BCM experts and practitioners offer insights to raise the profile and relevance of business continuity professionals
PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. – Strategic BCP®, a team of business continuity planning (BCP) and management specialists, has announced the availability of its new blog featuring expert content on the topics that help streamline BCP for enterprise resilience and that raise the profile and relevance of business continuity (BC) professionals across their organizations.
The blog acts as an open forum to share ideas that are driving and challenging BCM strategies today. Its content will be comprised of insights authored by Strategic BCP contributors and guest bloggers, tapping into the vast industry knowledge and experience as hands-on consultants and as managers of BC, disaster recovery (DR), and information technology (IT).
Topics will offer best practices, lessons learned, and real-world success examples. Current BCP software considerations, processes, and compliance standards will also be discussed.
Our bloggers currently include:
Frank Perlmutter (CBCP, MBCI): Founder of Strategic BCP & Former DR/COOP (Continuity of Operations Planning) Manager for the U.S. Department of the Treasury
Dave Olkowski (CBCP, MBCI): Senior Manager & Former BC Analyst at MBNA America Bank
Cherie Taylor (CBCP): Senior Manager & Member of the Business Continuity Planners Association (BCPA) Board of Directors
Chris Duffy (CISSP): Senior Manager & Former CIO at Peirce College in Philadelphia
“As colleagues with common goals, there’s no shortage of information to be shared given how complicated this industry can be,” says Kimberly Lawrence (ABCP), Vice President and Business Continuity Program Manager at Umpqua Bank (formerly with Sterling Bank before the merger). “Unbiased viewpoints from real practitioners can help both newcomers and even seasoned pros who are responsible for BC planning.”
Some recent posts include:
About Strategic BCP
Strategic BCP® represents a team of business continuity management specialists who empower organizations of all sizes to build cost-effective, action-based plans that can be implemented immediately in the event of downtime. The company’s award-winning BCM software, ResilienceONE®, integrates risk assessment and management, BC plan development and maintenance, incident management, and compliance issues in one comprehensive easy-to-implement solution. It features proprietary algorithms and metrics that automate cumbersome tasks and provide comprehensive insight into an organization’s risk profile. Strategic BCP complies with the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Framework and the U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Framework. More information: www.strategicbcp.com.
A new report by EEF, the manufacturers' organization, warns the UK Government to act over escalating risks to the UK's supply of essential materials. It says that the global growth in middle-class consumers, increased demand for all commodities and an over-reliance on China for strategic supplies, is leaving the UK vulnerable. But, while other manufacturing nations have strategies in place to shield their economies from resource risks, the UK is lagging behind.
The report ‘Materials for Manufacturing: Safeguarding Supply’ digs behind concerns raised by UK manufacturers that volatile material prices and security of supply pose a threat to growth and confirms that the UK does indeed face escalating risks.
Globally, the consuming middle classes are expected to swell from 1.8 billion people to 4.9 billion by 2030. Demand for all commodities is expected to rocket by 30 to 80 percent by 2030. However, the UK's supply of essential materials – ranging from silicon metal and rare earth elements through to coking coal - is concentrated. China is the leading supplier of materials to the UK, producing 22 of 38 elements of strategic economic value. These are minerals and metals that are vital to British manufacturing.
The BCI Diploma is the unique and only BC award that provides a route to Institute membership on one hand, and a significant development in confidence, capability and subject understanding and knowledge in those who are successful in achieving it on the other.
The designation DBCI shows that the holder has gone the significant extra distance and studied BCM in depth, looking far beyond frameworks and simple guidance, and researching the subjects related to continuity, resilience and associated issues in significant depth. The DBCI also indicates that the holder has the potential to succeed at postgraduate level, and we have several graduates from the Diploma now enrolled on our MSc Organisational Resilience.
When hospitals moved from film-based hardcopy systems to electronic images, they began to generate large amounts of data held on PACS – Picture Archiving and Communications Systems. Hospitals use various ‘modalities’ to scan patients, including Computer Tomography, Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Ultrasound systems. These modalities must regularly (and frequently) upload the scanned images to the PACS, where they can be stored, sequenced for retrieval and made available for remote diagnosis. However, a PACS is often a potential single point of failure with inevitable downtime – which is where the DR lessons start.
School shootings have captured the attention of the American public and certainly school administrators, who feel compelled to do something to prevent or mitigate the effects of a similar incident taking place on their grounds.
Solutions — in the form of cameras, metal detectors, buzzers, bulletproof white boards and the like — are coming out of the woodwork and are being foisted upon administrators. There is a lot of training available too, such as the Run, Hide, Fight video that demonstrates what to do in the event of an active shooter, including taking down an armed gunman.
But there are problems with these approaches and educators are missing key elements of managing these scenarios by relying on some of the technology fixes and the active shooter training, some experts say.
The Run, Hide, Fight training is an alternative to waiting for law enforcement to arrive, which is ineffective since most violent acts are usually over in minutes, before law enforcement arrives. The objective of the training videos is to condition students and administrators, anyone faced with the potentially deadly situation of an active shooter, to recognize the best avenues for avoiding bloodshed.
National Institutes of Health workers preparing to move a lab in Bethesda, Md., found an unwelcome surprise in a storage room this month: six vials of smallpox.
There is no evidence that any of the vials was breached, and no lab workers or members of the public were exposed to the infectious and potentially deadly virus, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in its announcement Tuesday.
The vials labeled variola — a name for the smallpox virus — were found July 1 “in an unused portion of a storage room” and seem to date to the 1950s, the CDC said. They were freeze-dried, intact and sealed, forgotten and packed away in a cardboard box, officials said.
The vials were "immediately secured" in a containment lab, then transported via government aircraft Monday to the CDC’s containment facility in Atlanta, it said.
The General Assembly of the Federation of European Risk Management Associations (FERMA) has agreed a framework and funding to create European certification for risk managers.
It will include certification of the professional competences and experience of individual risk managers as well as accreditation for the risk management programmes of education bodies. Certification will be supported by a requirement for continuous professional development and a code of ethics.
The General Assembly also agreed for funding from FERMA’s reserves for the development and implementation phase of the project, which will run on a not-for-profit basis.
FERMA vice president Michel Dennery said: “A new designation is born: European Certified Risk Manager. We can be proud of that we will be providing one of the first pan-European recognitions of a profession, and one that will be a benchmark for other risk managers’ professional bodies worldwide.”
Scope of project increases when unforeseen, severe deterioration discovered
ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Western Waterproofing, a member company of Western Construction Group, recently completed the monumental task of restoring the deteriorated facade and exterior concrete of the historic Litho Press building in Indianapolis, Indiana. A project that was originally projected to last just 3-4 months turned into a six-month project requiring 8,800 man hours, 3,500 bags of cement bag mix material and thousands of pounds of steel and lumber when demolition uncovered more severe deterioration than originally anticipated.
The building, located at 800 North Capitol, had been abandoned until a redevelopment project allowed for its complete restoration to feature 111 apartment units. The building is owned by The Whitsett Group and Ambrose Property Group.
"The engineer called out for approximately 1,500 LF of shallow depth concrete repairs not exceeding 4 inches in depth. Once demolition began, we discovered severed columns 20 inches in diameter and beam deterioration ranging from 6-24 inches in depth," said Western Waterproofing Project Manager Travis DeJohn. "We knew then that the number of hours and amount of materials needed to complete the job was going to escalate quickly."
Western used a combination of scissor lifts and articulating booms to complete the exterior building repairs. The entire exterior was first sounded and marked to help budget the escalating quantities. After sounding, Western removed the deteriorated concrete, replaced the steel reinforcements as needed, formed individual patches, and poured back cementitious bag mix material using 5-gallon buckets.
With the scope of work drastically increasing, Western had to work overtime to try to stay within the tight timeline and budget constraints, and every detail had to be meticulously coordinated to allow several trades to complete their work simultaneously alongside one another. Western worked closely with the general contractor on the project, Indianapolis-based TWG Construction, LLC, to coordinate the schedule and budget adjustments necessary to complete the project and maintain work quality.
About Western Construction Group
Family-owned and operated for nearly 100 years, Western Construction Group is the nation's largest specialty contractor in masonry, concrete and facade restoration, waterproofing and specialty roofing. Offering a nationwide network of expertise, building owners, engineers, architects and property managers can count on Western Construction Group to develop cost-effective, corrective measures that can add years of useful life to industrial, commercial, healthcare, historic, educational and government buildings, parking structures and sports stadiums. Western Construction Group is headquartered in St. Louis, MO with over 30 branch offices nationwide and employs more than 1,200 salaried and hourly professionals who offer the best, time-tested techniques and innovative technology. For more information about Western Construction Group, visit www.westerngroup.com. Western Construction Group: America's Master Craftsmen in Building Restoration and Preservation.
PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Avere Systems, a leading provider of enterprise storage for the hybrid cloud, announced that it has raised an additional $20 million in venture financing, bringing the total amount invested in the company to $72 million. The Series-D funding round was led by Western Digital Capital, with participation from previous investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, Menlo Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners and Tenaya Capital. The funding will be used to accelerate sales, marketing and continued development of the company’s hybrid cloud storage solutions.
Avere’s novel approach bucks the costly trend of ramping up physical storage capacity and performance through purchasing bigger storage servers loaded with an exorbitant amount of disks or flash, and then connecting them to higher-bandwidth pipes. Instead, Avere has invented a flexible, software-defined storage tiering methodology that fosters intelligent use of multiple storage technologies (RAM, SSD, SAS and SATA) that can negate the weaknesses of one type of media or accelerate underutilized strengths in another. The company offers a lineup of products that are optimized according to workload requirements ranging from small enterprise to the most intense storage scenarios in the world.
“The reality for 99% of enterprises is they will operate increasingly in a hybrid IT storage environment for many years to come. This means that no single storage technology will win, and both on-premises and cloud storage will be required to achieve cost and performance goals,” said Ron Bianchini, President and CEO of Avere Systems. “With this Series-D funding round, we continue to scale the company so that we can provide the best solutions to customers embarking on their hybrid cloud path.”
“We are impressed with the Avere management team’s continued ability to execute on its plan to make hybrid cloud storage a reality for enterprises,” said John Jarve, Managing Partner at Menlo Ventures. “Now that the company has proven to deliver NAS-quality performance in a hybrid cloud environment, we expect mainstream enterprises to adopt this new technology at a rapid rate over the next 18-24 months.”
“Over the course of the past five years, Avere Systems has developed and refined unique technology to change how storage is delivered,” said Matthew Howard, Managing Partner at Norwest Venture Partners. “We are pleased with Avere’s success, and are proud to provide follow-on investments in the company as it further establishes its industry leadership.”
About Western Digital Capital
Western Digital Capital is the investment arm of Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ: WDC) a global provider of products and services that empower people to create, manage, experience and preserve digital content. Its companies design and manufacture storage devices and home entertainment products under the WD, HGST and G-Technology brands. Visit the Investor section of the company's website (www.westerndigital.com) to access a variety of financial and investor information.
About Avere Systems
Avere is radically changing the economics of data storage. Avere’s hybrid cloud solutions give companies – for the first time – the ability to put an end to the rising cost and complexity of data storage by allowing customers the freedom to store files anywhere in the cloud or on premises without sacrificing the performance, availability or security of their data. Based in Pittsburgh, Avere is led by veterans and thought leaders in the data storage industry and is backed by investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, Menlo Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners Tenaya Capital and Western Digital Capital. For more information, visit www.averesystems.com.
Performance Parity, Painless Migrations and Low Prices Are Now a Reality; The Days of Storage Vendor Lock-in Are Over
PITTSBURGH, Pa. – The future of enterprise file storage has never been brighter, according to Avere Systems. Due to three technology and industry breakthroughs that have aligned recently, enterprise-class hybrid cloud storage is now a reality, providing organizations with an unprecedented number of choices when it comes to storage type, location, budget and vendor selection.
"The current storage ownership model is approximately two decades old, and has always favored the storage vendor. Consequently, storage buyers have found it difficult to change requirements as often as they'd like and reduce operational costs," said Ron Bianchini, Avere Systems president and CEO. "But now that we have reliable cloud vendors such as Amazon and Google, adequate security and software-defined file storage technology, we are now in a free-market economy for storage that will continue to drive down costs while improving storage options at a much faster rate than we've ever known before."
In a recent presentation to IT professionals, Bianchini outlined the three breakthroughs that are making this new hybrid-cloud storage world possible:
Enterprise NAS Performance in the Cloud
One of the primary inhibitors for widespread enterprise use of cloud-based storage is excessive latency, which is intolerable for organizations that have come to expect the performance of enterprise network attached storage (NAS). However, recent SPECsfs2008 NFS testing results prove that Avere is the first company to deliver enterprise NAS performance in a hybrid storage environment using the Amazon S3 cloud. "Put simply, we deploy Avere Edge Filers on-premises where the users are, which guarantees an enterprise NAS experience no matter where your data is stored," continued Bianchini.
The next critical breakthrough is the ability to maintain application momentum while allowing enterprises to change storage configurations at will. "Historically, organizations could not migrate from on-premises NAS to a cloud storage model without the painful effort of rewriting all of their enterprise applications for cloud, and then testing them in the cloud to ensure they are functionally equivalent," added Bianchini. This process can slow down IT departments for months or years. But with software-defined file system technology from Avere, nothing has to be rewritten for the cloud, and it is now possible to make storage changes in real time, as business requirements change.
Effortless Provisioning - Switch Vendors and Storage Options on the Fly
Now that cloud storage is a viable option, organizations do not have to rely on their corporate data centers as much. With less physical dependence on storage equipment and the ability to provision service at will, storage buyers are no longer beholden to a single vendor for three- to seven-year periods for all of their performance and capacity needs. Today, organizations can now have different vendors for each need, which creates an incredible amount of options where there was only one before. Just as enterprise IT departments are used to renting 1,000s of compute cores through Google or Amazon, they will soon be able to rent dynamic storage capacity as needed from a myriad of cloud providers, enabling IT professionals to make much smarter decisions based on performance, capacity and cost parameters.
"Avere Systems is ushering in the new era of enterprise-class hybrid storage, which is a boon to organizations that struggle with the cost and performance of managing on-premises and cloud file locations, while also deciding whether to use hard disk or solid state drive technology," said George Crump, president and founder of Storage Switzerland. "Avere's technology enables its customers to select and provision storage options instantly, and this capability will drive new operational efficiencies and competitive advantages."
About Avere Systems
Avere is radically changing the economics of data storage. Avere's hybrid cloud solutions give companies - for the first time - the ability to put an end to the rising cost and complexity of data storage by allowing customers the freedom to store files anywhere in the cloud or on premises without sacrificing the performance, availability or security of their data. Based in Pittsburgh, Avere is led by veterans and thought leaders in the data storage industry and is backed by investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, Menlo Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners Tenaya Capital, and Western Digital Capital. For more information, visit www.averesystems.com.