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Winter Journal

Volume 28, Issue 1

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Jon Seals

Unprecedented demands on nation's power supplies cause widespread outages

TAYLOR, Mich. -- Record-breaking frigid temperatures from this month's polar vortex triggered unprecedented demands on the nation's power supply, causing power outages everywhere from the Midwest to Alabama. With several more months of cold weather ahead, Atlas Oil's Emergency Fuel Solutions urges business leaders and facility managers to assess their emergency preparedness plans and address any weaknesses immediately. Atlas Oil Executive Vice President Bob Kenyon made the announcement.

"When most people think of power outages, they think of bad thunderstorms, tornadoes or hurricanes as the cause. The polar vortex was a stark reminder that cold weather also presents a significant risk, both to power supply and fuel efficiency," said Kenyon. "With temperatures still at or below freezing in many places across the country, now is the time for business leaders to evaluate how their plans have worked thus far, and to determine if their fueling supply is designed to overcome the current seasonal challenges."

As a starting point, Atlas recommends building and maintaining an emergency preparedness plan with extensive backup power and supplies to prevent any potential blackouts and costly downtime. Once a generator is in place, it is then important to assess and address all cold weather-specific fueling challenges and needs. 

The best fuel providers offer various additives to preserve and enhance the quality of generator fuel to ensure optimal efficiency and effectiveness. Additives like cold flow improver—which contains wax modifiers and de-icers that reduce fuel and filter plugging points in weather up to 25 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure cold weather operability—and water dispersant additive—which removes water from fuel to prevent bacteria growth, corrosion or freezing—can help maximize fuel efficiencies.   

Additionally, remote tank monitoring services can help keep track of your fuel reserves, which is critical in extreme weather conditions when your business may consume more fuel than usual.

For more information on how Atlas Oil's Emergency Fuel Solutions can help your business minimize operational downtime and maximize efficiency with generator and fleet assurance plans as well as diesel fuel services, visit www.emergencyrefuel.com.

About Atlas Oil's Emergency Fueling Solutions
Emergency Fuel Solutions (EFS), a division of Atlas Oil Company, specializes in emergency fueling for mission-critical businesses including: hospitals, data centers, utility companies, food retailers and financial centers. EFS is the national market leader in generator and fleet assurance plans that guarantee priority fuel delivery during a variety of business interruptions such as hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding and power outages. Based in Taylor, Mich., EFS currently services 26 states and is backed by Atlas' extensive and diversified supply portfolio. For more information visit www.emergencyrefuel.com.

AccuWeather reinforces commitment to weather focus with Superior Accuracy™ to help people’s lives be better

Since the announcement of the launch of the 24/7 AccuWeather Channel in the third quarter of 2014, the company has seen a groundswell of positive support.  In AccuWeather’s continued commitment to put its audience first, the company responds to audience needs by keeping the focus on forecasts, not fluff – All Weather, All the Time.

“Our focus has always been weather forecasts delivered in a way that helps people make decisions to improve their lives – their safety, health, activities, and travel,” said Dr. Joel N. Myers, Founder & President of AccuWeather, Inc.  “With over 50 years of experience, AccuWeather knows what people want in weather programming.  We provide this now through our suite of services available to the public, including AccuWeather.com web and mobile sites, AccuWeather mobile apps and through our newspaper, radio, and TV clients. We will also provide this on the new AccuWeather Channel, another way to get weather forecasts whenever and wherever people need them with highly localized updates.” 

Feedback from AccuWeather’s audience has been overwhelmingly positive, with comments including:

  • AccuWeather has always had the most accurate forecasts… Please stick to weather! (Facebook)
  • I am shamefully excited over the fact that my favorite weather forecasters are going to have a TV channel. Nerd alert! (Twitter)
  • You mean we will actually have real weather? Sweet, sweet! (Facebook)
  • Good to hear. Truly the most accurate weather reporting service. (Facebook)
  • I've been an avid fan of AccuWeather for quite some time and believe you guys to be the best weather source out there, hands down. One of the last things I do at night and first things I do in the morning, each and every day, is check AccuWeather.com for how to plan my daily routines accordingly. (Email)
  • I have recently been hoping that AccuWeather would start a competing cable channel. . . LO AND BEHOLD! (Email)

“AccuWeather has been planning this channel for some time, but with recent concerns raised over the availability of quality forecasts on TV, we decided to announce the launch,” Myers said. “AccuWeather is the world’s largest and fastest growing multi-media weather company, reaching over one billion people every day.  An expansion to include the AccuWeather Channel is another way we will help people’s lives.”

“AccuWeather works cooperatively with its distribution partners to achieve solutions that benefit the cable and satellite audience,” said Barry Lee Myers, CEO of AccuWeather, Inc.

AccuWeather has a long-established history of innovation and a dedication to forecasting accuracy they intend to bring to the new channel. The company was the first to introduce 5-day, 7-day, 10-day, 15-day, 25-day, 30-day, and 45-day detailed forecasts, setting the industry standard in longer-range forecasting, as well as RealFeel Temperature®.  The new MinuteCast™, providing Minute by Minute™ forecasts for every location in the United States and Canada, is available on the SkyMotion app by AccuWeather and will be expanding to all properties soon.

The AccuWeather Channel is to be a multi-platform solution streamed on AccuWeather.com and other internet sites, as well as through media partner affiliate mobile and internet sites and is expected to be available through cable and satellite carriers.   

For more information contact:

Justin Roberti / 814.235.8756 / roberti@accuweather.com
AccuWeather, Inc. / 385 Science Park Road / State College, PA 16803
Alan Danzis   /  212.373.6022  /  adanzis@golinharris.com
GolinHarris  /  909 Third Avenue, 9th Floor  /  New York, NY 10022

About AccuWeather, Inc. and AccuWeather.com

Every day over a billion people worldwide rely on AccuWeather to help them plan their lives, protect their businesses, and get more from their day. AccuWeather provides hourly forecasts with superior accuracy™ for nearly 3 million locations worldwide, with customized content and engaging video presentations available on smart phones, tablets, free wired and mobile internet sites, connected TVs and Internet appliances, as well as via radio, television, and newspapers. Founded in 1962 by 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 - AccuWeather also delivers a wide range of highly-customized enterprise solutions to media, business, government, and institutions, as well as news and weather content and video for more than 72,000 third-party websites.

Visit www.AccuWeather.com for additional information.

2013 marks company’s most profitable year, with more than 1,700 new customers and 67 percent bookings increase

Columbia, s.c.Unitrends, the industry’s fastest-growing multi-environment data protection and disaster recovery company, today announced that a strong Q4 2013 performance led the company to its 20th consecutive quarter of record growth.

Click to Tweet: 2013 marks @Unitrends most profitable year ever! Congrats to all involved! http://ctt.ec/823EM+ #dataprotection #disasterrecovery

Marking the most profitable year in company history, Unitrends achieved a 67 percent increase in bookings year-over-year and added more than 1,700 new customers in 2013. This past quarter, the company continued to accelerate its charge toward $100 million in annual revenue with a 69 percent increase in bookings, Q4 2013 over Q4 2012, and the addition of more than 550 new customers. Unitrends currently supports nearly 5,000 customers worldwide, and, despite rapid growth, continues to maintain a 98 percent customer satisfaction rating.

Internally, Unitrends hired 92 employees across all functional areas in 2013 alone. Unitrends added to its customer support ranks at company headquarters in Columbia, S.C., greatly expanded its presence in Europe, and announced several key additions to its management team, including: Subo Guha, vice president of product management and marketing; Daniel Wixon, vice president of customer support; Jessica Flanagan, vice president of human resources; Kevin Moreau, managing director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA); and Michael Hon-Mong, managing director for Central and Eastern Europe. The company now employs 268 people and is on pace to exceed its 2013 hiring rate in the coming year.

Building a Data Protection and Disaster Recovery Powerhouse

In October, Unitrends received a major growth equity investment from Insight Venture Partners, a leading global private equity and venture capital firm. The goal of the acquisition was to further stimulate Unitrends’ recent growth through buy and build strategies backed by Insight Venture Partners. In December, Unitrends announced the first of its strategic moves under the Insight umbrella with the acquisition of PHD Virtual Technologies, an innovator of virtual backup and disaster recovery assurance solutions.

The PHD Virtual acquisition represents the next step in Unitrends’ expansion strategy. Its comprehensive product portfolio and track record of growth over 15 consecutive quarters made PHD Virtual a perfect complement to Unitrends’ business. The company added more than 350 new customers and 116 resellers in Q4 alone and closed 2013 with 40 percent year-over-year revenue growth.

“2013 was a milestone year for us,” said Mike Coney, president and CEO of Unitrends. “We far exceeded our financial goals and benchmarks for delivering cutting-edge technology, unrivaled customer support and industry-leading channel programs. Now, with Insight’s support and the PHD Virtual acquisition, we enter the next phase of transforming Unitrends into a data protection and disaster recovery powerhouse.”

Providing the Industry’s Best Cost-to-Value Ratio

In 2013, Unitrends demonstrated a sustained commitment to providing first-of-its-kind technology and services that offer the best cost-to-value ratio in the data protection industry. Highlights include:

  • New hardware (Recovery Series Pledge and Pledge Plus), cloud (No Limits Cloud™) and support services – Designed to deliver the ultimate customer experience, these innovative new services provide unified data protection, flexible purchasing options, upgrades and discounts, and regionally-based customer support, among a variety of other benefits.
  • Unitrends Enterprise Backup™ (UEB) Free Edition for the unlicensed (free) version of VMware® vSphere™ Hypervisor™ – Unitrends is the only data protection provider offering a free, automated, fully functioning backup and recovery solution for both the licensed and unlicensed versions of vSphere.
  • Customized Unified Data Protection™ for Cisco Unified Computing System™ (UCS) platforms – Industry-first solution leverages the power of UEB to deliver physical, virtualized and cloud-based data protection customized specifically for the Cisco UCS fabric.
  • Unitrends Release 7.2 – Designed to deliver enterprise-class data protection at a level of simplicity that meets the unique demands of small and medium-sized businesses, Unitrends Release 7.2 includes DNS/DHCP support for Windows®, legal hold, simplified user interfaces and expanded application support.

Delivering an Unrivaled Channel Program to Partners

Throughout 2013, Unitrends achieved several major channel program milestones, including:

  • The launch of its revolutionary Service Provider Program, which equips hosting, managed services and cloud providers with the agile infrastructure needed to simply and cost-effectively offer onsite and offsite backup and disaster recovery services to their customers.
  • The launch of UniRewards, Unitrends’ loyalty program for channel partners and resellers. Through UniRewards, partners can earn points for engaging in various activities that support Unitrends’ products and services and then redeem their reward points for cash.
  • A strategic partnershipwith Tech Data Corporation, one of the world's largest distributors of IT products and services. Tech Data signed on to distribute Unitrends’ entire product portfolio of physical and virtual backup and recovery appliances to resellers nationwide.


Industry Recognition

Unitrends’ explosive growth, strong customer support and integration with the IT community were recognized throughout Q4 2013 by the following awards programs: Inc. Hire Power Awards, Spiceworks™ Spicies Awards, Best in Biz Awards and the Deloitte® Technology Fast 500™. Unitrends was also recognized by Business Solutions magazine as a 2014 Best Channel Vendor in the backup and disaster recovery category.

For more information on Unitrends and its enterprise-class data protection and disaster recovery solutions for heterogeneous environments, please visit www.unitrends.com.


About Unitrends

Unitrends provides physical, virtual and cloud-based protection and recovery for every organization’s most valuable assets: its data and applications. Supported by a “crazy-committed” customer service model based on engagement, experience and excellence, the company consistently achieves a 98 percent customer satisfaction rating and delivers the best cost-to-value ratio in the data protection industry. Visit www.unitrends.com.

New features enable managed services, cloud, and hosting providers to introduce VM Backup-as-a-Service (BaaS), Replication-as-a-Service (RaaS), and Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) to their clients, while enterprises can easily manage VMware ESXi backup, replication, and recovery for multiple sites from a single pane of glass.

CAMPBELL, Calif. – NAKIVO Inc., #1 virtualization data protection software provider, announced today that it has released NAKIVO Backup & Replication v3.9.


Other VM data protection solutions are not tailored to the needs of cloud, service, and hosting providers, as supporting multiple clients requires installing and configuring a new and separate copy of a backup and replication product for each client. This lack of central point for data protection management adds management and maintenance overhead as well as additional compute resources and VM licenses.

NAKIVO introduces the industry-first multi-tenancy feature for VM backup and replication, enabling the creation of multiple isolated tenants within a single product deployment and managed under a single pane of glass. This enables managed services, cloud, and hosting providers to introduce VM BaaS, RaaS, and DRaaS to their clients more easily and cost-effectively.

In the Multi-Tenant mode, tenants can access the self-service portal to offload the ESXi VM backup, replication, and recovery tasks from the service provider. The self-service can be individually enabled or disabled for each tenant, and data protection privileges can be set for each tenant by a master admin.

Dynamic License Allocation
License allocation within NAKIVO Backup & Replication Enterprise Edition supports transferring licenses dynamically from one tenant to another as needed for cloud service providers or from one business unit to another as need for enterprises. In addition, qualified Cloud Providers can license NAKIVO Backup & Replication on the per-VM monthly rental basis.


NAKIVO introduces the Enterprise edition with the v3.9 release. All new features will be available in the Enterprise edition of NAKIVO Backup & Replication priced at $599 per socket. Qualified Cloud Service Providers have an option to license the product on a per-VM monthly rental basis.


“We are proud to introduce the industry-first multi-tenancy and self-service to the VM backup market," said Bruce Talley, CEO and Co-Founder of NAKIVO. "The new features will enable our Cloud Provider partners to protect their clients’ VMs more easily and cost-effectively."

“NAKIVO provides a technologically advanced solution to back up, replicate, and recover client's data at a price-point that our clients can afford,” said Michael Marchuk, Senior Technical Director at American Data Centers. “The technology is outstanding and the process to implement the solution couldn't be easier or more straightforward. We know because we've tried and tested the leading VM backup solutions!”


Overview: http://www.nakivo.com/product.htm
Datasheet: http://www.nakivo.com/Resources/NBR-DS.pdf
Success Stories: http://www.nakivo.com/customer_successes.htm
Trial Download: http://www.nakivo.com/en/VMware-Backup-Free-Trial.htm


Headquartered in Silicon Valley, NAKIVO is a privately-held software company that has been profitable since founding in 2012. With more than 1500 customers worldwide, NAKIVO develops and markets a line of next generation data protection products for VMware vShpere ESXi virtualized environments. NAKIVO provides one of the most affordable, highly reliable and easiest to use VM backup and replication solution for enabling SMBs to protect, encrypt, compress and deduplicate VM data onsite, offsite and in the cloud. NAKIVO also enables hosting, managed, and cloud services providers to create and offer VM Backup-as-a service, Replication-as-a service and DR-as-a service, to their customers. NAKIVO was the first virtualization backup specialist to offer VM backup to public clouds such as Amazon to SMB customers and multi-tenancy to service providers and enterprise customers. For more information, please visit http://www.nakivo.com.

Friday, 17 January 2014 19:40

Rentsys acquires IT-Lifeline

Rentsys Recovery Services, a US-based provider of comprehensive and integrated disaster recovery solutions has announced that it has acquired IT-Lifeline, a provider of comprehensive disaster recovery and compliance testing solutions for the financial services industry.

The acquisition came about through a prior strategic partnership between the two companies in which IT-Lifeline offered Rentsys’ business continuity services. IT-Lifeline’s BlackCloud, a compliance-focused vaulting, testing and recovery solution, will be incorporated into Rentsys’ disaster recovery offerings. Rentsys will also retain IT-Lifeline’s support team, which brings a wealth of knowledge regarding regulatory requirements as well as cloud technology.

“This acquisition expands our product offering and enhances our ability to meet the evolving business continuity and compliance needs of our customers,” said Walt Thomasson, managing director of Rentsys Recovery Services. “IT-Lifeline’s BlackCloud along with the recent addition of RCM enhances our ability to deliver business continuity solutions that ensure our clients will have access to their critical business functions if a disaster or outage does occur.”


CIO — C-suite executives today are striving to drive data-centric transformations of their businesses, but most are struggling to connect the dots. That's according to a new report by KPMG Capital, a global investment fund created by KPMG International in November to invest in innovation in data and analytics (D&A).

"Long before the term 'big' was first applied to data, organizations were struggling to make sense of all the information they had," says Mark Toon, CEO of KPMG Capital and global leader, D&A. "Over the past five years that focus on data has started to shift. Today, the issue is no longer about owning the most data but rather about how to gain the most insight from it. In short, how to turn data into insights, and insights into real business advantage."

"Data is everywhere, telling us everything," he adds. "But do companies really know where to look? The reality is that turning mountains of data into valuable, practical and actionable business analytics is not nearly as straightforward as people believe."



IDG News Service (New York Bureau) — Dispelling any lingering doubt that IBM sees cloud computing as the way of the future, the company announced that it will invest US$1.2 billion this year in expanding its global cloud infrastructure.

"Having lots of data centers in lots of different countries around the world will be important in the long term," said IBM SoftLayer CEO Lance Crosby. "We want the world to understand that cloud is transformational for IBM."

The company plans to open 15 new data centers this year, more than doubling the cloud capacity it acquired when it purchased SoftLayer last year for $2 billion. It plans to combine the new data centers, the existing SoftLayer data centers, and the data centers it already ran before the SoftLayer purchase into a single operation that would provide public and private cloud services to its customers, as well as provide services for internal operations.



Many of our readers should find the topics and outcomes of the 2013 Risk Frontier Survey interesting reading.  Although largely centering of matters of the European risk and insurance management community, this survey has valuable information that applies to all organizations in all parts of the world.

New risks require new thinking – and, this is why “The Risk Frontiers Survey” is so worthwhile as it delivers an in-depth picture of the current state of the risk management profession, gleaned from its leading practitioners.  It also outlines the big risk issues and ideas on how risk managers and those in the insurance market need to respond to these risks and challenges.

The survey is split into two halves. The first focuses on the big risks and the role of the risk and insurance manager. The second half focuses more on risk transfer than management.


Stick to core competence and competitive advantage, and outsource the rest: such has been the mantra of businesses for decades now. The logic is simple. By using external partners specialised in the non-core activities, for example, accounting, logistics and pay, an enterprise can benefit from that partner’s economies of scale and superior expertise. Profits go up and business continuity is reinforced. Yet outsourcing still gives rise to disappointment and animosity. It turns out that while a watertight contractual agreement is a pre-requisite for dependable outsourcing, it isn’t sufficient.  Organisations need more.



Thursday, 16 January 2014 17:21

BCM/DR: Understanding Want and Need

BIA results can help determine many aspects of the BCM/DR program to come; they validate what is required – and what’s not. And what’s required and what’s not is determined through the development of the various strategies and approaches that are created as a result of the BIA findings. However, that doesn’t stop individuals of all levels from believing they know what they require for their restoration and recovery strategy regardless of what the BIA findings state.

This is because many individuals have a difficult time comprehending that they may not be the most important area within the organization and thus, aren’t required to be available immediately. And if a department – or particular aspects of a department – aren’t required immediately after a disaster, many will disregard that fact and begin to state what they must have; what they want vs. what they actually need.

The difference between want and need is something that all BCM/DR practitioners must clearly understand and communicate to department leads; especially those responsible for acquiring, developing and implementing the various strategies required to address BIA findings.