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Volume 29, Issue 3

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Jon Seals

Monday, 07 March 2016 00:00

'No Price' to be Put on School Security

(TNS) - Local schools face tough choices on how much security is appropriate as last week’s shooting in Madison Twp. brought a nationwide issue close to home for the first time.

The challenge for schools is how far to go on a continuum with tons of options. More locks? More cameras? More guards? More drills? Adding metal detectors? Arming school staff? There’s no way to make everyone happy, as there are parents who support and oppose each of those steps.

“It’s a tough spot for schools and it comes down to one word — reasonableness. What is reasonable to reduce risk?” said Ken Trump, a national school safety consultant. “The majority of parents want safe schools, want risks reduced, want genuine preparedness.



Over the last ten to twenty years, we have witnessed the expansion of federal criminal prosecution of health and safety matters. Environmental and food and drug regulatory enforcement has been supplemented by aggressive criminal enforcement.

In the last few years, we have seen some landmark criminal cases involving companies and executives for food safety violations. Compliance programs in these high-risk industries can literally be a matter of life and death. Judges are handing out tough criminal sentences when warranted.

Each week we hear about the outbreak of a new foodborne illness. Weeks after that, we then usually hear about a criminal investigation against the company and sometimes individual executives.



Monday, 07 March 2016 00:00

BCM/DR: Face-to-Face Meetings

I’ve often run into people that have to ‘send an email’ with a question for a person that’s located on a few seats away.   Are they afraid of that person?  Why can’t they just get up and go see them for a couple of minutes to ask what they need to ask?  It seems the art of face-to-face communication is disappearing in favor of CYA (Cover You’re A…) and audit concerns.  If it’s not written down then it’s can’t be true.  What have we done to ourselves?

This happens allot when it comes to developing strategies for Business Continuity Management (BCM) and other contingency related initiatives. We don’t go and ask people, we develop questionnaire’s – sent by snail mail or email – or we purchase an expensive online tool, fill it with questions that get interpreted a myriad of ways and expect recipients to respond in a timely and comprehensive manner.  Huh!



Strategic BCP, market leaders in business continuity risk management software and consulting, will sponsor Disaster Recovery Journal (DRJ) Spring World that will be held in Orlando on March 13-16 at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, FL.

At the conference, CEO and founder Frank Perlmutter will present a Breakout Track on BCP 2.0: Success Utilizing the Value Stream Approach. This emerging approach places an emphasis on business process mapping surrounded by key executive metrics, risk management, and a focus on real-time resilience.

Attendees can also receive demonstrations of Strategic BCP’s ResilienceONE BCM software in Booth 606-608. Strategic BCP was named “leaders” by Gartner two consecutive years.

Strategic BCP consultants and software innovators will also discuss best practices at the Disaster Recovery Institute (DRI) Conference on March 6-8 in Atlanta, GA. The latest capabilities in Strategic BCP’s ResilienceONE will be showcased in Booth 201, as well as the benefits of its “value stream” approach.

Additionally, Strategic BCP will participate at the Continuity Insights (CI) Management Conference on April 20 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, TN. Lori Norman, Director of Global Organizational Resilience at WEX Inc. will join Strategic BCP vice president Christopher Duffy during a breakout session to discuss a “BIA Paradigm Shift” that is emerging in business continuity management. At CI, ResilienceONE can we demonstrated in Booth 301.


Strategic BCP CEO Frank Perlmutter
Joins DRJ Executive Council

Business Continuity and Risk Management advocate will
offer strategic insights to Disaster Recovery Journal

Blue Bell, PA / March 3, 2015 / Strategic BCP, Inc., a market leader in business continuity risk management software and consulting, announces the appointment of CEO and founder Frank Perlmutter to the Disaster Recovery Journal (DRJ) Executive Council. The Executive Council is comprised of senior-level executives within the business continuity/disaster recovery industry.

Perlmutter will serve in an advisory role to help DRJ leadership define and execute their strategic vision. He will also collaborate to author educational articles and conduct special reports.

“As a longtime advocate for BC/DR professionals, I am thrilled to offer my insights to this executive council, said Perlmutter. “I am joining a team of industry experts that combine a ton of experience to guide and support Disaster Recovery Journal.”

Frank Perlmutter (CBCP, MBCI) has played a dynamic role across a wide range of business continuity and risk management activities since 1995. His hands-on experience includes roles as manager of disaster recovery/continuity of operations planning for the U.S. Department of the Treasury and as a senior IT consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and Ernst & Young. As an industry innovator, Frank was the architect of Strategic BCP’s ResilienceONE® BCM software, a highly rated solution by Gartner and organizations worldwide.

Strategic BCP is a sponsor of DRJ Spring World that will be held in Orlando on March 13-16, 2016. At the conference, Frank will present a Breakout Track on BCP 2.0: Success Utilizing the Value Stream Approach. This emerging approach places an emphasis on business process mapping surrounded by key executive metrics, risk management, and a focus on real-time resilience.

About Strategic BCP

Strategic BCP® is an award-winning Business Continuity Risk Management company named “leaders” by Gartner two consecutive years. Our cloud-based software, ResilienceONE®, automates cumbersome tasks to make risk-based decisions for managing BC, IT and Operations, and 3rd Party Vendors from a single interface. Our consulting arm helps convert typical BC functions into a “value stream” approach that ensures success and accountability at every stage—allowing BC teams to become their C-level’s most trusted advisor.

Monday, 07 March 2016 00:00

PS-Prep Programs: Lessons to be Learned?

As the PS-Prep topic was presented in an earlier posted article “PS-Prep Overview” on this website, it was quite evident that a lot of effort was spent by the U. S. Government’s department of Homeland Security (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to promote the PS-Prep Program.  It was also important to note the importance, indeed critical necessity, of the private sector’s role in creating an acceptable readiness level in our country whenever our country was faced with a disaster.  Those efforts were systematically initiated in 2010 and continue even today.

Disaster preparedness along with organizational and societal readiness remain hot topics of discussions of disaster recovery planning teams.

Today, when so many of us have cybersecurity on our minds, our government is working very hard to mitigate the many risks coming from cybersecurity related threat activities.

Monday, 07 March 2016 00:00

What will IoT Mean for MSPs?

Someone surely could have invented a better moniker than The Internet of Things, but let’s not let awkward terminology get in the way of recognizing the implications of one of the decade’s more extraordinary tech transformations. 

Simply put, IoT is an umbrella term used to describe a fast-emerging world where a range of “things” - everything from temperature meters to vehicles to bridges communicate and exchange data over the Internet.

This nascent trend is already past the breakout stage and that promises both new opportunities as well as new challenges for managed services providers in this increasingly connected IoT world.



The data center plays a central role in any modern business. Strategies, go-to market initiatives, and organizational goals are all being built around IT capabilities. So, how do you make the most of the data center resources available to you? Most of all, how do you evolve the IT environment to support new business initiatives?

Here are some key ways changes in the data center and IT landscape impact your business:



Avaya Breeze Provides a Next-Generation Technology Platform With a Framework, Development Environment, and the Industry's First eCommerce Delivery Mechanism for Embedding Open, Mobile Digital Communication

ORLANDO, Fla. – More than two-thirds of IT executives plan to increase spending on mobile, customer-facing and cloud migration applications over the next two years as part of digital transformation initiatives. But first, IT executives must overcome a significant skills gap that will affect their ability to carry out such initiatives at customer speedi.

It's a conundrum Avaya has solved with Avaya Breeze™, an entirely new way to develop business communications applications.

At Enterprise Connect, Avaya will showcase Avaya Breeze, the next generation of the Avaya Engagement Development Platform -- the technology platform that profoundly simplifies application development while delivering built-in capabilities for enhanced mobile, customer-facing and hybrid/cloud requirements. Avaya will also unveil the Avaya Snapp Store - the first eCommerce app store for business communications.

Click to Tweet: .@Avaya Unveils Breeze for Digital Business Communications and Customer Service Smart Apps http://bit.ly/1TjzC1E

Components of the Avaya Breeze technology platform include:

  • An open framework that brings the necessary attributes for communication in the digital age: embedded, multi-platform, mobile, fast, low risk, and workflow enabled -- a key requirement to automate previously manual processes to improve digital experiences.
  • A development platform for rapid creation of new workflow-based applications within a matter of hours or days versus months.
  • A delivery mechanism -- the Avaya Snapp Store -- that allows a single integrated experience via browsers and native smart apps for entirely new customer experiences.
  • Open connectors/APIs that enable simple, integration with existing business communications services and access to the billions of devices in the Internet of Things.

The Avaya Snapp Store is a focused, ecommerce-enabled marketplace for Avaya Breeze applications -- or Snap-ins -- from Avaya and 3rd party developers. Snap-ins -- easily consumable, prebuilt connectors, fit-for-purpose apps and/or developer code -- enable companies to quickly build workflows, customer journeys and other unique applications. The Avaya Snapp Store makes it easy to find, access and download Snap-ins by simply using a credit card for purchase. Developers can create Snap-ins and be on-boarded in the store within weeks.

Gary Barnett, SVP and GM, Avaya Engagement Solutions, said:
"Now, Avaya delivers on the promise of open, mobile engagement with a platform that allows companies to easily design and embed applications into workflows via a powerful, simplified, software-defined architecture and infrastructure for communications. This game-changing technology is built for digital business where companies need the flexibility, speed and the freedom to easily create unique value for their customers. Avaya Breeze liberates them from the confines of monolithic, vendor-locked platforms."

Avaya is issuing a challenge to the industry to creatively address the major challenges facing businesses and consumers today by developing new apps on Avaya Breeze to help resolve them. To date, thousands of developers from global enterprises have participated in Avaya Breeze Bootcamps and webinars, and are using their lab systems and Avaya Collaboratory accounts to design, build and test Avaya Breeze applications. This week, five of the growing list of third party developers will showcase their Avaya Snap-ins in the Avaya booth at Enterprise Connect, including:

  • eGain's Knowledge Snap-In sends a contextual SMS link to customers on IVR so they can easily use web self-service, without losing their place in the phone queue
  • WEBTEXT uses its global network of SMS messaging gateways to seamlessly connect Avaya contact centers to their customers and the carriers.
  • Moxtra's mobile-first business messaging and document sharing service Snap-In enables rich, persistent collaboration across teams, providing continuity as customers increasingly move between devices. 
  • Verbio's Voice Authentication Snap-In addresses increasing concerns about security and identity theft by authenticating users in a fluid and unobtrusive way.
  • Approved Contact's Snap-In provides a worker with more control over who can contact them and when, acting as a personal gatekeeper.

Those interested in developing to Avaya Breeze and/or creating Snap-Ins can learn more by going to the Developer portal at: http://bit.ly/20ZwM0T. For a list of Avaya Breeze Bootcamps and hackathons being held globally, visit: https://www.avaya-learning.com/lms/#/training/catalog/edp

"I sat there, and I'm not an engineer, but I was dragging and dropping, building a whole workflow for a Web calling service, saying, 'When this happens, play this IVR message.' I recorded the message myself, put that in there … and in about two minutes we had a Web calling service Snap-In."

Daniel Bergan, Head of Strategy and Transformation, Westpac

"More than half of the companies are using or planning to use APIs to embed communications capabilities into their apps, while another 25% are looking at using them to build custom apps. Platforms like Avaya Breeze offer organizations the ability to deliver enhanced business value and execute on their digital strategies by integrating communications and collaboration into workflows, business processes and existing applications."
Irwin Lazar, VP and Service Director, Nemertes Research

Tags: Avaya, customer engagement, applications development, contact center, digital transformation

About Avaya
Avaya is a leading provider of solutions that enable customer and team engagement across multiple channels and devices for better customer experience, increased productivity and enhanced financial performance. Its world-class contact center and unified communications technologies and services are available in a wide variety of flexible on-premises and cloud deployment options that seamlessly integrate with non-Avaya applications. The Avaya Engagement Environment enables third parties to create and customize business applications for competitive advantage. The Avaya fabric-based networking solutions help simplify and accelerate the deployment of business critical applications and services. For more information please visit www.avaya.com.

Certain statements contained in this press release may be forward-looking statements. These statements may be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "anticipate," "believe," "continue," "could," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "may," "might," "plan," "potential," "predict," "should" or "will" or other similar terminology. We have based these forward-looking statements on our current expectations, assumptions, estimates and projections. While we believe these are reasonable, such forward looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control. These and other important factors may cause our actual results to differ materially from any future results expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. For a list and description of such risks and uncertainties, please refer to Avaya's filings with the SEC that are available at www.sec.gov. Avaya disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements.
All trademarks identified by
®, TM, or SM are registered marks, trademarks, and service marks, respectively, of Avaya Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners

Follow Avaya on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Flickr, and the Avaya Connected Blog.

i 2016 State of IT report, Salesforce Research

Company Expands the Range of Options for Customers

DALLAS, Texas – Masergy Communications Inc. today announced that its Cloud Communications service now offers seamless integration with Microsoft Office 365 desktop applications, delivering an integrated unified communications experience to Skype for Business users.

The integration of Masergy's Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) with Microsoft's Skype for Business enables enterprises to take advantage of Masergy's advanced PBX capabilities while maintaining all of the employee collaboration features of the Skype for Business client such as instant messaging, presence, and desktop sharing.

This capability allows workers to continue to use all Skype for Business collaboration features while enabling them to seamlessly place calls to destinations outside of the Skype environment. Masergy's integration also synchronizes telephony presence with Microsoft Skype for Business whether using a Masergy desk phone or softphone.

"Skype and Office 365 features have traditionally been disconnected from the PBX, separating communications services from workers' preferred desktop applications," said Dean Manzoori, Masergy's VP of Product Management for UCaaS. "This integration allows our customers to seamlessly use Skype for Business alongside our advanced Cloud Communications solution."

These customers can take advantage of Masergy award-winning UCaaS foundation that provides advanced business communications features, including:

About Masergy
Masergy owns and operates the largest independent Software Defined Platform in the world, delivering hybrid networking, managed security and cloud communication solutions to global enterprises. Our patented technology, customizable solutions and unmatched customer experience are why a growing number of leading organizations rely on Masergy to deliver performance beyond expectations. Learn more about Masergy and follow us on our blog Transforming Enterprise IT, Twitter @Masergy, LinkedIn and Facebook.