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Volume 29, Issue 2

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Jon Seals

When protesters filled Baltimore streets during the civil unrest this spring after Freddie Gray died in police custody, downtown businesses had many questions and decisions to make, including: Was their business in the path of the demonstrations? Should they send their employees home early? What were other area companies doing?

When the businesses began calling the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) for information, the agency answered with its virtual business operations center (VBOC), part of the Private Sector Integration Program (PSIP) that Maryland developed to help businesses respond to and prepare for emergencies.

The VBOC is an online collaboration portal MEMA uses to let private-sector members sign in, interact with one another and view information — such as images, documents and live streams — posted by emergency managers and other businesses.

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http://www.emergencymgmt.com/disaster/Focus-on-Business.html

Friday, 06 November 2015 00:00

Companies Behaving Badly

Whether it’s the VW emissions scandal or rebuilding a company’s reputation after a cyber attack, we’re reading a lot about the challenges of managing reputation risk in the business world.

How important—and valuable—a positive reputation and ethical C-suite leadership is for an organization to attract talent is highlighted by recent findings of a survey of 1,012 U.S. adults by Corporate Responsibility Magazine and Cielo Healthcare.

(Hat tip to the WSJ’s Risk & Compliance Journal for flagging this survey.)

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http://www.iii.org/insuranceindustryblog/?p=4212

Why Service Providers need to consider provisioning platforms like CloudPortal Services Manager

In a recent Survey conducted by the Citrix Service Provider Center of Excellence, we asked providers what cross-tenant provisioning tools they used.  For those who answered “none”, we followed up to understand why.

The answers to this specific survey question varied, but the most common responses were along the lines of the following:

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https://www.citrix.com/blogs/2015/11/05/if-youre-not-automating-service-provider-provisioning-think-again/

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — When it comes to cybersecurity, there are two strategies. The first is reactive and is put into motion once security protocols have failed. The second, the proactive approach, can take you down the proverbial rabbit hole and into a world of intelligence gathering that puts you across the virtual table from those who might be coming for your secured data.

At least this is how Alert Logic’s Stephen Coty described the strategy options to attendees of the 17th Cloud Expo this week.

The longtime cybersecurity expert warned that system breaches are not the only threats posed by those with access to sensitive information.

...

http://www.govtech.com/security/Aggressive-Strategy-Offers-Greater-Protection.html

Friday, 06 November 2015 00:00

Legal vs. IT: The Data Archiving Disconnect

In the past, the main drivers for data archiving centered on legal and compliance initiatives and business continuity, including eDiscovery, records retention, audits and disaster recovery. But as more companies are looking to take advantage of information in an effort to gain competitive advantage in their markets, data archiving has taken on a new role. However, there are major organizational disconnects related to archive accountability and lines of authority, particularly between IT and the legal and compliance departments that are holding enterprises back from maximizing the full value of their archives.

According to a recent IDC survey, the underlying reason for the data archiving disconnect very likely stems from a fundamental difference in roles and objectives between IT and legal. Whereas responsibilities for things like troubleshooting computer and technology issues or approving vendor contracts are clearly defined and don’t have overlap between the two groups, the management and usability of an enterprise’s data archives can pit them against each other. The research showed that although 70 percent of IT respondents see data archives as enhancing revenue, only 38 percent of legal and compliance teams agree, which makes sense in light of how each group utilizes the archive.

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http://corporatecomplianceinsights.com/legal-vs-it-the-data-archiving-disconnect/

Exclusive Vietnam-Based Reseller Commits

MESA, Ariz. – Iveda® (OTCQB: IVDA), worldwide enabler of cloud-based video surveillance and data management through licensing its Sentir® platform, today announced that Iveda signed an agreement with Nguyen Business & Investment CO., LTD. as its exclusive reseller in Vietnam. Iveda has received a deposit of $50,000 against a committed $1,000,000-prepaid Sentir license to be paid in full on or before December 15, 2015.

Nguyen Business & Investment CO., LTD. is in the process of forming Iveda Vietnam CO., LTD. to be the operating entity to license the Sentir platform and purchase hardware such as Iveda's ZEE® plug and play cameras and IvedaHome cloud automation system. The IvedaMobile® app which leverages existing smartphones to stream live video will also be licensed country-wide by Iveda Vietnam to mobile phone providers. One public safety application recognized in Vietnam is that IvedaMobile allows the smartphone to act as a body camera, without the additional costly and cumbersome hardware for police officers. 

Iveda Vietnam will resell the prepaid Sentir licenses to telecommunications, datacenter and manufacturing customers in Vietnam, some of which Iveda US has announced contracts. Iveda Vietnam will facilitate finance and logistics aspects of Iveda's current contracts with the largest telecommunications customers in Vietnam. Its first focus is negotiating purchase orders with Vietnam Post Telecommunications (VNPT) where Iveda has installed Sentir at four of its datacenters. Based on VNPT's projections, Iveda anticipates revenue volume of $6 million to $18 million in 2016.

"This partnership with Iveda Vietnam is the piece of the puzzle we have been diligently working on over the last several months," said David Ly, chairman and CEO of Iveda. "With Iveda Vietnam, we anticipate business to flow smoothly and expeditiously."

Iveda Vietnam principals anticipate they will also cultivate in the near term, additional contracts from Vietnam telcos and datacenters not yet contracted, for the Sentir platform. Iveda Vietnam will make working capital available for deposits or payments, required by Iveda's hardware contract manufacturers to facilitate purchasing by telecom customers on terms acceptable in Vietnam. 

As true strategic partners, upon receipt of the $1,000,000 prepaid license fee, Iveda will grant each of the three principals of Iveda Vietnam a five-year warrant to purchase 100,000 common shares of Iveda stock at $1.00 per share. 

"We are excited to have a finance and logistics partner with skin-in-the-game prepaid licenses and warrants to align their interests with that of our shareholders," said Bob Brilon, president and CFO of Iveda.

Iveda, Sentir, ZEE and IvedaMobile are registered trademarks of Iveda Solutions, Inc.  All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

About Iveda

Iveda® (OTCQB: IVDA) enables cloud video surveillance by licensing its Sentir® video and data management platform, utilizing proprietary video streaming and Big Data storage technology. Iveda enables a recurring revenue model by licensing Sentir to service providers for plug-and-play cloud video offering to their customers. Iveda has a SAFETY Act Designation from the Department of Homeland Security as a Qualified Anti-Terrorism Technology Provider. Iveda is headquartered in Mesa, Arizona with a wholly-owned subsidiary in Taiwan. Iveda is publicly traded under the ticker symbol "IVDA." For more information call (800) 385-8616 or visit www.iveda.com. To follow Iveda visit www.facebook.com/ivedasolutions, www.twitter.com/ivedasolutions or www.linkedin.com/company/iveda-solutions.

This release includes forward-looking statements. Actual results may vary materially from those expected. Iveda's business is subject to significant risks and uncertainties described more thoroughly in the Company's SEC filings, including but not limited to its report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014 and its subsequently filed quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. All forward-looking statements made herein are qualified by such risk factors, and readers are advised to consider such factors carefully. Iveda undertakes no obligation to revise these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

Four new acquisitions include companies in Indiana, Hawaii, Phoenix and Tennessee

 
LIVERMORE, Calif. – Rob Alston, CEO of Access, has announced the company’s recent expansion in three of its existing markets with the acquisition of Central Files, Inc. in South Bend, Indiana and IntegBusiness Services on Oahu and Maui, Hawaii; and with the acquisition of the route-based business of ABCO Recycling & Document Destruction in Phoenix, Arizona.* Access also has now moved into the Tri-Cities, Tennessee, market with the acquisition of Archive Logistics. These additional four transactions bring the total number of acquisitions made by Access, since its founding in 2004, to 91.
 
“Each of these transactions are important to our company’s growth strategy and vision for the future,” Alston noted. “We are excited about our expansion in the Southeast with our move into Tennessee. The business that our friend and PRISM International President, Chad Sorrell, has built there combines a commitment and dedication to company, client and community very much like ours, so I know that our new clients in the Tri-Cities area will be pleased with the transition to Access.”
 
Access President John Chendo explained, “As has been the case with so many of our company’s past acquisitions, the stories behind these transactions are similar. We have found well-run, profitable operations where owners clearly recognized the value of partnering with a larger, international firm like Access in order to provide future opportunities for their team members and broadened service capabilities with a nationwide footprint to their clients. I look forward to discussing these benefits with other industry business owners who may be considering the opportunity to join Access.”   
 
As the largest privately held records and information management services provider in the United States, Access serves 42 markets across the nation and in Latin America and the Caribbean.
 
* The original press release misrepresented the transaction between Access and ABCO Recycling & Document Destruction in Phoenix as an outright acquisition of the recycler. In fact, Access purchased only the route-based business along with assets directly related to this one portion of ABCO’s business. ABCO Recycling & Document Destruction continues to operate on its own now providing all services it previously has other than the route-based business in the Phoenix area.


About Access (InformationProtected.com)
Access is the largest privately held records and information management (RIM) services provider in the United States. A trusted partner to clients spanning multiple industries and markets throughout the country, Access’ complete suite of services includes records storage and document management, data protection (electronic computer media), secure destruction, digital formatting and breach reporting services. The valuable business services Access provides allow clients to focus on their core businesses while reducing the costs and risks associated with document retention, management and final disposition. Access is backed by growth equity investor Berkshire Partners.

A blizzard-initiated series of avalanches that killed 43 people on Oct. 14, 2014, was the result of a confluence of weather phenomena not generally seen over the Annapurna Circuit — but which may become more common due to climate warming.  

A year after the disaster, scientists at Utah State University and Nepal’s Department of Hydrology and Meteorology are warning that climate change is increasing the odds that similar events will occur in the future.

In a study to be published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, the researchers found that the Himalayan snowstorm of October 2014 resulted from the unusual merger of a tropical cyclone with an upper trough, an elongated region of relatively low atmospheric pressure. Tracing similar events over the past 65 years, the scientists and analyzed the change in meteorological conditions conducive to this event. 

“We found a tendency for more and stronger upper troughs propagating from the Mediterranean region that could coincide with increasingly stronger tropical storms coming from the Bay of Bengal,” said Utah Climate Center director Robert Gillies, who coauthored the research. “This is a Perfect Storm scenario.”

Warming in the Bay of Bengal strengthens tropical cyclones like the one that moved toward the Himalayas in the fall of 2014.

“The storm characters from both the west and south have changed,” said Simon Wang, the study’s lead author. “Such a change means more frequent western storms and stronger tropical cyclones are happening in a colliding path, creating hazardous mountain weather.”

October has long been one of the most popular trekking months in Nepal due to ideal weather and while it’s difficult to attribute one event to a long-term trend, the researchers said the disaster could portend even more unpredictable weather in the future.

“(T)he detailed diagnosis of the cause of the heavy rainfall and snow storm in the Nepal Himalayas…will help the scientific communities,” Saraju K. Baidya, Deputy Director General of the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology in Kathmandu said. “Forecasting this kind of extreme weather events in time which will help in saving the lives of many people.”

This study was supported in-part by the USAID and NASA.

READING, UK –Zyme, the market leader in the rapidly growing discipline of Channel Data Management (CDM), has today released research findings which suggest that existing channel strategies, and resulting communications, will be under increased scrutiny from business stakeholders in 2016.

 

The report, entitled “The UK Channel Data Management Barometer”, shows that a staggering 93% of respondents feel that they are now under pressure from the business and its stakeholders to provide accurate, real time, data on channel performance in order to improve decision making. In parallel, 71% also commented that such stakeholder demands will mean existing ways of managing channel relationships, and setting sales strategies, must change.

 

However, this pending overhaul is seemingly timely as 95% of those surveyed reported challenges with existing data accuracy and quality, despite 61% stating that they have in some way reviewed their approach to channel data management in the last 12 months. The key areas that UK hardware companies struggle with in particular are disparate data sources (90%), timeliness with getting data from partners (70%) and the different formats that such data is submitted in (67%). Unfortunately these also lead to further challenges such as concerns with meeting regulatory and/or compliance requirements (83%), gaining a single view across all channels (74%), scalability issues (73%) and challenges with creating actionable insights from channel data (72%)

 

“There is without doubt still a lot of room for improvement in the channel data management area,” said Nick Andrews, General Manager, EMEA & India at Zyme. “The statistics show that companies have so far taken a relatively relaxed approach to managing this information but as investors have taken another look at ways to improve profitability gaps have been identified in this intelligence and these need to be closed quickly. Just 20% of the individuals questioned said that they were extremely satisfied that their current approach to channel data management could keep pace with the demands from the business. The other 80% should be very concerned.”

 

Whilst there is an obviously urgent need for things to change, the good news is that UK manufacturers are open to embracing such new processes and 63% already see it as part of their responsibility to their stakeholders to optimise the channel for business success and the perceived benefits certainly outweigh the short-term challenges of addressing this such as a lack of analytics skills (46%), limited budget to invest in channel data management solutions (38%) and a lack of time (32%). 19% also expect to be hindered by legacy data management processes and systems which include spreadsheets or solutions they have built themselves.

 

About the research

Zyme commissioned an independent study among UK hardware companies in September 2015. The study was conducted by Loudhouse, an independent research agency in London. A total of 100 decision makers responsible for channel data management were surveyed from companies with an annual turnover of at least £65m. Respondents were sourced across a variety of sectors, including industrial automation, enterprise networking and consumer technology/hardware.

 

About Zyme

Zyme is the global leader in the emerging channel data management (CDM) space, empowering the New Smart Channel™, a proven approach to creating visibility to actionable knowledge that manufacturers need to accelerate partner sales and optimize marketing program ROI. Zyme's flexible, cloud-based offerings facilitate enterprise-grade decisions by responding to real-time, granular channel intelligence. Benefits include better-targeted MDF, co-op, and rebate programs, plus improved segmentation. Zyme replaces outdated, ad-hoc systems with a state-of-the-art, cloud-based platform, data steward services, and a worldwide channel directory of more than one million partners for guaranteed database quality, support for a wider range of formats, and best practices that enhance reporting compliance. With UK headquarters in Reading, and US headquarters in Redwood Shores, CA, Zyme has also offices in Texas, China, and India.

For more information, visit www.Zyme.com

Thursday, 05 November 2015 00:00

Why You Should Sell Cloud Backup Now

Nowadays, technology vendors make it pretty easy to set up and offer a cloud backup service to end user customers. But, for most service providers, that is where the hard part begins: Why sell cloud backup? To start, the conversation should begin by discussing the importance of backup solutions to businesses today, the reasons that they back up, and how this provides opportunities for service providers to package up a differentiated cloud backup service offering.

Customers that turn to MSPs for data protection tend to face a variety of business challenges that drive them to consider cloud backup and recovery solutions.

The first challenge is cost. Cloud backup and recovery solutions are treated as operating expenses versus on-premises solutions, which are capital expenditures. In today’s economy, it is often easier to get approval for less expensive and more flexible OPEX models versus CAPEX spending.

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http://mspmentor.net/blog/why-you-should-sell-cloud-backup-now