 6 or at times up to 14. This gave us the opportunity to scan the IMEI number of every modem distributed into your individual Google registers.

For over a year, the Spark Foundation has been working with their Jump modem supplier (Ingram Micro) to try and streamline this process by shipping modems directly to Jump delivery partners and this was finally implemented on 22 February 2021.

But unfortunately, all is not yet well.

(1) We no longer have access to the individual IMEI numbers of modems being shipped, which means we need to use ‘dummy’ numbers in your GSheets to indicate that modems have been ordered. When we receive Profile Forms, we replace the dummy numbers with the actual IMEI number. Some partners have decide to do this themselves and that is fine if you have a bar code scanner, but it is almost impossible to record these numbers accurately if you are entering the numbers manually. If you do want to do this, please enter the IMEI numbers in Column W ;the IMEI number in column D (grey shaded column) will automatically update, as this is formula driven. You must also overwrite the dummy numbers – these are easily recognisable by their short form, typically 862901 – 862910. We hope to sort this soon and get access to the IMEI numbers at the time of shipment.

(2) Some modems are being returned to sender (Ingram Micro) because of inadequate addressing. This is simply human error by Ingram Micro, when they incorrectly key in shipping addresses. We would appreciate a photograph of any courier labels that do arrive with you, but with an incorrect address. Hopefully this will improve over time if we keep referring incorrect address labels back to Ingram Micro.

(3) Some partners are receiving Skinny modems that have not been provisioned for Jump. This means that when you try and set them up, you will get an unfamiliar dashboard response. And of course they can’t be used as is for the Jump service. If you discover one modem like this in a box, then it is highly likely that all the modems in the box will be like this. These can be remotely provisioned for Jump. Please scan the Proof of Purchase document that comes with every Jump shipment to us (jump@diaa.nz) and we will arrange for the modems to be provisioned correctly ready for issue.

We think it is worth persevering with the new modem distribution process as this is more efficient in the long run. We just have to fix the glitches along the way. So please get in touch with us whenever you discover something that doesn’t appear right.