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Summer Journal

Volume 27, Issue 3

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Jon Seals

One thing that has become all too transparent with social media and the Internet is that there are an awful lot of ugly, nasty people out there. And when they can hide behind anonymity they can get real ugly. That reality has driven a whole new class of reputation crisis. But left many with the question of what do you do when the uglies, nasties and digital mob start creaming you online?

My sense is that the standard answer (certainly mine has been) is that it doesn’t make sense to respond to any and every gratuitous attack. Monitor, monitor, monitor and if it looks like some accusation is getting legs then respond. However, I continually am surprised by the remnants of the old Mark Twain comment (I think it was Twain) who said never pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel. While that refers to news, because of the impossibility of determining a meaningful distinction between new media and old media, it also applies in some thinking to online attacks as well. Particularly if the attack is coming from someone with a large following.



As the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy approaches in late October, Allianz Group’s specialist corporate insurer, Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS), warns that while there is heightened awareness, many businesses have not yet implemented adequate changes.

A new Risk Bulletin from AGCS entitled ‘Superstorm Sandy - Lessons Learned: A Risk Management Perspective’ examines the cost of the disaster and outlines what businesses need to do now to ensure they can mitigate the adverse financial impact of future storm events.

“Many businesses are not as prepared as they could be. Today businesses need to prepare for the new normal of weather events and this can be a laborious process,” said Tom Varney, Regional Manager for Allianz Risk Consulting in the Americas. “For many companies it takes time—in some cases years—to appropriate funding and actually make the much needed changes. For others it may just be about focusing on the right things at the right time. Allianz is committed to helping clients identify vulnerabilities, mitigate risk and be as prepared as possible.”

Superstorm Sandy - Lessons Learned: A Risk Management Perspective identifies four key steps that businesses can implement now to be better prepared for future extreme weather events:



October 18, 2013

Horizon Scanning

Colin Ive

As new threats appear, it is easy for busy Business Continuity practioners to miss these with their heads so deeply burrowed into the challenges of organisations. Practitioners are already overloaded with work and, as we have seen in recent years, this is often due to cutbacks, to having an amalgamation of roles or simply by being directed to focus on achieving compliance with new standards and increasing demands from customers etc. Yet without an effective and externally focused ‘risk radar’ seeking out these threats on a permanent, efficient and effective basis, an organisation can find itself suddenly confronted with unwelcome surprises which could impact their business either directly or via a failing supply chain. Surprises which can severely damage their bottom line!



Being involved in a legal action, even it the organization prevails, is expensive and can lead to an interruption to "business as usual."


Lately I have been reading about more and more court cases on complaints by workers claiming they were not paid for mandatory work done prior to, and following, work hours.

For example, a bus driver has to report 15 minutes early to inspect and prepare his bus to accept passengers. His formal work shift begins at 7 a.m., but because he has 15 minutes "prep" time, he actually begins work at 6:45 a.m.

Think about the person who has to "suit up" to work in either a clean room or a potentially contaminated area - a nuclear plant, for example. Not only does the employee have to take time to prepare for the job, the employee also needs time to doff the protective gear after the work day is complete.




15,000 sq. ft. facility positions company as region’s premier Business Continuity, Data Backup and Recovery Provider


BATON ROUGE, La. – Further broadening its footprint as a leading provider of cloud services, business continuity, and battle-tested data recovery solutions, Venyu today announced its new data center. Located in Baton Rouge, LA, the 15,000 sq. ft. facility will help the company meet expanding customer demand for business continuity, data protection and disaster recovery services. 

Venyu’s new data center will feature redundant power distribution, climate control and fire suppression technologies.  As with Venyu’s other data centers, the company’s new facility is designed to guarantee the highest levels of security, uptime, connectivity, and redundancy. 

“Protecting our customer’s data and ensuring its availability is our only business.  That’s why we place such an emphasis on the infrastructure that store, protect, and power these critical customer resources,” said Scott Thompson, CEO of Venyu.  “As customers require more compute resources, storage and power, the complexity and capacity requirements of our facilities increase—we continue to address these needs by expanding to stay ahead of demand.”

Building upon the company’s original facility, the expansion site provides significant upgrades to both security and management — including biometric access and dual authentication at all entrances. Venyu is utilizing innovative infrastructure design that includes new power and generator systems, hot/cold air isle containment and management, an expanded network and systems infrastructure and concurrent maintenance accessibility to all critical infrastructure components.

Continued Thompson, “We’ve called Louisiana home for 25 years. Given our success in this region, it only makes sense that this location would continue to play an integral role as we enter our next stage of growth.”

From its two data centers in Louisiana, Venyu serves more than 1,200 customers across industries ranging from government, professional sports and insurance to healthcare and non-profits.  Providing a wide range of cloud and data center services, Venyu data centers offer the highest levels of redundancies and reliability.

The newly expanded facility is expected to open April 2014.  To find out more or connect with Venyu for colocation and managed services, please visit www.venyu.com


About Venyu

Venyu is a premier provider of data center, managed hosting, cloud, virtualization and data protection solutions. By leveraging Venyu's portfolio of innovative, ROI-focused solutions, including VenyuCloud and RestartIT within secure, highly available data centers, organizations can reduce IT costs while increasing security and scalability. For more information about Venyu and its industry-leading offerings, please visit www.venyu.comYour Data Made Invincible™.


Montville, NJ  (October 17, 2013) - Superstorm Sandy. Freak blizzards. Historic flooding. Blackouts. For New Jersey businesses, learning to thrive in a post-Sandy world offers opportunities to thrive and grow as well as challenges to overcome. The most recent UN report on climate change1 makes it clear that businesses must take action now to be ready for a range of coming challenges like extreme weather, sea level rise and power reliability.

Which is why NJ business leaders looking to increase profitability, prepare their businesses to thrive in a rapidly changing business landscape, and develop their best people are invited to register for a solutions-focused business leadership program called LeaderShip for Sustainability: People, Planet, and Profits in a New Green Economy. Only a few spots remain before the program starts Oct. 25.


"A 2012 survey for the NJ Department of Environmental Protection2 shows that NJ business leaders are aware that sustainable business practices can contribute to their company's success. And, they want help to learn how to run their business more sustainably," says Jeana Wirtenberg, Ph.D., CEO of Transitioning to Green. "LeaderShip for Sustainability develops leaders who can use their sustainable business skills to thrive in a complex business environment and succeed in a triple-bottom-line world," said Wirtenberg.

The program was developed by Transitioning to Green in collaboration with GlobStrat Academy and is hosted by the Morris County Chamber of Commerce (MCCC). "MCCC takes sustainability and green seriously, and we see a bright green future for all our members as a result. In 2013, we are putting significant emphasis on leadership for sustainability, to ensure that our business leaders are well equipped to lead us into a sustainable, prosperous future for today and tomorrow," said Paul Boudreau, President, MCCC.
The program is also being sponsored by Church & Dwight, BASF, and the Institute for Sustainable Enterprise (ISE) at Fairleigh Dickinson University.
The LeaderShip for Sustainability program is unique because it focuses on leadership skills needed to fully integrate sustainability into every aspect of a company ─ including the critically important human side of business ─ as well as environmental and operational issues.
By the end of the course, through simulations and interactive exercises, participants will experience the equivalent of five years of leading and implementing sustainable business practices.
LeaderShip for Sustainability is for current and future leaders, in any function, to learn more about running a prosperous business sustainably.
The in-person program takes place on three full-day Fridays: Oct. 25, Nov. 8, and Nov. 22 from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. The program will also meet online on four Wednesday evenings: Oct. 30. Nov. 6, Nov. 13, and Nov. 20 from 7:30-9:30 pm.
The program will be held at the Morris County Chamber of Commerce, 325 Columbia Turnpike #10, Florham Park, N.J. 07932.
Participants will join leaders from NJ businesses in consumer products, healthcare, manufacturing, energy, finance, technology, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, and professional services who are already enrolled. The program is open for enrollments by all New Jersey companies, and is discounted for MCCC members and ISE Corporate Partners.
"The Morris County Chamber of Commerce is pleased to be hosting this program with Transitioning to Green," says Paul Boudreau, President, Morris County Chamber of Commerce. "We are making this enrollment opportunity available to our members and all NJ businesses so their company's current and future leaders can learn more about the competitive benefits of embedding sustainability throughout their company."
Dr. Wirtenberg is a highly-respected scholar-practitioner in the fields of sustainability, leadership development, human resources, organization effectiveness, culture change and learning. Her latest book, Building a Culture for Sustainability: People, Planet, and Profits in a New Green Economy, will be published in January 2014 by Praeger/ABC-CLIO with a foreword by sustainability thought leader and business expert Andrew Winston.
Corporate sponsorships are also available.
Full program information can be found here.  
Space is limited to 36 participants. The cost is $3000. ISE Corporate Partners and MCCC members pay a discounted rate of $2500. To register and ask questions, please contact Jeana Wirtenberg, Ph.D. at 973-335-6299 or email jwirtenberg@transitioningtogreen.com.
To discuss sponsorship opportunities for the Transitioning to Green/Morris County Chamber program, please contact Paul Boudreau, President, Morris County Chamber of Commerce, at 973-210-6081 or email paul@morrischamber.org.  
About Transitioning to Green
Headquartered in Montville, NJ, Transitioning to Green provides a comprehensive portfolio of training and consulting services to help companies gain competitive advantage by integrating sustainability into all aspects of their organization to maximize the triple bottom line of People, Planet, and Profits. For more information, visit http://www.transitioningtogreen.com.


Vocal Ltd, a leading provider of incident management and business continuity communication solutions has announced that it has been shortlisted for a 2013 Business Continuity Institute (BCI) Global Award, for its work in partnership with the Cross-sector Safety & Security Communications (CSSC) partnership prior to and during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

In 2012, Vocal Ltd teamed up with key figures from London’s public and private sectors to help create a communications infrastructure that would help to safeguard London during the Games. This unique and technologically advanced collaboration between the Metropolitan Police, the Home Office, London First and numerous business sector groups was designed to ensure that London stayed connected, and consequently as safe as possible, throughout the summer Olympics.  

Trevor Wheatley-Perry, Vocal’s Managing Director, comments: “Being part of the CSSC project has been one of our proudest achievements to date. During the summer of 2012, we jointly managed to enable safety and security messages to reach every sector of the London business community within seconds, thanks to the cooperation of the public and private sectors, and the innovative communication facilities of Vocal’s iModus suite. The CSSC partnership has created a lasting legacy of cooperation, and set an important worldwide precedent for future incident and event management.”

In addition to winning the award for ‘Best Contribution to Continuity and Resilience’ at the 2013 CIR Awards, the last year has seen the CSSC partnership shortlisted for many accolades, including winning ‘Best Contribution to Continuity and Resilience’ at the CIR awards, and their work with Vocal now stands as a blueprint for effective communication in other event-hosting cities. Most recently, the CSSC has been shortlisted for the prestigious BCI Global Awards, under the category of ‘Business Continuity Innovation of the Year’.

The BCI Global Awards recognise the outstanding achievements of business continuity professionals and organisations from all over the world. Those selected as award winners are highly esteemed within the industry, and can expect international recognition for their efforts in advancing the profession.

“We’re extremely proud to have been shortlisted for this award,” concludes Trevor, “the BCI Awards are frontrunners in the quest to raise the profile of the business continuity profession as a whole. It is an exceptional accolade to be marked out as an organisation whose achievements can help the BCI to spread the critical importance of business continuity to businesses across the globe.”

The winners of the BCI Global Awards will be announced at the BCI Gala Dinner, taking place at the Royal Courts of Justice in London on Wednesday, 6 November 2013. Vocal will be exhibiting at the BCM World Conference and Exhibition, (Stand 46) taking place from 6-7 November at Olympia, London.

David Tickner
Computrix Services

Whether a consultant or an internal business continuity planner, it’s never easy to get management to commit to a continuity program. Perhaps it’s the approach you take or that you find management a bit too bottom line focussed.

Where is the key to gaining corporate commitment for BC programs - the CEO’s office, the CFO or the Risk Manager? Perhaps it’s not even inside your organisation, there could be other options.



One of the biggest factors in helping people to get along and making businesses profitable is communication. Mobile phones in particular have become the symbol of this: depriving somebody of his or her mobile phone is today akin to torture, at work, at home or anywhere else. The trend continues too towards more advanced and more diverse communications technology, as workers bring in their own mobile devices for work and customers increasingly put their faith in the cyberspace.  Yet, our communication fails when we’re in an elevator, in a tunnel, underground or any place similarly isolated from the business network. Do military communications hold an answer?

If communications are important to most businesses, for the armed forces they are vital. With this in mind, military communications have often been in the forefront of communications technology in sophistication, performance and availability. The Internet that we now take for granted was originally a DARPA (US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) project. The goal was to construct a communications network that would automatically reroute information to deal with any part of the network breaking down or being destroyed. Similarly, the army, navy and air force (and the police) had two way radios and radio networks long before the first mobile phones became available for consumers.



I’ve flogged this horse before, but this new info graphic from istock (and video version of it) reminded me of the importance of video on the web.

Imagine it was 1994 and we were having a conversation about crisis communications. You said to me, “You know, this Internet thing might be big. I think crisis communicators ought to look at how this thing called a ‘web site’ might help in a crisis.”

“Pah, fooey,” I would say. “Why would anyone need that? Everyone knows that crisis communication is about putting out press releases and handing them out to the waiting press mob outside the door.”