Spring World 2017

Conference & Exhibit

Attend The #1 BC/DR Event!

Fall Journal

Volume 29, Issue 4

Full Contents Now Available!

Jon Seals

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Insurance technology company RiskGenius has been chosen to participate in the Plug and Play Insurance Accelerator, a startup development and funding program well-known in Silicon Valley. RiskGenius, which speeds up insurance policy reviews through machine learning, was one of 22 companies chosen from over 800 to participate in the Silicon Valley technology program.

It’s an honor to be selected for the Plug and Play program.” Said Chris Cheatham, CEO of RiskGenius. “We are seeing tremendous appetite for RiskGenius and we believe participating in the Plug and Play program will only accelerate our growth.”

Plug and Play is widely known in Silicon Valley and by startups for its ability to scale new technology solutions, connecting them with coaching, customers and investors. Plug and Play’s alumni list is deep, including PayPal, Dropbox, SoundHound and Lending Club.

Why Invest In Insurance Technology?

PwC reported that nearly three fourths of insurance companies believe their industry is about to be disrupted. Last year, nearly $2.65 billion of investment was poured into insurance technology startups. Innovation giant Plug and Play Tech Center has taken notice and is positioning 23 startups that it considers the brightest to lead the way.

RiskGenius was hand-selected by Plug and Play and its corporate partners, which include some of the world’s largest insurance corporations like Travelers, The Hartford, Nationwide, Farmers Insurance and USAA. The selected companies will participate in a 12-week program designed to accelerate business development and the possibility of funding.

"Starting a program with 23 of the best Insurtech startups changing the industry is a great step forward for our innovation strategy," saysAli Safavi, Director of Plug and Play Insurance. "Having many major insurance partners and experts involved in the program distinguishes our selection process and leads to a comprehensive investment method for us."

About RiskGenius

Described as “the Google of Insurance Policies,” RiskGenius (www.riskgenius.com) helps insurance professionals research and review insurance policies faster. The RiskGenius software leverages patent-pending Technology Enabled Policy Review, which includes both machine learning and natural language processing. After a policy is uploaded by a user, each clause is parsed and categorized based on common industry terminology. Users are able to instantly locate key clauses across one or more policies, streamlining the review process.

RiskGenius allows insurance professionals to conduct sophisticated and complex searches through vast amounts of big data that’s been accumulated by the industry over time. Not only does it make the entire insurance process more efficient, it unlocks a vast amount of information that was never before available to the industry.

About Plug and Play Tech Center – Plug and Play Tech Center is one of leading innovation platforms in the world. Since inception in 2006, its programs have expanded worldwide to include entrepreneurs from 24 countries, providing necessary resources to succeed in Silicon Valley. With over 6000 startups, and 126 official corporate partners, it has created the ultimate startup ecosystem in many industries. Plug and Play provides active investments with 180 leading Silicon Valley VCs, and more than 365 networking events per year. Companies in its community have raised over$3.5 billionin funding, with successful portfolio exits including Danger, Dropbox, Lending Club, PayPal, SoundHound, and Zoosk. For more information, visit:http://www.plugandplaytechcenter.com

Weather just got smarter -- The most accurate source of weather forecasts and warnings in the world translates Superior Accuracy into actionable business and safety impacts on a global scale

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions, the world's leading commercial weather source partnering with more than 240 of Fortune 500 companies and government agencies, has announced the expansion of its patented SmartWarn® technology, providing a new level of weather forecasting intelligence and life-saving alerting capabilities to businesses across all industries worldwide.

AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions

SmartWarn is the most advanced weather forecast engine in the world.  It focuses on business security and decision making, demonstrating AccuWeather's continued big-weather-data leadership and innovation, saving lives and property for enterprises and government agencies.  With the most complete global real-time and historical weather data integrated into SmartWarn - including unique real-time datasets from around the world with exclusive observations, satellite, and radar platforms - the most robust database of forecast models, proprietary patented technology, and comprehensive validation results - AccuWeather is the most accurate weather company worldwide. 

New and expanded SmartWarn system capabilities include hyper-local AccuWeather MinuteCast® minute-by-minute data sets, over 100 additional detailed weather parameters, hundreds of weather analytics variables, the most customized "smart" warnings tailored by client, and more. 

"AccuWeather's SmartWarn system is the smartest weather engine available to manage weather risk for business.  The state-of-the-art commercial weather forecast platform ingests the most accurate, comprehensive weather data and complex modeling, pinpointed for every location on Earth and extending further ahead than any other source, with hyper-local short- and long-range forecasts," said Mark Ebel, Vice President of Business Services at AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions, Inc. "In contrast, other weather data sources forecast large polygon areas without the level of precise detail, frequency, resolution, lead time, or depth of weather intelligence that AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions and SmartWarn provide to clients across all industries and government operations."

SmartWarn enables real-time pinpointed commercial weather forecasts, warnings, and alerts through its advanced proprietary technology, powering business-to-business services including site-specific AccuWeather SkyGuard® Localized Severe Weather Warnings and AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions' Business Portal.  The experienced team of AccuWeather commercial meteorologists utilize SmartWarn to assess and issue customized mission-critical severe weather warnings and advise clients prior to severe weather events, saving lives and property by placing weather information into context for leading businesses worldwide.

AccuWeather SkyGuard Localized Severe Weather Warnings provide warnings with Superior Accuracy™ that protect people and property, saving lives and injuries in dangerous situations.  Customized, precise site-specific notifications include snow, flood, hail, high winds, hurricanes, tornadoes, and much more.  AccuWeather warnings are shown to be seven times more accurate and provide double the warning lead time than even the official government National Weather Service warnings.  AccuWeather's accurate, pinpointed warnings for tornadoes, for example, in the U.S. alone, also translate into substantial savings for companies due to AccuWeather's low false alarm rate of 11% versus the federal government's National Weather Service false alarm rate of 88%.  AccuWeather's most actionable and accurate warnings - including "Null Warnings" that let businesses and emergency managers know when National Weather Service warnings will not impact a specific location, and precisely pinpointing where they will impact – translate into life-saving actions and substantial savings for business and industry.

"With weather's significant impact across all industries, managing this risk and maximizing return is a business imperative," added Ebel.  "It is why over 240 of Fortune 500 companies rely on AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions.  By forecasting and communicating the weather the most accurately and effectively to enterprises worldwide, AccuWeather has saved tens of thousands of lives and tens of billions of dollars in property damage." 

AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions has focused on the business impacts of weather for over 50 years and continues its track record of success in commercial growth.  Rated #1 in global weather accuracy in a recent third-party study, industries and government agencies rely on AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions for the most accurate weather information and insights to drive quantifiable business results.

About AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions

AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions, the world's leading commercial weather source partnering with more than 240 of Fortune 500 companies and thousands of businesses and government agencies worldwide, provides the most accurate, actionable weather data, forecasts, and intelligence that saves lives, protects property, drives revenue, minimizes risk, increases productivity, and more for clients worldwide.  AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions has focused on the business impacts of weather for over 50 years, serving clients in all 50 states in the U.S. and worldwide including all of North America, Europe, Africa, Australia, South America, and Asia.  Clients across all industries rely on AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions for the most accurate weather information and insights to drive quantifiable business results.  Government and emergency management agencies also rely on AccuWeather for the best forecasts of severe weather events – floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, cyclones, and others – available from any source.  By forecasting and communicating the weather the most accurately and effectively worldwide, focusing on impacts - telling people how, why, and what they need to do in order to save lives and minimize losses - AccuWeather has saved tens of thousands of lives and prevented tens of billions of dollars in property damage.

Visit www.AccuWeather.com/EnterpriseSolutions for additional information.

About AccuWeather, Inc. and AccuWeather.com

Over 1.5 billion people worldwide rely on AccuWeather to help them plan their lives, protect their businesses, and get more from their day. AccuWeather provides hour-by-hour and minute-by-minute forecasts with Superior Accuracy™ with customized content and engaging video presentations available through smart phones, tablets, free wired and mobile Internet sites via AccuWeather.com, award winning AccuWeather apps, connected TVs, wearables, smart homes, and connected cars, as well as radio, television, newspapers, and the AccuWeather Network cable channel. Established in 1962 by Founder, President, and Chairman Dr. Joel N. Myers – a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society who was recognized as one of the top entrepreneurs in American history by Entrepreneur Magazine's Encyclopedia of Entrepreneurs book – AccuWeather also delivers a wide range of highly-customized enterprise solutions to media, business, government, and institutions, as well as weather news, content, and video for more than 180,000 third-party websites.  AccuWeather's CEO, Barry Lee Myers, is an award winning leader in global weather information issues and one of the world's most recognized advocates for cooperative relationships between government weather agencies and the weather industry. He is a leader in the digital weather information space.

Visit www.AccuWeather.com for additional information.

American business people reveal apps are becoming key to locate workspace

DALLAS – As the global workforce becomes increasingly mobile and connected the need to find suitable workspace in different locations, and sometimes at short notice, is also growing. Latest research by Regus, the global workplace provider, finds that digitally savvy workers across the U.S. are using apps to find their next workspace.

As with travel bookings, where over a fifth are carried out using apps, almost one in ten U.S. business people now reveal they use apps to book workspace. Jeff Doughman, Executive Vice President at Regus adds, “We have witnessed this trend too; there has been a 300% year-on-year increase in users of the Regus app. The app enables users to conveniently book meeting rooms, private offices, co-working spaces and business lounges, without the hassle of contracts or sign-up fees.”

As more millennials enter the workforce and smartphones become more ubiquitous in emerging economies, the use of apps to locate workspace is only set to rise.

Key findings from American respondents

·        43% of respondents now report that they work outside the main office half the week or more

·        Seven percent of the U.S. workforce now report relying on apps to find the closest working space available

“The workforce is changing and becoming ever more digital and mobile. Working from a single location the whole week is now a thing of the past for a good portion of today’s professionals, but workers need to be connected and productive even when they are not in the main office. As a result, business people are using the web and downloading apps to find workspace, especially while they travel from meeting to meeting. Whether accessing apps via a tablet or smartphone, it is likely the younger generation of workers that have grown up with the expectation that there is an app for every requirement, will increasingly opt for this solution to find their next work location,” added Doughman.

About Regus

Regus is the world’s largest provider of flexible workspace solutions, with a network of 2,850 locations in over 1,000 towns and cities, across 107 countries, serving 2.3m members.

Through our range of office formats, as well as our growing mobile, virtual office, and workplace recovery businesses, we enable people and businesses to work where, when, and how they want, with a range of price points.

Our customers include some of the most successful entrepreneurs, start-ups and multi-billion dollar corporations.

For more information, visit www.regus.com.

The Business Continuity Institute - Oct 13, 2016 11:57 BST

On the morning of 22nd March 2016, Brussels airport was hit by a deadly terrorist attack that killed 32 people and left more than 300 injured. Around 25 million people travel through Brussels airport annually and more than half of those passengers will be on business trips.

The chances of being involved in a terrorist attack are still incredibly remote, but for those travelling through the airport that morning it would not have felt that way. Nor would it have in Paris in November 2015, or more recently in September in New York. The increasing regularity of critical events worldwide means more organizations need to be able to instantly locate and alert employees of any nearby risks and keep them safe from harm.

According to a report by Strategy Analytics, almost half of the world’s employees will work away from a single office by 2020. The effect of globalisation on business means employees are regularly travelling between locations, often to different cities and countries. Keeping mobile workers safe from harm is rising up the corporate agenda.

Travelling employees, and the wider mobile workforce, face a range of risks that could impact on their safety and security. These threats are not just limited to acts of terror, but include everything from fires and natural disasters to flooding and building closures. Organizations have a duty of care to protect their employees, yet according to Ernst & Young’s most recent Global Mobility Effectiveness Survey, only 30% of companies have a system in place to track business travellers.

When an incident takes place companies need to respond effectively to gain clear visibility of the crisis, and deploy resources to ensure employee safety. But how can organizations achieve this? One solution is to implement a critical communications platform to manage all emergency notifications, help ensure employees are located, and resources are deployed quickly and effectively during an emergency.

In a crisis, every minute matters. Organizations no longer have time to work through manual call lists to send out an emergency cascade. A secure, independent communications platform ensures that the right message gets through to the right people at the right time; even when traditional routes of communication are unavailable.

The Everbridge platform has the ability to send emergency notifications out via more than 100 different communication channels and devices, including SMS, email, voice-to-text, social media alerts and app notifications, ensuring the lines of communication between an organization and its employees can remain open in any situation.

Critical communication platforms that facilitate effective two-way communication have proved invaluable during emergency situations. For example, during the terrorist attacks in Brussels in March 2016 the GSM network went offline, making standard mobile communication impossible. The citizens of the Belgian capital were unable to send messages to family, friends and work colleagues to let them know they were safe or in need of assistance. The team at Brussels Airport made its public Wi-Fi discoverable and free to join, allowing anyone with a Wi-Fi enabled device to connect, send and receive messages.

Organizations that used critical communications technology to send out an emergency notification were safe in the knowledge that the message would be able get through to the right people, despite the obstacles. For an organization’s crisis management and business continuity practices, the flexibility that a multi-modal platform such as Everbridge provides is essential to ensuring that a high level of responses are received quickly when emergency notifications are sent.

These responses allow organizations to rapidly build a clear picture of an incident, and understand what impact it is having on its employees. To automate this process, templates can be built into communications platforms so employees can respond quickly in an emergency - facilitating a much higher response rate. A simple “I am safe” / “I need help” template means companies know within minutes which employees are at risk, which are in danger and where best to focus their efforts.

The most advanced critical communications platforms offer organizations more than just static location data. Everbridge’s ‘Safety Connection’ application has the capability to provide dynamic location insight, enabling an organization to know where its employees plan to be and responding automatically if they do not check in and update their status to ‘safe’. The safe corridor function means employees travelling to a location deemed unsafe can check in regularly with the organization, and if they do not check in, the platform automatically sends an emergency alert notifying management of the change in status and making communicating with that person a priority.

Should an employee inadvertently stray into an unfamiliar or dangerous area, they can also use the Everbridge smartphone application to trigger an SOS alert. Once this panic button has been pressed, the platform immediately sends an alert to the organization detailing the employee’s location and any relevant audio or visual data, enabling them to alert the emergency services.

By enabling employers to be aware of when their employees are travelling and where to, the organization is better prepared to handle a crisis. The company will know which airport employees are travelling to, which hotel they are staying at, where their meetings are taking place and when. This information can then be cross-referenced with a global real-time feed of international incidents, making it possible to inform employees when their travel might be disrupted or to avoid specific danger zones. For example, if a port or airport is being blockaded by protesters the company can warn the employee in advance. If riots are taking place in a suburb of a city where an employee is staying, the employer can warn them to remain in the hotel.

Employers have to accept three truths: in the future employees will travel more; the world will continue to become more uncertain; employees will expect more from their employers when they are travelling for work. Combined, this could be considered as a HR headache but in reality it is an opportunity. It can help engage employees, protect their safety and increase their loyalty to a company. A fully functional critical communications platform provides the reassurance and immediacy to support employees if and when the unexpected happens.

As part of Everbridge’s commitment to helping improve business continuity and emergency response practices for organizations around the world, we will be exhibiting at the BCI World Conference 2016 in London. Here, Imad Mouline, Chief Technology Officer at Everbridge and other members of our team will be discussing the importance of effective crisis communication and how communications technology can help organizations of all sizes better protect their infrastructure and people.

Everbridge are Gold Sponsors of the BCI World Conference where you can visit them on Stand 11 to find out more about their unique offer. The BCI World Conference and Exhibition takes place on the 8th and 9th November at the Novotel London West Hotel. The largest business continuity conference and exhibition in the UK, BCI World has a packed programme as well as an exhibition hall promoting all the BC products and services you need. Don't miss out, book your place today.

Funding Will Aid Organization in Relief Efforts in the Wake of Hurricane Matthew

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – In response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew, The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation has announced it will match up to $250,000 in new funds donated to Hope for Haiti. The nonprofit organization has been working to mobilize relief teams and provide food, clean water, medical supplies, temporary shelter and critical disaster relief to those impacted by the storm. Hope for Haiti is a 4-star Charity Navigator rated organization, its highest designation, and currently one of only a few nonprofits highlighted by the charity watchdog for their work in Haiti in response to Hurricane Matthew.

"Years ago we pledged our support to the wonderful people of Haiti, and they need that support now more than ever," said American entrepreneur and philanthropist, Bob Parsons. "Hope for Haiti is on the frontlines helping those hit hardest by this unthinkable disaster and we will continue to uphold our commitment to their efforts."

Nearly 1,000 people have lost their lives, and thousands more have lost homes, in the wake of the Category 4 hurricane that brought 145 mile-per-hour winds and pouring rain to the small, impoverished nation. It has been estimated that some areas in Haiti face up to 90 percent destruction, with near total loss of homes, structures and crops. Hope for Haiti is not only a "boots on the ground" force making a difference in these areas, their focus for 27 years has been on the very areas that were hit hardest by the storm, that of southern Haiti.

"We cannot thank the Parsons enough for what they have done in Haiti and for reaching out during this time of need," said Hope for Haiti's Board Chair, Tiffany Kuehner. "We have a long road ahead, but with the help of our partners, like The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation, we will rebuild."

The Parsons have been longtime supporters of Hope for Haiti and have visited the area on humanitarian missions on numerous occasions. Previous grants have improved school and medical facilities as well as provided funding for the care of elderly citizens and orphaned children.

"Our hearts break for the people of Haiti and we feel compelled to do what we can to support relief efforts that are bringing critical supplies, and hope, to so many in need," said businesswoman and philanthropist, Renee Parsons.

In addition to its work with Hope for Haiti, The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation deals primarily in the areas of homelessness, medical care, at-risk youth, education and veterans' support. The Foundation provides transformational gifts to nonprofit organizations that are successfully addressing these issues and can demonstrate and measure the impact of their work. To learn more about The Foundation and organizations they support, visit tbrpf.org.

About The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation

The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation inspires hope by providing critical funding at critical times to communities striving to make a difference. The Foundation primarily focuses on issues in the greater Phoenix area. The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation believes every person is entitled to an education, good nutrition, medical care, a stress-free, happy environment and the hope that they too, will share in the American Dream. The Foundation provides funding to nonprofit organizations that are successfully addressing these essential needs. The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation is also committed to the children of Haiti, helping to grow and improve schools, medical services and overall well-being for communities in rural Haiti. tbrpf.org.

About Hope for Haiti

Hope for Haiti is a Naples, Florida, based 501(c)(3) charitable organization with the mission to improve the quality of life for the Haitian people, particularly children. Building upon 27 years of experience, Hope for Haiti works in five core program areas (Education, Healthcare, Water, Infrastructure and Economy) to connect, heal and empower communities in the Greater South of Haiti.  Hope for Haiti is a 4-star rated charity by Charity Navigator and is a participant at the Gold Level through the GuideStar Exchange, two leading independent evaluators recognizing the organization's transparency and careful stewardship of donor resources.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016 00:00

Why Improve Risk Management?

Over the years in 30 countries, I have had many discussions with directors and executives about enterprise risk management (ERM). The discussions have ranged from what it is and why it matters to how it should be implemented. With respect to the “what is it” question, I have always believed that a fundamental purpose of ERM is to provide the discipline and control to ensure that risk management capabilities are improved continuously in a constantly changing business environment. This underlying purpose frames the question, “why improve risk management?”

We believe there are six fundamental reasons for improving risk management. Each serves to help elevate risk management to a higher level and drive improvement of risk management capabilities in a changing business environment. We discuss them below.



Wednesday, 12 October 2016 00:00

If I Were Launching an MSP Now | Nancy Sabino

Nancy Sabino, co-founder and CEO of Katy, Texas-based SabinoCompTech, shares three suggestions she'd apply if she were launching an MSP from scratch today.

1. Standardize as much as possible – Create repeatable processes surrounding those standards. What that means is, have certain kinds of computers that you use, certain servers, routers, switches. Stay within certain families that you can create processes around for installing, for setting up, for upgrading, essentially for every piece of what we do, just to make everything easier. It helps when you're a one-man show. If you're super swamped, this allows you to work a little bit faster because you're working off of muscle memory, following the processes that you've created for your standardized services or hardware. And then as you grow, it helps to already know or have in place certain processes that you can train your team on, which then ensures quality by following the same processes.



We recently published our Forrester Wave™: Digital Risk Monitoring, Q3 2016 report. We evaluate nine of the top vendors in this emerging market that offer solutions to continuously monitor “digital” -- i.e., social, mobile, web, and dark web -- channels to detect, prevent, and mitigate any type of risk event posing a threat to organizations today.

Why now

It’s almost 2017 and yet companies are more exposed and less equipped to handle the slew of risks that run rampant across countless digital channels today. Digital risk monitoring (DRM) solutions are increasingly valuable for organizations because:



Wednesday, 12 October 2016 00:00

Recovering from Hurricane Matthew

Many organizations in the southeastern United States recovering from Hurricane Matthew are still dealing with downed power lines, swollen rivers and blocked roads. As soon as they are able to, business owners should start assessing damage to their property and begin their insurance recovery process. They will need to assess not only physical damage to their property but also any income losses that may have occurred as a result of flooded and blocked roads and bridges, interrupted shipping and air transport, evacuations, and closures by civil authority.

They need to gather the information they’ll need for their insurer, and also be familiar with their policy and policy language. “In the runup to a storm, we always hear insurance executives on the news assuring the public that they will take care of things—that policyholders can rest assured,” Marshall Gilinsky, a shareholder in the insurance recovery group at Anderson Kill P.C., said in a statement. “But it’s vital for businesses not to assume everything’s going to be taken care of automatically. Storm-related claims can run into a snarl of unclear policy provisions, sublimits and exclusions, and occasionally obstreperous insurance company adjusters. A false sense of security leads easily to lost insurance proceeds.”



Early estimates put the insured property loss to U.S. residential and commercial properties from Hurricane Matthew at up to $6 billion.

While this figure covers wind and storm surge damage to about 1.5 million properties in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, CoreLogic’s estimate does not include insured losses related to additional flooding, business interruption or contents.

Parts of North Carolina are expected to remain under dangerous flood risk for at least the next three days, according to the state’s governor Pat McCrory in a report by the Capital Weather Gang blog.