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Summer Journal

Volume 29, Issue 3

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Jon Seals

The United Nations has kicked-off a new multi-year campaign that aims to reduce disaster losses, improve management of disaster risk, and save lives.

“Despite many successes there are still far too many lives being lost in predictable events because of failures to deploy early warning systems, learn lessons from past events and to grasp the growing threat of climate change and its impact on extreme weather events including storms, floods and drought,” said Robert Glasser, the UN Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction.

The new ‘Sendai Seven campaign’ is an advocacy initiative to encourage implementation over the next seven years of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, which was adopted by UN Member States in 2015 in the northern Japanese city after which it was named, and consists of seven targets and four priorities for action that aim for the substantial reduction of disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihoods and health and in the economic, physical, social, cultural and environmental assets of persons, businesses, communities and countries.



Vodafone has published its fourth annual IoT Barometer Report: a global survey of business sentiment regarding innovation and investment in the Internet of Things, the term used to describe the evolution of a new generation of devices and processes using connected network intelligence to deliver advanced capabilities. The survey was conducted by Circle Research in April and May 2016 and involved more than 1,096 companies across Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Turkey, the UAE, the UK and the USA.
The 2016 Vodafone IoT Barometer Report found that:

  • 89 percent of companies investing in IoT have increased their budgets over the last 12 months;
  • 76 percent of all companies interviewed believe that taking advantage of IoT technologies will be critical for the future success of any organization; 
  • 63 percent of IoT adopters are seeing ‘significant’ returns on investment, up from 59 percent in last year's report; and
  • IoT investment now accounts for 24 percent of the average IT budget, on a par with cloud computing or data analytics.



Digital Realty Trust has become the third major US-based data center provider to buy enough renewable energy to offset 100 percent of its US colocation data center power consumption. The company has agreed to buy about 400,000 megawatt-hours of energy per year from a wind farm operator, according to a statement issued Wednesday, which will offset energy consumed by facilities where the company provides colocation and interconnection services, the footprint that consists mostly of facilities it gained through the acquisition of Telx.

The agreement is the latest sign that renewable energy is becoming more and more important to data center customers, and that data center providers increasingly view the ability to power their facilities with renewable energy as a competitive advantage. Renewable energy has also become price competitive with regular grid energy, making it even more attractive to data center operators from business perspective.

Until recently, such long-term utility-scale data center power purchase agreements had been signed exclusively by web and cloud giants, such as Google, Facebook, and Microsoft. Last year, however, Equinix, the world’s largest data center provider, and Switch, a smaller but important provider, announced the first big renewable energy deals in the industry.



Cloud security remains a top concern for many companies, especially when business units acquire cloud services independent of the IT department. To help illustrate the problems such practices can create, the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) has compiled its list of “The Treacherous 12: Cloud Computing Top Threats in 2016.”

The 2016 Top Threats release mirrors the shifting ramifications of poor cloud computing security decisions up through the managerial ranks,” the CSA report said.  “Instead of being an IT issue, it is now a boardroom issue. The reasons may lie with the maturation of cloud, but more importantly, most likely from higher strategic decisions by executives in their cloud adoption strategic decisions.”

HOUSTON – Law firms have been duly warned in recent years that their systems have been attacked (hacked) and breached and that the attacks will likely escalate and intensify. Recent developments present very real evidence that these warnings, from many sources, including the F.B.I., have been accurate and even understated. These developments should be a loud and clear wake-up call to law firm management to intensify efforts to secure the treasure trove of highly confidential, sensitive, proprietary and often privileged client and employee information. After all, client confidentiality is the life’s blood of any attorney’s practice.

* The FBI began warning firms that they were specifically being targeted by organized cybercriminals as early as 2009, and in 2011 invited 200 of the largest law firms to discuss the rise in sophisticated cyber-attacks targeted at law firms. Part of the reason for this is that law firms often present an easier target than some of their clients; if a hacker wants to steal sensitive information from a company, he may have better luck going after that company’s outside counsel.

* 2015 was the first year that the legal sector appeared on Cisco’s annual ranking of industries targeted by hackers—debuting at number 6. Law firms’ clients are taking notice. Many financial institutions now require law firms to complete checklists and subject themselves to audits of their information security apparatus.



(TNS) - Rae Ann Brutger stood on her doorstep and wept.

The tornado had shoved her home 10 feet off its foundation, leaving her living room at a crazy tilt. She surveyed the damage, stepping cautiously over the smashed snowman figurines she had spent decades collecting and the family photos that had spilled out of an off-kilter cupboard.

“I sincerely realize it could have been much worse,” she said, wiping her eyes and nodding toward her neighbor’s place. The tornado that ripped though the Litchfield mobile home park flattened the double-wide trailer next door, leaving it an almost unrecognizable twist of metal.

The twister was one of four that roared through central Minnesota Monday afternoon, part of a storm that dumped up to 9 inches of rain in spots across north central Minnesota, washing out roads, overrunning highways, leaving neighborhoods in tatters and raising fears of flash flooding across the region.



In our fast-moving digital age, many organizations are still struggling with an “analog” approach to crisis management, using hard-copy documents and tabletop exercises to prepare for the next potential emergency.

This makes training employees particularly difficult, because both businesses and the threats they face are growing and evolving all the time. It is nearly impossible to constantly update hard-copy crisis management plans—let alone repeatedly disseminate them to hundreds or even thousands of employees.

It’s no wonder that many companies are incorporating technology into their crisis management prep as often as possible.

Here, we look at four ways technology can benefit your organization’s crisis management training efforts:



There are multiple areas of potential risk in data center environments that can cause incidents resulting in an insurance claim. Risks include:

  • Accidents that damage the facility
  • Potential for workplace injuries
  • Business risks from downtime events that impact the data center’s or its customers’ business continuity.

Organizations depend on 24 x 7 x 365 IT infrastructure availability to ensure that services to customers/end-users are available whenever needed.



Europe’s preferred IT provider retains first place UK ranking in IT outsourcing satisfaction survey, leading competitors


LONDON – Computacenter, Europe’s preferred IT provider to enable users and their businesses, today announces that it has retained its number one ranking in satisfaction ratings for end user services for the third year running in the UK Whitelane Outsourcing Study 2016. Computacenter ranked higher than the likes of HP, IBM and Atos, receiving a satisfaction percentage of 76% for end user services, 8% higher than the market average.


The study, conducted by Whitelane, surveyed 250 participants of the top IT spending organisations in the United Kingdom to evaluate over 800 unique IT outsourcing contracts. In total, 27 IT service providers were ranked based on their clients’ perception with fluctuating contract numbers per provider.


The study revealed that 90% of customers surveyed would renew their contract with Computacenter, which saw the company claiming the number one place in this category. From an overall European perspective, Computacenter climbed to second place in end user satisfaction rankings, scoring 7% higher than market average with a score of 77%.


Kevin James, UK Managing Director, comments: “This is further proof of the continued devotion to customer centricity and collaboration here at Computacenter – a focus that we will continue to build on even further. Our ongoing devotion to understanding client requirements and truly collaborating throughout the lifecycle of the relationship, combined with our specialist teams and suite of services and solutions, has allowed us to exceed expectations.”


When considering contract size against satisfaction rate, Computacenter, for the second year running, ranked proportionally higher than the market average. The study analysed satisfaction ratings across contracts with an annual contract value (ACV) of less than £10 million, and more than £10 million. For both, Whitelane found that Computacenter were significantly ahead of the market average, and its competitors.


Kevin James concludes: “Overall we are delighted to have again been recognised as the top performing organisation for end user services, which are at the very heart of our strategy. We at Computacenter take pride in receiving such great feedback from our customers and use this as a foundation for continuous improvement.

We aim to set the industry standard for customer satisfaction and contract renewals, which inevitably are inextricably linked. We are excited and proud of the survey results, which are a validation of our ‘customer first’ mantra.”


About Computacenter

Computacenter is Europe's leading independent provider of IT infrastructure services, enabling users and their business. We advise organisations on IT strategy, implement the most appropriate technology, optimise its performance, and manage our customers’ infrastructures. In doing this we help CIOs and IT departments in enterprise and corporate organisations maximise productivity and the business value of IT for internal and external users.

Rooted in core European countries Computacenter combines global reach with local expertise.


SOS Builders Receives “Contractor of the Year,” 10 Companies Honored with Golden Hammer Awards

WHEELING, Ill. – Eleven Response Team 1 companies received prestigious recognition at the recent 2016 Contractor Connection Conference & Expo in Las Vegas. Contractor Connection is the largest, fully independent network of managed contractor repair for insurance companies and consumers. Response Team 1 is the nation’s second largest residential and commercial property restoration and renovation company serving the continental U.S. from 49 strategic locations.

SOS Builders of Phoenix was recognized as the top company in the Southwest District by winning a distinguished “Contractor of the Year” award in the general contractor category. This top honor is selected by region from all of the Golden Hammer award winners.

Ten Response Team 1 companies received a distinguished 2016 Crawford Connection Golden Hammer – Excellence in Achievement Award for ranking in the top 200 of the more than 4,000 contractors in the U.S. and Canada. This special recognition is awarded based on performance criteria and overall quality of service and professionalism. The Response Team 1 companies honored were:

·         Cary Reconstruction Company – Charlotte

·         Cary Reconstruction Company – Fayetteville, N.C.

·         Cary Reconstruction Company – Greensboro, N.C.

·         Cary Reconstruction Company – Greenville, S.C.

·         Cary Reconstruction Company – Norfolk, Va.

·         Empire Construction & Technologies – Irvine, Calif.

·         Emergency Restoration Experts – Phoenix

·         Poole’s Reconstruction Company – Charlotte

·         SOS Builders – Phoenix

·         Universal Restoration Services – Lawrenceville, Ga.

In addition to the Contractor Connection awards, Empire Construction & Technologies of San Marcos, California, was awarded an “Outstanding Member of Service Award” from insurance company USAA in recognition of excellence in customer service. The criteria for selection included high work volume, customer satisfaction, deadline adherence and excellence in both estimating and workmanship.

“These awards from Contractor Connection and USAA are a direct reflection of our ongoing mission to provide optimal customer service and meet and exceed customer expectations,” said John Goense, Chairman and CEO of Response Team 1. “We could not have achieved this recognition without the hard work and commitment of our employees throughout the country.

“We are proud of our partnerships with both Contractor Connection and USAA and this prestigious awards program that honors industry excellence,” Goense added.

About Response Team 1

Response Team 1 is an award-winning national leader in the commercial and residential property restoration, disaster loss recovery and multifamily renovation industries. We are committed to getting life back to normal quickly and correctly for our customers. With decades of experience in quickly responding to large commercial and residential losses and community weather events, Response Team 1 serves the continental U.S. from 49 strategic locations.

More information is available at www.responseteam1.com.