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Winter Journal

Volume 28, Issue 1

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Jon Seals

Business continuity problems often carry their own penalty in the form of lost revenue, customer churn and reputational damage. In some cases, outages also mean stiff fines that go beyond the penalties that are part of any service level agreement. Thus, SingTel, the Singaporean telecommunications company, received a 6 million dollar fine (about 4.81 million USD) from the ICT regulator in Singapore for a breakdown in service in October 2013. The disruption affected government agencies and financial institutions and had an impact on 270,000 subscribers. But what is really behind fining a company whose business continuity fails like this?

...

http://www.opscentre.com.au/blog/fines-for-business-continuity-problems-adding-insult-to-injury/

Among the many unwitting assumptions that occur when developing Business Continuity plans is the assignment of roles to specific individuals.  A smart BCM planner will at least buttress that assignment with a backup person – just in case.  But is that really enough?

In many cases is should be.  But there are many others in which roles assigned to individuals (even with a backup) may prove wholly inadequate.

The most obvious is in a natural disaster scenario.  What if the individuals cannot be contacted or the roads are closed?  Those may cause a temporary problem.  On the other hand, consider that the individuals may have other priorities – like protecting their family, or their home.  Those priorities may not mean they can’t respond to their BCM obligations – but they may be unwilling.  If you’ve assigned tasks to an individual who doesn’t show up, you’ll have to scramble to reassign the task (perhaps to someone unfamiliar with the role and responsibilities).  And even in a non-disaster situation, a named individual may be on holiday or away on business.  They can’t help if they’re not there.

...

http://ebrp.net/who-you-gonna-call-business-continuity-planning-personnel-availability/

If circumventing the IT department is “kind of a given,” as one executive from a cloud services provider put it in a post I wrote earlier this month, it may be just as much of a given that what business units are most eager to acquire when they do circumvent the IT department are business intelligence and data analytics tools.

I recently discussed this phenomenon in an email interview with Fred Shilmover, CEO of InsightSquared, a provider of cloud-based BI services in Cambridge, Mass. When I asked Shilmover if he’s finding that business units are circumventing the IT department in order to get the data analytics tools they need, Shilmover said they see it all the time among companies that have purchased a lot of cloud-hosted software, and he noted that the tools are often purchased by a new line-of-business leader:

...

http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/from-under-the-rug/when-the-sales-team-needs-bi-tools-the-it-group-may-be-the-last-to-know.html

Residents of Alaska have historically been more likely than people in other states to have a supply of frozen food on hand, but their reliance on food from stores has grown in recent years, leaving them vulnerable in an emergency.

Like every other state, Alaska has to be prepared for disasters, both natural and man-made. But as it works to make sure its residents would have enough food in a disaster, the state also has to deal with some unique challenges.

“We’ve got volcanoes, earthquakes, cold weather — a lot of potential for emergencies up here,” said Danny Consenstein, state executive director for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency in Alaska. “Do we have a food system that is resilient and strong, that could help us in case of emergencies?”

...

http://www.emergencymgmt.com/disaster/Alaska-Secure-Food-Supply.html

Tuesday, 22 July 2014 15:22

AIR releases Canada earthquake model

Catastrophe risk modelling firm AIR Worldwide has updated its earthquake model for Canada. The comprehensive update will provide insurers and other industry stakeholders with an advanced tool for assessing potential losses from ground shaking, fire following earthquake, tsunami, liquefaction, and landslide for the Canadian market and will be a significant tool for compliance with OSFI Guideline B-9.

"The updated Earthquake Model for Canada has been extensively reengineered and offers significant enhancements," said Dr Jayanta Guin, executive vice-president, research and modelling, AIR Worldwide. "The model reflects an up-to-date view of seismicity based on the latest hazard information from the Geological Survey of Canada and collaboration with leading academics. In addition to the ability to estimate losses from shake, fire following, and liquefaction, the release is the first in the industry to include fully probabilistic landslide and tsunami models for Canada. Virtually every component of the updated model has undergone peer review."

Testament to the sophistication of the model, the Insurance Bureau of Canada selected AIR Worldwide to conduct the most comprehensive study of seismic risk in Canada ever undertaken. According to IBC, AIR's study will help drive a national discourse on mitigation, financial preparedness, and emergency response.

...

http://www.cirmagazine.com/cir/AIR-Worldwide-releases-new-Canada-earthquake-model.php

The final attribute of the RIMS Risk Maturity Model should be of great interest to risk managers responsible for establishing an enterprise risk management (ERM) program. Without some level of business resilience and sustainability built into your program, the iterative, cultural changes that are created by the ERM process will wane and your exposure to loss events will increase.

Understanding Consequences

Traditionally, business continuity plans have focused on technology platforms, but resiliency means much more than ensuring that your information technology infrastructure is prepared for disaster recovery. Consider that the IT infrastructure that is the focus of your business continuity plans is likely to play a critical role in the execution of your mitigation activities (for example, a server that supports access rights and security). A lack of capability to explicitly identify relationships between these entities can result in huge increases in short term risk exposure at the worst possible time, as rapidly deteriorating business environments require even stronger change management ability.

...

http://www.riskmanagementmonitor.com/rims-risk-maturity-model-resilience-sustainability

EXETER, R.I. – Carousel Industries, a leader in unified communications, managed services, data networking solutions and visual communications, announced that it is supporting its customer base with enhancements to its SmartPoint managed services offering. This follows the recently announced joint enterprise mobility solutions available from Juniper Networks and Aruba Networks.
 
Carousel has maintained the highest levels of technical and partner certification with both Juniper and Aruba for many years and has successfully deployed Juniper and Aruba services to over 1,800 customers.  With the new alliance between Juniper and Aruba, Carousel will be expanding its managed services offerings designed to complement customers' current and future investments in enterprise-grade mobility technology.
 
According to Jeff Hewson, national sales director, Carousel Industries, “Carousel’s longstanding relationship with Aruba and Juniper in our Network Operations Center has prepared us to deliver unique managed services capabilities that will continue developing as a result of this partnership. As a full service integrator, we are very excited to see this partnership flourish.”
 
“We are committed to advancing joint success by enabling partners to expand market opportunities and address the needs of their customers with Aruba and Juniper networking solutions,” said Jim Harold, vice president of channel sales, Aruba Networks. “Being a joint channel partner of Aruba and Juniper, Carousel Industries can now better address its customers’ mobility requirements with a comprehensive set of enterprise-grade wireless mobility solutions and best-in-class Ethernet switches from Aruba and Juniper.”
 
“Carousel Industries has been a trusted partner to Juniper and advisor to our customers for many years," commented Jonathan Belcher, vice president, partner sales at Juniper Networks. "It brings strong expertise in the wired/wireless market along with deep security knowledge. Now that Juniper and Aruba have formed this new relationship we are counting on Carousel to help our customers benefit from best-of-breed solutions that can help transform their business.”
 
The joint collaboration between Juniper and Aruba targets increased interoperability and integration efficiency for the combined solution. Carousel is supporting the collaboration by extending a highly focused managed services offering across each of the verticals it serves, including corporate, government, healthcare, hospitality, education and others.
 
To learn more about Carousel's SmartPoint managed services program, please visit www.carouselindustries.com/solutions/managed-services/smart-point or download the SmartPoint Network Infrastructure brochure here: www.carouselindustries.com/u/spnetwork.
 

About Carousel
Carousel Industries consults, integrates, and manages technology solutions that solve business problems and contribute to your organizations’ growth. This includes unified communications, managed services, virtualization, Voice over IP (VoIP), video conferencing and collaboration and data infrastructure solutions.
 
Today we have over 6,000 customers, including 35 of the Fortune 100. Carousel has been recognized by both VAR and CRN Magazines as one of the top technology integrators in the US and we’ve been listed in the Inc. 500/5000 seven times. Carousel is headquartered in Exeter, RI, with over 1,000 employees working from offices in 30 locations across the US, including over 250 service technicians deployed across the country. For more information visit: http://www.carouselindustries.com.

LONDON, England – F4F Agriculture, a global business dedicated to the farmer-centric digital supply chain, announces it has signed an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) agreement with SAP (NYSE: SAP) for the deployment of the SAP HANA® platform. This partnership is the culmination of F4F's experience gained over several years in working with data and interfaces to SAP® solutions. It is expected that F4F'sagricultural expertise and its global open integration platform complemented by SAP's significant agri-market presence will provide a compelling and unique opportunity for manufacturers, distributors and farmers to increase both productivity and profitability through precision-data analytics.

"Enabling farmers to send and receive permissioned data through the supply chain, in return for agronomic recommendations that exactly reflect their circumstances, is fundamental in overcoming the global challenges faced in achieving future crop production targets," said Nick Evans, CEO of F4F Agriculture. "Many global companies currently operating in the agricultural industry are looking to extend their connectivity throughout the supply network. This requires a coordinated and integrated approach to the collection and management of crop- production data. Field-management systems, weather and machinery data need to be accessible in order for suppliers to communicate agronomic best practices down the supply chain, including seed choices, crop nutrition and protection."

F4F operates globally and has spent the last decade delivering data-oriented business solutions to the agricultural and animal-health markets. F4F manages huge volumes of data for its trading partners, providing dedicated services that create valuable insights, gained by analysing everything from simple financial transactions to contracts, inventory, rebates, soil analysis, weight, quality, declarations and bench-marking.

"Much of this data is cleansed, appended, complemented and standardised before being processed by the connected systems, whether farm-based or from a distributor, processor, manufacturer or other connected devices," added Mr. Evans. "Farmers, as both customers and producers, will be at the centre of this new digital supply chain. As an SAP OEM partner, F4F's existing data services are being considerably enhanced to leverage the huge opportunities that it is expected that big agri-data will deliver."

Today, F4F works alongside many of the world's leading seed, crop-protection, fertiliser, grain and animal- health businesses providing innovative integration and connectivity solutions. Its experience and expertise with underlying business processes and the benefits of an open, neutral platform will help ensure the success of new supply-chain initiatives.

The agri-specific connectivity delivered through F4F's Cirrus integration framework and Interlok connectors allows web-enabled systems to be integrated easily into business-solution frameworks. This provides customers with a platform that allows them to work more productively and efficiently together. The in-memory computing capabilities of SAP HANA complement F4F's strategy to enhance its existing real-time data analytics and reporting services in agriculture.

"As SAP continues to innovate with its partners for customer success across various industries, we are pleased to announce this global OEM agreement with F4F Agriculture," said Frank Bunte, vice president, OEM Sales for the Middle and Eastern Europe (MEE) Region, SAP. "Today's announcement is an example of how the SAP HANA platform and our ecosystem of partners can provide a powerful combination for customers seeking to achieve business transformation. Through this partnership with F4F, we intend to increase the value and reach of our portfolio to benefit customers."

About F4F
Helping agriculture enable the "farmer-centric" supply-chain. F4F provides expertise and a technology solutions framework that is focused on integrating all parts of the agricultural supply-chain and delivers custom data-management business solutions.  F4F enables manufacturers, logistics partners, distributors, expert advisors and growers to work more effectively together in meeting the challenges of 21st century food production. This includes:

  • Precision agriculture enablement
  • Helping suppliers get closer to their customer
  • Providing real-time data and delivering information services
  • Enabling the streamlining of logistics and distribution processes
  • Opening enterprise information and processes to the field

F4F has specialist solutions to help meet the supply-chain challenges in the seed, crop protection, fertiliser, animal health and grain sectors. For more information please contact Alistair Knott on +44 1400 250725 / +1 866 615 8189, via email at alistair.knott@f4f.com or alternatively visit www.f4f.com

SAP, SAP HANA and all SAP logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of SAP AG in Germany and in several other countries.

All other product and service names mentioned are the trademarks of their respective companies.

SAP Forward-looking Statement
Any statements contained in this document that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "expect," "forecast," "intend," "may," "plan," "project," "predict," "should" and "will" and similar expressions as they relate to SAP are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. SAP undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations. The factors that could affect SAP's future financial results are discussed more fully in SAP's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), including SAP's most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the SEC. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of their dates.

Designed for SMBs, Branch Offices and Remote Workers, New Software Appliance Provides the Same Seamless Access as On-Premise Infrastructure, but with the Ability to Leverage the Cloud

PALO ALTO, Calif. – CloudSigma, a public cloud IaaS provider with advanced hybrid hosting solutions, today announced that it has partnered with OpenVPN to develop a software appliance that enables the rapid deployment of OpenVPN Access Server within CloudSigma’s public cloud. Now, CloudSigma customers have secure, remote access to their cloud resources from anywhere on any device via this enterprise edition of OpenVPN.

Similar to CloudSigma’s private patching technology for enterprises, the CloudSigma OpenVPN appliance gives SMBs and remote workers secure access to their public cloud deployments and resources without having unencrypted traffic traverse a public IP line. By connecting to the VLANs within CloudSigma’s public cloud, customers don’t have to expose their services over the Internet, and can instead use the VPN service to grant remote workers and branch offices more secure access. The CloudSigma OpenVPN appliance provides a bridge between a company’s on-premise servers and those within CloudSigma’s public cloud – whether they are connected to the VLAN or an external network – to offer a seamless compute environment.

“Not many cloud providers allow customers to have servers residing on their internal network,” said Robert Jenkins, CEO, CloudSigma. “But, by allowing direct connections to our VLAN, we are creating a more secure compute environment that is as easily accessible as on-premise infrastructure, but with all the flexibility and scalability of a public cloud. Via the new OpenVPN software appliance, customers can encrypt their data in motion as it’s sent through from our cloud locations on to customer access points. There are geographic routing advantages also. For instance, they can essentially choose to route their data through our Swiss location for added protection against U.S. data privacy and access laws.”

The CloudSigma OpenVPN appliance also gives IT departments the ability to better control or limit access to company data, which can be done easily through the Access Server administrative user interface and granular access control features. This is increasingly important for corporate compliance purposes, especially amid growing remote worker trends and the BYOD movement, and can be done with any Windows, Mac OS X, iOS or Android device.

“The CloudSigma OpenVPN virtual appliance is extremely convenient as users can be up and running with their own Access Server in mere minutes – and on their own network,” said Francis Dinha, CEO, OpenVPN Technologies, Inc. “There are many VPN services out there, but the majority make customers use the provider’s network whereas we allow users to connect their machine directly to their own network, providing more secure and controlled cloud connectivity and resource management. Together with CloudSigma’s high quality, innovative cloud platform, our award-winning OpenVPN software is advancing remote access capabilities for today’s agile business environments.”

For more information, please visit: https://www.cloudsigma.com/landing/private-openvpn-server-in-the-cloud/.

About CloudSigma

CloudSigma is a pure-cloud infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) provider that’s enabling the digital industrial economy through its highly-available, flexible, enterprise-class hybrid cloud servers and cloud hosting solutions, both in Europe and the U.S. CloudSigma is the most customizable cloud provider on the market, giving customers full control over their cloud and eliminating restrictions on how users deploy their computing resources. With CloudSigma, customers can provision processing, storage, networks and other fundamental computing resources as they please, as well as extend private networks out of existing infrastructure and elastically into CloudSigma’s IaaS cloud to create easy to manage and transparent hybrid cloud solutions. For more information, please visit www.CloudSigma.com or find the company on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+.

About OpenVPN Technologies, Inc.

OpenVPN Technologies Inc. is a privately held company based in Pleasanton, California, integrating a suite of leading-edge networking and software technologies. OpenVPN, our award-winning open source VPN product, has established itself as a de-facto standard in the open source networking space, with over 10 million users since inception. OpenVPN is the provider of next-generation secure and web scalable communication services, implementing its business plan by offering its enterprise software product targeting businesses of all sizes and Private Tunnel product targeting all consumers around the globe. To learn more about OpenVPN, visit http://www.openvpn.net.

SAN FRANCISCO – Scandit (www.scandit.com), developer of the leading software-based barcode scanning and data capture platform for smartphones, tablets and wearable computing devices, today announced that it continues to experience significant traction in the North American retail and supply chain markets, with the addition of several recognized brands to its customer base. The company is now working with Party City, Saab, Shell, Priority Payment Systems, Florida Healthcare and American Woodmark, who join a variety of additional businesses including Capital One and Saks Fifth Avenue in the rapidly growing list of organizations taking advantage of Scandit’s disruptive and ground-breaking solution.

Scandit’s enterprise-grade, barcode scanning technology is enabling innovative, mobile device-based solutions for many retailers, manufacturers and logistics businesses. Using Scandit’s Barcode Scanner SDK, companies are able to offer a variety of consumer-and employee-facing applications, including mobile shopping, clienteling, mobile point-of-sale, asset tracking and product information gathering. These applications are driving customer engagement, increasing customer satisfaction and simplifying back-office processes.

For example, with Scandit’s technology, retailers are empowering consumers by letting them find out more information about a product and shop from any mobile device simply by scanning a product’s barcode, and salespeople are enhancing customer service by scanning barcodes with a smartphone or tablet - either provided by the company or via their own, supporting the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend - to provide customers with product details including available inventory, other colors or sizes, etc. On the supply chain side, manufacturers are enabling smartphone-based barcode scanning to track parts on the assembly line and replace expensive, traditional barcode scanners and mobile computers. In addition to licensing its Barcode Scanner SDK, Scandit offers comprehensive product suites for retail and supply chain businesses, including customizable, white-label applications.

“We’re thrilled to partner with these enterprises and many others as they implement Scandit’s software-based barcode scanning solutions to improve customer engagement and streamline operations,” said Marlene Tuzar, Scandit’s vice president of sales. “As we continue our growth and traction in the retail and supply chain markets, we look forward to many joint successes with our clients.”

About Scandit

Scandit enables retail, manufacturing and logistics businesses to maximize operational performance and drive new revenue streams via enterprise-grade barcode scanning, OCR and data capture software for smartphones, tablets and wearable devices. With more than 12,000 licensees in 80 countries, Scandit processes hundreds of millions of scans per year. Its mobile scan technology and associated cloud services combine to deliver the platform of choice for many of the world’s most prestigious brands, including Ahold, Bayer, Coop, Homeplus (Tesco), NASA and Saks Fifth Avenue. Founded in 2009 by a group of researchers from MIT, ETH Zurich and IBM Research, today Scandit and its network of global integration and technology partners are pushing the boundaries of mobile AIDC (automatic identification and data capture); delivering ground-breaking identification and data capture applications to customers. Scandit is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, and has just opened a new office in San Francisco. For more information visit www.scandit.com.