Spring World 2015

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Winter Journal

Volume 28, Issue 1

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Jon Seals

National Retail System (NRS) has released the results of a survey into how a West Coast ports strike could impact logistics in the USA. With a strike looming as the holiday season gets nearer, the NRS' survey found that only 52 percent of the companies who responded are prepared for such an eventuality.

The logistics professionals surveyed came from a variety of different sectors including 36 percent in manufacturing and 18 percent in retail, as well as 23 percent working for other 3PL logistics providers across the USA.

The anticipated strike has seen a variety of contingency plans being put in place. The most popular of those is to use alternative ports. The biggest winners of the alternative ports are the New England ports New York / New Jersey and Boston with 39 percent of businesses choosing to route trade through these. The up and coming port of Savannah, Georgia is the next most popular option with 26 percent, and the Canadian Port of Vancouver is seen as the third best option for a further 23 percent of companies. While all of these ports are likely to see a short-lived boom if the strikes take place what will be interesting is how much trade will not return after a strike ends and still be routed through these destinations. Will businesses want to mitigate future risk and leave a proportion of their imports coming through alternatives?

...

http://www.continuitycentral.com/news07264.html

Technology is beginning to dominate many aspects of the emergency management profession. This is particularly evident during disaster response. Today we have a number of large technology companies that offer their software or services for larger scale disasters. Chief technology officer for Microsoft Disaster Response, Tony Surma, answered questions about technology’s use in emergency management.
 
Surma is responsible for the worldwide team and program at Microsoft focused on delivering technologies and technical assistance to communities, responders and customers both in response to natural disasters and in support of proactive resiliency efforts. He has been a part of the Microsoft Disaster Response team from the start — first as a volunteer global coordinator for solutions builds and deployments in time of disaster response and, more recently, as the lead for the program. Between response efforts, his focus is on building proactive partnerships and cross-organization initiatives, such as Humanitarian Toolbox, to operationalize innovations for use during response and leverage trends in technology and solution development to the benefit of response organizations and community readiness.

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http://www.emergencymgmt.com/training/Technology-Increasing-Role-Emergency-Management.html

A combination of high energy efficiency, lower sound level and less refrigerant usage makes the Liebert® MC condenser an environmentally responsible choice

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Emerson Network Power, a business of Emerson (NYSE:EMR) and a global leader in maximizing availability, capacity and efficiency of critical infrastructure, today introduced extended sizes of the Liebert® MC microchannel condenser. The Liebert MC condenser is the quietest, most efficient condenser available in the data center industry, and features advanced controls that provide a higher level of IT equipment protection. The Liebert MC condenser is now available globally.

The Liebert MC microchannel coil condenser is 50 percent more efficient and provides a higher level of data center protection than traditional fin and tube condensers. It leverages advanced controls within the outdoor condenser that monitor outdoor temperatures and fan and compressor speeds, and it communicates directly with the Liebert iCOM™ controls within the data center to optimize protection and efficiency. The exclusive microchannel coil design and electrically commutated (EC) variable speed fans offer highly efficient, IT system-matched heat rejection that reduces energy costs and operational expenses and enables a lower total cost of ownership (TOC).

The normal quiet operation of the Liebert MC condenser results in a 2.5 - 5.5 dBA lower sound level than alternative condensers. The Quiet-Line mode of operation is controlled by the Liebert iCOM indoor unit to operate Liebert MC condenser’s fans at reduced speeds, based on time of day if desired. This yields 10 - 20 dBA lower sound level, allowing installation in regulated environments. In addition, the condenser requires up to 70 percent less refrigerant charge and is 40 percent lighter than standard condensers, making it easier and less costly to install.

“As IT budgets constrict, data center managers are searching for new, higher levels of energy efficiency and protection,” said John Peter Valiulis, vice president, North America marketing, thermal management, Emerson Network Power. “The Liebert MC condenser is a major technology breakthrough in an area of data center thermal management that is often overlooked. The advanced controls and innovative technology on the condenser help deliver the highest efficiency gains than any other condenser on the market.”

The Liebert MC condenser offers flexibility with multiple voltage configurations available to match electrical needs and compatibility with R-410A, R-407C and R-22 refrigerants. The condenser is ideally suited for use with the Liebert CRV, Liebert Challenger 3000, Liebert DS and Liebert DSE thermal management systems.

For more information on the Liebert MC microchannel condenser from Emerson Network Power, please visit www.Liebert.com.

The Business Continuity Institute (BCI) and the Association of Contingency Planners (ACP) are proud to announce a new strategic partnership that will further enhance the networking opportunities offered to business continuity professionals across North and Central America.

Networking and the sharing of ideas and experience are fundamental benefits of being a member of a professional institute but this is not always easy in regions so large and diverse as North and Central America. By forming this alliance between the BCI and the ACP it will help address those challenges.

As part of the partnership, BCI members will have access to local ACP Chapter meetings, events and services. The BCI will also participate in the ACP’s National Leadership Conference, where it will be able to highlight its influence in the discipline of business continuity from its global membership of more than 8,000 members in more than 100 countries.

Commenting on this new partnership, Steve Mellish FBCI, Chairman of the BCI, said: “The BCI and the ACP have worked together in an informal way in the past as both share the common goal of promoting the need for business continuity within organizations of all shapes and sizes. This new strategic partnership builds on that relationship.  With the continuing evolution of the discipline, partnering with the ACP will bring more networking opportunities for both memberships as well as access to the BCI's world-renowned thought leadership activities much more effectively. These are very exciting times for the BCI in the Americas and we are proud to partner with the ACP to work together for the benefit our members.”

Michael Gifford MBCI, ACP Chairman said: "ACP is committed to the business continuity profession and as an organization dedicated to protecting lives, safeguarding businesses and fostering community resiliency. Our new partnership will create new growth opportunities for both ACP and BCI. We are very pleased to take this journey with the BCI."

The ACP has Chapters across North America, so if you are interested in finding out more about the Chapter local to you then click here.

http://www.thebci.org/index.php/about/news-room#/news/new-partnership-between-the-business-continuity-institute-and-the-association-of-contingency-planners-87217

If you look through the literature on disaster recovery, you’ll probably see that practical ideas, recommendations and methods abound – but that theory is in rather shorter supply. This makes sense in that all those IT systems and networks are running now – so if they break, you’ll want some good ‘cookbooks’ or ‘how-to’s’ for mending them rapidly. However with DR management comes DR planning, which is the chance to step back and better understand the key principles that govern effective DR. The CAP theorem for distributed IT systems is one example. Better still, it’s simple to grasp and has immediate practical application.

...

http://www.opscentre.com.au/blog/a-theorem-for-it-disaster-recovery-but-with-practical-application/

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Some disaster survivors think that U.S. Small Business Administration loans are only for businesses. That is not the case – it is the primary source of federal funds for long-term recovery assistance for disaster survivors.

SBA offers disaster loans at rates as low as 2.188 percent to homeowners and renters, at 4 percent for businesses of all sizes and at 2.625 percent for private nonprofit organizations for physical damage from the April 28 through May 5 severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding in the following Alabama counties: Baldwin, Blount, DeKalb, Etowah, Jefferson, Lee, Limestone, Mobile and Tuscaloosa counties.

Economic injury disaster loans also are available to provide working capital to eligible small businesses and nonprofit organizations located in the counties listed above and the adjacent counties.

There are good reasons for FEMA applicants who have been contacted by SBA to submit a completed disaster loan application before the July 1, 2014 deadline. Reasons include:

  • A future insurance settlement may fall short. Survivors may find out they are underinsured for the amount of work it takes to repair or replace a damaged home. An SBA low-interest loan can cover the uninsured costs. By submitting the loan application, survivors may have loan money available when it is needed. SBA can approve a loan for the repair or replacement of a home up to $200,000. The loan balance will be reduced by a survivor’s insurance settlement. However, the opportunity for an SBA disaster loan will be lost if they wait until after the application deadline.
  • SBA can help renters repair or replace disaster damaged personal property. Renters as well as homeowners may borrow up to $40,000 to repair or replace clothing, furniture, appliances and damaged vehicles.
  • By submitting an SBA loan application, survivors keep the full range of disaster assistance available as an option. SBA may refer applicants who do not qualify for a home loan to FEMA for “Other Needs” grants to replace essential household items, replace or repair a damaged vehicle, cover medical, dental and funeral expenses and other serious disaster-related needs. But if survivors do not submit their disaster loan applications, the assistance process stops. Survivors are not required to accept a loan offer.

For more information, homeowners, renters and businesses may call the SBA at 800-659-2955 (TTY 800-877-8339), send an email to DisasterCustomerService@SBA.gov or visit SBA.gov/Disaster. Survivors can complete disaster loan applications online at https://DisasterLoan.SBA.gov/ELA.

Survivors who have not yet registered with FEMA can do so online at DisasterAssistance.gov with a mobile device at m.FEMA.gov or by calling the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362 (FEMA). TTY 800-462-7585.

The deadline to register for disaster assistance and an SBA loan is July 1, 2014 for property damage. The deadline for Economic Injury Disaster Loans is February 2, 2015.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Small Business Administration offer assistance programs for homeowners, renters, and business owners in nine Alabama counties designated for Individual Assistance.

High-profile Big Data success stories tend to focus on ridiculously large volumes and trendy data, such as social media data. In the real world, Big Data looks a lot different, according to data management consultant Gary Allemann.

Allemann is the managing director at the South African consultancy Master Data Management, so right off the bat you know he will have a different perspective on Big Data than the Silicon Valley set. In “Five More Big Data Myths Busted,” Allemann argues that for many companies, Big Data’s value has little to do with astronomical volumes of data or even social media data.

And Big Data is certainly not gunning to take over the enterprise data warehouse at this point, he adds. Actually, companies adopt Big Data as a supplement to the enterprise data warehouse because Big Data solutions allow them to combine structured data with unstructured data.

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http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/integration/how-real-world-companies-put-big-data-to-work-with-existing-systems.html

It is often said that the most important asset an organization can have is its staff, so it would seem logical for an organization to have a plan in place for when staff move on taking their skills and knowledge with them. This is not always the case however, according to a white paper by SEI and FP Transitions, less than half (45%) of advisors polled have a continuity plan in place in the event of an unexpected departure or leave of absence. This is despite the claim that 99% of independent financial services and advisory practices go out of business when their founder retires.

The white paper, titled, ‘Acquisition and Succession: Shift Your Focus from Retirement to Growth,’ surveyed 771 financial advisors to gain insights on their acquisition, succession planning, and continuity planning activities. It noted that firms must increasingly view succession planning as a growth strategy not a retirement strategy, and reveals that while nearly one-third (32%) of advisors claim to have a succession plan, only 17% have a binding and actionable agreement. This data points to the need for advisors to re-assess their succession planning goals and strategies.

"Advisors are beginning to realize that succession plans and continuity plans can actually become growth tools,” said John Anderson, Head of SEI Practice Management Solutions, SEI Advisor Network. “By taking the time to plan for the future, advisors are giving themselves a key competitive advantage in the present. The process gives them a clearer picture of their firms' overall health, prioritizes finding a new generation of talent, and sends the message to clients that the firm will be viable for years to come.”

"Succession planning isn’t just about figuring out who’s going to take over when you’re gone," said David Grau Sr., President and Founder of FP Transitions. "It’s about building a business that will support your long term vision, and which will continue to serve clients even when you’re not around as much.  Whether that means preparing the firm for acquisition or extending ownership to the next generation, continued growth is essential to a successful transition."

The data suggests, however, that most advisors have given thought to succession planning and continuity planning, even if they do not currently have all of the tools needed to execute a plan/strategy. Of those without a business continuity plan, nearly three-quarters (69%) plan to implement one over the next few years.

http://www.thebci.org/index.php/about/news-room#/news/lack-of-business-continuity-to-cover-unexpected-staff-departures-87930

In releasing its second quadrennial review, a 104-page report, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) outlines its efforts to enhance the five homeland security missions it detailed in the first review in 2010.

With disasters like the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013, as well as the increasing cyberthreat as the backdrop, the report outlined what it called a more risk-based approach to the significant threats from terrorism and natural hazards.

Of course the mission of the DHS continues to be combating terrorism, but also taking an all-hazards approach and recognizing the trends in natural hazards brought on by a changing climate, and to understand and mitigate the possibilities of a devastating pandemic.

...

http://www.emergencymgmt.com/safety/Addressing-Cyberthreats-Changing-Climate-DHS-Goals.html

One Marketplace Recognized for Exceptional Innovation
 

  • Global Capacity received the 2014 Communications Solutions Product of the Year Award from TMC for its marketplace of networks, One Marketplace.
  • TMC’s Communications Solutions Product of the Year Award honors exceptional products and services that facilitate voice, data and video communications that were brought to market in the last 12 months.
     
  • “The platform is one of a kind, setting the standard for simplified connectivity.  Through its ever-expanding interconnections and rate automation, Global Capacity continues to meet and exceed the growing customer demand for an efficient, cost-effective marketplace,” says Jack Lodge, President of Global Capacity.

CHICAGO, Ill. Global Capacity, the leading network connectivity company, announced today the receipt of the 2014 Communications Solutions Product of the Year Award from TMC for its marketplace of networks, One Marketplace.  TMC’s Communications Solutions Product of the Year Award honors exceptional products and services that facilitate voice, data and video communications that were brought to market in the last 12 months.

Global Capacity’s One Marketplace eliminates the complexity and inefficiency of buying network connectivity by combining interconnected, aggregated network with a Cloud application that automates the procurement of network services.  One Marketplace streamlines service delivery and ensures the best client experience by providing customers with a single interface through which to design, price and fulfill multi-network, multi-geography requirements, as well as a single SLA, contract and point of contact.

“We are pleased to receive the accolade of Product of the Year for One Marketplace,” says Jack Lodge, President of Global Capacity.  “The platform is one of a kind, setting the standard for simplified connectivity.  Through its ever-expanding interconnections and rate automation, Global Capacity continues to meet and exceed the growing customer demand for an efficient, cost-effective marketplace.”

“Congratulations to Global Capacity for receiving a 2014 Communications Solutions Product of the Year Award,” adds Rich Tehrani, CEO, TMC.  “One Marketplace has demonstrated true innovation and is amongst the best solutions that facilitate communications brought to market in the past 12 months.  I look forward to continued excellence from Global Capacity in 2014 and beyond.”

To learn more about Global Capacity and its award-winning One Marketplace, visit http://www.globalcapacity.com/one-marketplace.


About Global Capacity 
Global Capacity is a network connectivity company that improves the efficiency and reduces the cost of buying access networks globally.  Through its One Marketplace, the company brings together customers and suppliers in an automated platform that provides ubiquitous access network solutions.  Global Capacity delivers its innovative solutions to telecommunication carriers, managed service providers, system integrators, and large enterprise customers globally.  Additional information can be found at www.globalcapacity.com or by following Global Capacity on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About TMC
TMC is a global, integrated media company that helps clients build communities in print, in person and online.  TMC publishes multiple magazines including CUSTOMER, INTERNET TELEPHONY, M2M Evolution and Cloud Computing.  TMCnet is read by more than 1.5 million unique visitors each month, and is the leading source of news and articles for the communications and technology industries.  TMC is also the producer of ITEXPO, the world’s leading B2B communications event, as well as industry events: M2M Evolution; Cloud4SMB Expo; DevCon5; HTML5 Summit; Super Wi-Fi Summit, CVx; AstriCon; StartupCamp, and more.  Visit TMC Events for a complete listing and further information.

For more information about TMC, visit www.tmcnet.com.