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Summer Journal

Volume 27, Issue 3

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Jon Seals

Leadership in Resilience was the theme of this year's well-attended Executive Forum and the whole programme was set up to ensure a lively debate around resilience and how BC professionals can take the initiative and lead on this hot issue.   These two-days in Brussels made real progress in clearing the fog and providing some specific examples of where BC professionals can make a difference.  For me the five key learning points were:

1. The growth of the term Resilience in job titles is much more widespread than I had expected. In some cases BC Manager has been changed to Head of Business Resilience without any change of responsibilities. This change is not universally popular among those with the new title because "business continuity" is a strong, meaningful "internal brand" whereas "business resilience" is non-specific and aspirational.



What is disaster recovery?

In simple terms ‘disaster recovery’ is the process by which you resume business after a disruptive event, this can range from; power failures, IT system crashes, theft, fire or flood.   Protecting your Business Systems plays a large part in your ‘Disaster Recovery Plan’.

The implications of not having a ‘Disaster recovery plan’

Many businesses I see are unaware of the importance of a tried and tested plan because they see a potential disaster as an unlikely event but the implications are huge. Just imagine losing all your data for 24 hours, how would you manage to recreate your data to cover the work lost and how much revenue would you lose?



It is the stuff of nightmares for every small business owner: wake up one morning and the enterprise has been destroyed by fire. Or watch, powerless, as flood ruins a lifetime of work.

But there is a way to protect your business from disaster - business interruption insurance. With so many natural catastrophes happening in Australia in recent years, it's essential for small businesses to consider business interruption insurance, whether this means checking levels of cover or acquiring cover where none exists.

Mark Searles, chief executive of insurance broking business Austbrokers, says any business interruption could be a major setback that threatens the very survival of a business, particularly when margins are already tight, as is often the case these days.

''Research has shown that one in four small businesses would not recover if forced to close the doors for three months,'' he says.


The latest annual risk survey by global insurance brokerage Aon has shown a sharp rise in concerns over business grinding to a halt due to a natural disaster.

Indeed, the concern over business interruption has climbed two places to be the fourth most significant risk ranked by businesses this year.

Aon Australia says the change can be attributed to the floods and fires of recent years, with many businesses still feeling the effects of the disaster.

Events such as Queensland and NSW floods ''have left many organisations contemplating business interruption exposure from a vertical or supply chain perspective, due to the consequent impact on their customer base,'' Aon said in its latest Australasian Risk Survey.

eBRP Solutions Network, Inc. (eBRP) completed the Business Continuity Management version of a cricket or hockey “hat trick” after being named winner of the inaugural BCI European Business Continuity Product Provider of the Year award. This is the 3rd BCI Regional Award garnered by eBRP in 2013.

In March, eBRP was named winner of the Product Provider award in North America, presented in Orlando, FL. On May 29th eBRP picked up the same for the Middle East at a ceremony in Dubai, UAE.

The award presentation cited eBRP for “what sets this product (eBRP Suite) apart is its capabilities as an Incident Management toolset. While other BCM software stops at plans, this extends its full capabilities to managing response.”

The BCI European Awards were presented at a ceremony in Brussels, held in conjunction with the BCI Executive Forum.

We are exceptionally gratified to have eBRP Suite recognized in this manner by professionals in the European Business Continuity industry.” said Sibel Misirlisoy, eBRP Sr. Mgr., Global Operations. “Winning a single award this year would have been satisfying; winning three validates all of the hard work the eBRP Team has devoted to maintaining eBRP Suite’s leading-edge capabilities.”

All of this year’s Regional Award winners are finalists for the BCI Global Awards 2013 which take place on November 6th in London as part of the BCM World Conference and Exhibition 2013.

About eBRP Solutions
eBRP Solutions is the leading provider of automated Business Continuity Management (BCM) Planning software. Its flagship product – eBRP Suite - is a complete package of easy-to-use, web-based utilities that address the entire BCM lifecycle. eBRP Suite is used by government agencies, municipalities, non-profit organizations and businesses, including many Fortune 100 companies, on five continents. Available in either a self-hosted or SaaS configuration, eBRP Suite provides the flexibility and scalability to meet the needs of any organization – regardless of size or BCM maturity. Licensed for Unlimited Users, eBRP Suite assures a fixed total cost of ownership. The company is headquartered in Toronto, Canada. Visit eBRP Solutions on the web at http://www.eBRP.net or email us at info@eBRP.net . Follow eBRP on Twitter at https://twitter.com/eBRPsolutions and check out our LinkedIn company page at http://linkd.in/XKqm4b

About The BCI

Based in Caversham, UK, the Business Continuity Institute (BCI) was established in 1994 to promote the art and science of business continuity worldwide and to assist organizations in preparing for and surviving minor and large-scale man-made and natural disasters.  The Institute enables members to obtain guidance and support from their fellow practitioners and offers professional training and certification programmes to disseminate and validate the highest standards of competence and ethics.  It has circa 8,000 members in more than 100 countries, who are active in an estimated 3,000 organizations in private, public and third sectors.

COOP Systems becomes new Premier healthcare alliance supplier partner

HERNDON, Va. – COOP Systems, the developer of the most advanced Business Continuity Management (BCMS) software package in the world, has entered into a new group purchasing agreement with the Premier healthcare alliance.


"We are very pleased to be chosen by Premier exclusively for their network," said Chris Alvord, CEO of COOP Systems.  "As a performance improvement alliance of more than 2,800 hospitals and 95,000 other care sites, contracting with more than 1,000 suppliers, the result for customers in their network are lower costs and expedited procurements."

Specifically, the Premier agreement offers the COOP Systems' BCM solution "myCOOP" to alliance members at specially negotiated pricing and terms. myCOOP is used by a growing list of clients globally and has a proven reputation for reliability and BCM support.

About the Premier healthcare alliance, Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipient


Premier is the nation's largest performance improvement alliance of more than 2,800 U.S. hospitals and 95,000 other sites using the power of collaboration and technology to lead the transformation to coordinated, high-quality, cost-effective care. Owned by healthcare providers, Premier operates a leading purchasing network with more than $5 billion in annual savings. Premier also maintains clinical, financial and outcomes databases based on 1 in every 4 patient discharges. A world leader in measurably improving patient care, Premier has one of the largest performance improvement collaboratives in America, including one in partnership with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Premier also has an office in Washington. https://www.premierinc.com. Stay connected with Premier on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

ABOUT COOP SYSTEMS - - Scalable, Flexible, Reliable, Proven

COOP Systems, headquartered in Herndon, VA, is a leading provider of myCOOP, the BCM solution used by a growing list of clients globally. With a proven reputation for reliability and ability to support clients' existing BCM practices, COOP Systems' clients believe myCOOP is simply the best BCM software in the world.

The World Health Organization has published new interim guidance to replace the 2009 Pandemic Influenza Preparedness and Response advice. 'Pandemic Influenza Risk Management' includes the following:

  • Focus upon risk assessment at national level to guide national level actions
  • Revised approach to global phases
  • Flexibility through uncoupling of national actions from global phases
    Inclusion of principles of emergency risk management for health
  • New and updated annexes on planning assumptions, ethical considerations, whole-of-society approach, business continuity planning, representative parameters for core severity indicators, and containment measures.

Business continuity annex

Pandemic Influenza Risk Management includes a checklist of action items that should be contained in a business continuity plan in order to cover pandemic risks. These items are:

  • Identify the critical functions that need to be sustained.
  • Identify the personnel, supplies and equipment vital to maintain critical functions.
  • Consider how to deal with staff absenteeism to minimize its impact on critical functions.
  • Provide clear command structures, delegations of authority and orders of succession.
  • Assess the need to stockpile strategic reserves of supplies, material and equipment.
  • Identify units, departments or services that could be downsized or closed.
  • Assign and train alternative staff for critical posts.
  • Establish guidelines for priority of access to essential services.
  • Train staff in workplace infection prevention and control and communicate essential safety messages.
  • Consider and test ways of reducing social mixing (e.g. telecommuting or working from home and reducing the number of physical meetings and travel).
  • Consider the need for family and childcare support for essential workers.
  • Consider the need for psychosocial support services to help workers to remain effective.
  • Consider and plan for the recovery phase.

Read the document (PDF)

Last month, powerful tornadoes ripped through Oklahoma over a 12-day period, leveling buildings and killing more than 40 people in the process. Among the victims were 10 children, seven of whom were killed when a twister stuck an elementary school in the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore.  Last fall, Superstorm Sandy struck the northeastern U.S., destroying numerous homes and businesses. The storm also knocked out power and communications for thousands of residents in the region.

The damage left behind in the aftermath of these acts of nature reinforces the need for organizations to incorporate comprehensive natural disaster management policies and procedures in their business continuity plans.  Often times, however, security managers become so bogged down in the minutiae of every day operations that their enterprise risk management plans are neglected, rarely ever being updated of practiced.



New York City is currently on pace to meet all of the long-term climate change and sustainability goals set by the mayor’s office back in 2007, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Tuesday. The city is simultaneously launching a $20 billion effort to prepare for the adverse effects of climate change.

The new plan incorporates more than 250 recommendations to improve the city's readiness for another storm like Hurricane Sandy, which caused $19 billion in damages and economic loss. New projections from city scientists also anticipate faster rising seas, hotter summers and more heavy rains, making it imperative that the city take action now, Bloomberg said in a speech announcing the new initiatives.



IT executives are growing more concerned with the potential of data outages from natural disasters. More companies are taking a proactive approach to data security as part of their disaster recovery planning, according to AT&T's annual Business Continuity Study. 

Recent natural disasters such as Superstorm Sandy and the tornado in Oklahoma have highlighted the risk of data security breaches. Eighty-eight percent of the IT executives surveyed understood the growing importance of data security, and most included wireless network capabilities in their disaster preparedness business solutions.