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Volume 27, Issue 4

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Jon Seals

KEMP, Texas – Larson Electronics has added to its extensive range of industrial grade lighting equipment with the release of a 150 watt quadpod mounted work light. Built to provide a high power lighting solution that requires minimal setup time, the WAL-QP-1X150RT-GCR50 provides operators with an ideal lighting solution that features a quadpod with solid wheels for portability and a single 150 watt LED light head.

The WAL-QP-1X150RT-GCR50 from Larson Electronics is a quadpod mounted work area light that provides 9,000 square feet of work area coverage with 12,500 lumens of light. This portable light tower has a removable light head assembly mounted on top of a four leg aluminum quadpod equipped with wheels for easy positioning from one work space to another. This adjustable and collapsible quadpod can be extended to twelve feet and collapsed to four and a half feet. The light assembly on this unit can be removed by releasing the hand knob and sliding the light and mounting bracket off of the center support while the legs can be collapsed, aiding in deployment, storage and transport. Included with this LED quadpod mounted light is fifty feet of 16/3 SOOW cord housed inside a retractable cord reel, which combined with the adjustability offered by the LED light head, provides ample length for tower placement and optimal coverage of the workspace.

The WAL-QP-1X150RT-GCR50 is a heavy duty unit designed for use in inclement conditions and for overall longevity in difficult construction environments with heavy duty aluminum construction and stainless steel hardware for maximum durability. Larson Electronics’ work lights are designed for industrial, emergency response and military applications, where the operators are working in harsh, destructive environments and require durable, dependable lighting.

“The collapsible design of this quadpod makes portability a breeze,” Rob Bresnahan with Larsonelectronics.com said. “This light assembly produces a wide flood pattern that makes it ideal for illuminating large work spaces and job sites.”

Larson Electronics carries an extensive line of explosion proof lights, hazardous location lights, intrinsically safe lights, oil rig lights and explosion proof tank lights. You can view Larson Electronics’ entire line of explosion proof lighting at www.larsonelectronics.com. Larson Electronics can be reached directly by calling 1-800-369-6671 or 1-214-616-6180 for international inquiries.       

Containers, Convergence, Cloud Security, Closets, Crowd Workers and Coexistence to drive the IT industry agenda in coming year


NEW YORK – 451 Research, a preeminent IT research and advisory company with a core focus on technology innovation and market disruption, today announces the key trends that it expects to dominate the IT industry agenda over the coming year: Containers, Convergence, Cloud Security, Closets, Crowd Workers and Coexistence. These “6 Cs of 2015 ” represent just a few of the disruptive trends that will be published in 451 Research’s 2015 Preview Reports.

The 6 Cs for 2015 are:

  • Containers – There is an explosion of activity around Docker and containerization leading 451 analysts to anticipate disruption in IT departments in 2015 as they start to use Docker. While containerization technology has existed for years, Docker is a more modern, lightweight form that is widely viewed as a next-generation virtualization technology. 451 analysts believe Docker will be adopted by large enterprises to work alongside, as well as replace, traditional VMs because of its management and efficiency advantages. Docker has not yet achieved parity with traditional VMs in some critical areas, including orchestration and security, and a large number of vendors are rapidly addressing this.
  • Convergence – One of the most hotly debated areas in IT is the evolution of integrated platforms. Hyper-convergence has exploded, and we will see the first signs of meaningful adoption in 2015. Enterprises are tempted by the promise of improved efficiencies from integrating compute, storage and networking, while vendors are attracted by the potential to differentiate product offerings in the face of commodification. The larger questions are whether either of these expectations can be realized and what the move to new product categories means for the IT marketplace. What we know for certain is that in 2015, vendors will have to change their approach to product delivery and their partner ecosystems, and customers will have to adjust their operations to gain the benefits of convergence.
  • Cloud Security – Security spending is up again. In 2015, mergers and acquisitions, IPOs, venture capital and private equity funding will continue at or near record levels. This is good news for the industry, but the underlying causes are not something to cheer about. Security is in large part reactive: new tools emerge as new IT architectures evolve. The growth in IT and mobility means that security will follow suit, roughly two years behind. Not only are new products coming along to match IT developments and widespread vulnerabilities, but they’re also all claiming to be complementary to the existing security. This will cause enterprises to pile on more layers in the coming year.
  • Closets – Demand for data and processing continues exponentially. But as the debate about Net Neutrality demonstrates, there are many technical and commercial constraints involved in accessing or delivering data over wide-area and public networks. Part of the solution may lie with the micromodular datacenter – the next generation of server closet. These small datacenters bring processing and storage near the point of use and are delivered as complete, self-contained products. Micromodular datacenters include IT capability (processing, storage and connectivity) coupled with the supporting infrastructure such as uninterruptible power, cooling, fire suppression, security, a complete management system and a hardened shell. They can currently support up to 50kW of IT load and can be configured to support specialist local loads for DevOps, Internet of Things connectivity or HPC. 451 Research expects micromodular datacenters to emerge as an important execution venue and an outer “edge” tier in the datacenter hierarchy.
  • Crowd Workers – The structure of the workforce and the way people work is changing at a faster pace than companies’ abilities to effectively manage that change. Human resources systems that were conceived in the 1990s are showing their age because they were not designed to deal with the multiplicity of working structures that are emerging. In 2015, we anticipate this disconnect will increase as workers become disassociated with the firms that employ them, whether this be through increased mobility, remote working practices or the use of outsourced, freelance or crowd workers. This is impacting processes such as on-boarding and off-boarding, corporate communications, and time and task tracking.
  • Coexistence – The data management landscape is changing. Gone are the days when IT ruled data, metering it out to data scientists and analysts for reporting and analysis projects. The rise of self-service data-preparation tools from a crop of startups is putting data management directly into the hands of analysts. As 2015 progresses, the number of DIY offerings for importing, cleansing, mapping, combining and transforming datasets will grow. Analysts will adopt them – as will data-savvy marketers and sales personnel – building on their familiarity with the self-service discovery and visual-analysis tools, which first untethered them from dependence on the IT department for data. We believe that self-service data preparation and harmonization will complement and coexist with IT’s traditional data management tools, which will continue to address critical issues around data security, compliance and governance.

"While the 6 Cs are some of the more interesting trends, we have identified many others that will impact the way many do business in 2015 and beyond.” states Brett Azuma, SVP of Research, 451 Research. “Our analysis includes an assessment of the market impact, who stands to gain from these trends and most importantly, recommendations on how to capitalize on them.”


Click here to view the 6 C's of 2015 infographic. 


Journalists wanting to speak to 451 Research analysts in Europe, Asia and the US about 2015 trends and predictions, please contact Michael Essery: michael.essery@451research.com.


About 451 Research

451 Research is a preeminent information technology research and advisory company. With a core focus on technology innovation and market disruption, we provide essential insight for leaders of the digital economy. More than 100 analysts and consultants deliver that insight via syndicated research, advisory services and live events to over 1,000 client organizations in North America, Europe and around the world. Founded in 2000 and headquartered in New York, 451 Research is a division of The 451 Group. Learn more.

Exponential-e awarded 2014 Frost & Sullivan Customer Value Leadership Award


LONDON – British Cloud and Connectivity provider, Exponential-e, has been awarded the 2014 Frost & Sullivan Customer Value Leadership Award, which predicts the company will become one of the UK’s top providers after its analysis of the Infrastructure-as-a-Service market. The award applauds Exponential-e for providing the UK’s small and mid-sized businesses (SMEs) with access to Enterprise-class solutions that are tailored to meet individual business needs.


“We are delighted Frost & Sullivan has recognised that the combination of our wholly owned network and secure private cloud means SMEs can start using the power of the Cloud to build an IT environment that meets their unique demands,” reflected Lee Wade, CEO, Exponential-e. “British SMEs are pioneers they are more nimble than large Enterprises with more intensive demand than consumers. Instead of adopting a one-size-fits-all approach, we ensure that these organisations can choose from a range of services so that they have the technical resources to step up their game and successfully compete against the big players.”


Exponential-e has been recognised for its customer-first approach, which aims to empower SMEs to transition from cumbersome legacy IT infrastructures to one single platform capable of supporting high-bandwidth applications and future growth. Using its wholly-owned 100 Gigabit core Ethernet network, Exponential-e combines a superfast private Cloud with critical business applications. This means that organisations can combine Enterprise-class Internet and high-value fibre connectivity with up to five different Cloud and Voice services - ranging from Bandwidth Control, Insight Monitoring, Bring-Your-Own-Device Support, Secure Online Backup, Server Replication to Enterprise Security and Unified Communications. All services are delivered down a single piece of fibre so turning services on-and-off, or scaling them, is simple and practically instantaneous, helping resolve growth issues.


To enable SMEs to better manage Cloud services, Exponential-e offers a unique connectivity product, CloudNet, which offers a single end-to-end Service Level Agreement (SLA) that ensures businesses receive consistent Network performance, with a single point of contact for incident management. Every element of the service is run through Exponential-e's owned core Network and Data Centres, meaning CloudNet can bring a flexible portfolio of services, whilst guaranteeing high performance to 90 per cent of the UK's businesses. Exponential-e also integrates with the existing IT infrastructure that SMEs have in place, providing direct private access to the majority of public Cloud services. By ensuring that data is never sent over the public Internet but instead remains within the customer’s Local Area network (LAN), Exponential-e is changing the way Cloud services are accessed. Using only private connectivity this way helps organisations to avoid the security issues that come with traditional Cloud models.


Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Ben Gresham concluded: “Exponential-e offers the most flexible solutions, where its customers truly feel the same security and control as if the infrastructure resides locally. Instead of providing generic bundles, which may or may not be best for the customer, Exponential-e offers tailored solutions under a single service level agreement (SLA). While providing the best total customer experience, the à la carte methodology of CloudNet provides a vast range of services and is a prime example of Exponential-e’s no-nonsense philosophy. While dealing with SMEs, Exponential-e meets customers’ needs with a flexible, secure, accessible service at a value that cannot be beaten.”


About Exponential-e

Exponential-e is a British Cloud and connectivity pioneer with a difference. Its Cloud services do not traverse the public Internet. Instead, they reside (logically) on a customer's LAN, on the clean side of the firewall so security and privacy concerns are negated. Exponential-e wholly owns a super-fast 100 Gigabit Ethernet Layer 2 VPLS Network that guarantees a superior level of resilience, reliability and performance. Exponential-e also integrates with third party providers and bespoke applications for both the Enterprise and SMEs with an end-to-end SLA.


That’s why it’s trusted by 1,700 customers, boasts 96% customer reference-ability, features in the London Stock Exchange's Top 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain and was included in the Investec Top 100 fastest growing UK Mid-Market companies.


Exponential-e's services are delivered down one pipe, enabling 100% network visibility and control. The company has demonstrated the highest levels of compliance with industry standards and has been awarded five ISO accreditations including the highly coveted Cloud Security Alliance STAR. Exponential-e’s product portfolio includes services for Cloud & IT, Voice, Networking, Data Centres and Professional Services.


Connect with Exponential-e:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Exponential_e

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/29666

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/Exponentialltd


About Frost & Sullivan

Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, works in collaboration with clients to leverage visionary innovation that addresses the global challenges and related growth opportunities that will make or break today's market participants.

Our “Growth Partnership” supports clients by addressing these opportunities and incorporating two key elements driving visionary innovation: The Integrated Value Proposition and The Partnership Infrastructure.

  • The Integrated Value Proposition provides support to our clients throughout all phases of their journey to visionary innovation including: research, analysis, strategy, vision, innovation and implementation.
  • The Partnership Infrastructure is entirely unique as it constructs the foundation upon which visionary innovation becomes possible. This includes our 360 degree research, comprehensive industry coverage, career best practices as well as our global footprint of more than 40 offices.

For more than 50 years, we have been developing growth strategies for the global 1000, emerging businesses, the public sector and the investment community. Is your organization prepared for the next profound wave of industry convergence, disruptive technologies, increasing competitive intensity, Mega Trends, breakthrough best practices, changing customer dynamics and emerging economies?

CAMBRIDGE – Leading sustainability software firm CRedit360 has helped global chemistry company Solvay to introduce a consistent, group-wide approach to sustainability reporting, following its acquisition of Rhodia. Equipped with the CRedit360 system, Solvay is set to streamline its data management, improve the quality of the group’s sustainability disclosures and promote greater collaboration between business units. With the time saved, it will place a greater focus on analysis and strategy, as it seeks to make progress on its overarching ‘Solvay Way’ sustainability policy and move towards integrated reporting.


Solvay, which has 29,400 employees in 56 countries, was already in talks with CRedit360 to introduce a uniform way to analyse and report its global sustainability data. Individual business units used different data management systems, with little cross-functional collaboration on sustainability and no global approach to defining material issues. Following Solvay’s acquisition of Rhodia, these issues were compounded. Its new employees used a different set of processes and reporting tools, while the acquisition also increased the complexity of the data management challenge, with many more sites, business units and countries to monitor.


“We are committed to increasing the quality and consistency of our sustainability reporting and adopting a uniform way of reviewing group-wide data is a vital part of this,” says Michel Washer, Deputy Chief Sustainability Officer, Solvay. “The CRedit360 solution will allow us to consolidate and analyse data from different entities while retaining other existing systems, and step up our focus on performance analysis.”


Some 400+ users will use the system, tracking more than 1000+ sustainability indicators. The CRedit360 team has also configured the system to allow Solvay to report on key aspects outside of the GRI G4 framework, such as environmental incidents. Using the CRedit360 solution, Solvay’s Sustainable Development team will be able to achieve a clearer overview of its global sustainability data and enhance the effectiveness of its annual Solway Way assessment.


“We worked closely with Solvay to engage its internal stakeholders and demonstrate exactly how the system would meet their sustainability reporting needs,” says Richard Kirby, Director, CRedit360. “The CRedit360 system will act as a consolidator, forming a central database of information fed in from existing data management systems. Each business unit will also have access to specific performance dashboards and Solvay will be able to respond more efficiently to multiple reporting frameworks and surveys.”


The CRedit360 system will increasingly become a strategic tool to prompt greater collaboration between Solvay’s different functions on sustainability performance, with a particular emphasis on analysis. Looking to the future, Solvay may also scale its use of the solution to replace certain legacy systems, as it seeks to further streamline the reporting process.


For further information on streamlining sustainability reporting with CRedit360 software, please visit www.credit360.com. To download the full Solvay case study, please click here: http://www.credit360.com/docref/69007.


About CRedit360

CRedit360’s modular web-based platform helps companies to accurately capture, manage and analyse environmental, safety, supplier and social data; providing a 360° view on their sustainability performance.

Founded in 2002, CRedit360 has over 175 customers including Philips, HEINEKEN, Nestlé and McDonald’s. The company is headquartered in Cambridge, UK, with offices in the USA and Australia. CRedit360 was recently named as a global leader in both sustainability management software and EHS software by independent analyst firm Verdantix.

For further information, please visit www.credit360.com

  • New solutions serve “Era of Engagement” where effortless, multichannel communications and collaboration increases productivity, profitability, and lifetime team and customer loyalty
  • Avaya teams with technology leaders, such as Google, to integrate its communications applications easily into workflows, bridging enterprise-class requirements with customer interaction preferences


GUILFORD, UK – Avaya today unveiled new communications solutions that address multichannel communication preferences, while meeting enterprise security, availability, manageability and scalability requirements. The new “Avaya Engagement Solutions” include innovative technologies that connect locations and functions across the enterprise, integrate communications-enabled applications into workflows and support the seamless migration from desk to mobile. Avaya, together with its expanded partner ecosystem, which today now includes Google (see related news), is ushering in a new “Era of Effortless Engagement,” where natural communications preferences co-exist with enterprise requirements to forge deeper connections between people, and unlock higher levels of productivity and profitability.


“With communication at the heart of so much employee and customer frustration, building engaged organisations is the number one challenge for 21st century business,” said Kevin J. Kennedy, CEO, Avaya. “Business needs to empower people with technology and services to communicate effectively and effortlessly in the workplace – with each other and with customers. For more than two decades, Avaya has pioneered business communications, and as the world ushers in a new era of engagement, our solution portfolio is again a step ahead, addressing all modern user preferences with the proven reliability, performance and manageability global Fortune 500 companies depend on for success.”


Avaya Engagement Environment Helps Add More Communications Functionality to Applications

Among the new and enhanced solutions announced today, the Avaya Engagement Environment enables the simple combination of communications capabilities with the business applications used every day by various departments and groups. These merged applications can be integrated into workflows and published as a service to speed more meaningful, informed connections and improve customer and team outcomes. Thus, customer and team engagement can become inexorably linked as the backbone for competitive advantage in both the current and future business climate.


To make it easier for organisations to implement strategies for more engaged enterprises, Avaya has also mapped its Customer and Team Engagement Solutions against key business challenges to deliver growth, create new efficiencies and re-vitalise infrastructures. New and enhanced capabilities include:

  • Avaya Customer Engagement Solutions, which are aligned into three sets of solutions based on customers’ input to Avaya about business–critical requirements for Top Line Growth, Customer Experience and Contact Centre Efficiency. New among these solution sets:
    • Avaya Snap-Ins for Engagement Environment: these easily-integrated “Snap Ins” add enhanced communications capabilities such as WebRTC, real-time speech, mobility, work assignment and context store into existing contact centre operations.
    • Customer Engagement Transformation Consulting Service: access to Avaya expertise to help revitalise legacy contact centre operations with phased, objective-driven strategies for achieving customer engagement environments.
    • Avaya Agent for Chrome: offering lightning-fast provisioning of customer service representatives, this joint solution provides access to Avaya contact centre technologies through a WebRTC interface on a Google Chrome device.
    • Avaya Social Responder: this cloud-based solution for social media monitoring funnels social conversations into a contact centre operation for rapid, real-time response and engagement.
  • Avaya Team Engagement Solutions map to business needs for Communications Optimisation, Worker and Team Productivity, and Generating Growth. New or enhanced offers include:
    • Avaya Engagement Development Platform: Part of the Avaya Engagement Environment (formerly Collaboration Environment), new capabilities allow business analysts, enterprise architects and ISVs to customise and build unique applications and workflows with easy to use development tools and a reusable snap-in architecture.
    • Avaya Communicator: a rich, single client interface that provides access to all communications channels across the enterprise and midmarket platforms, including the new Avaya Multimedia Messaging and latest version of Avaya Aura® Conferencing 8.0, and allowing employees to toggle between devices on-the-fly.
    • Avaya IP Office Select: optimized for Midmarket companies with up to 2500 employees (or 150 locations), this comprehensive unified communications and collaboration solution offers the simplicity and affordability this business segment requires.


Networking: Underpinning Flexible Business Communications

Avaya continues to modernize the networking foundation for business communications and applications performance. Avaya simplifies and speeds the implementation of communications applications and increases their resiliency with one-touch fabric networking. Rapid, exponential growth in fabric-based networks means many customers are realizing most of the promises of SDN today including such feature as automated service provisioning and on boarding of servers, devices and users.



Avaya: On the Move

Building on its successful partnership with HP to jointly deliver team and customer engagement solutions and today’s announcement with Google, Avaya continues to expand its relationships across the technology sector, with companies such as BT, VMware, Salesforce, SYNNEX, and Wind River. These industry leaders are helping businesses rapidly transform siloed, complicated, unwieldy technology infrastructure into agile, mobile and services-focused operations.


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 centre 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. Avaya’s fabric-based networking solutions help simplify and accelerate the deployment of business critical applications and services. For more information please visit www.avaya.com.

  • Simplified and faster access to contact centre technology for customer service agents
  • First project to streamline the agent experience using WebRTC and Chromebooks
  • Enables increased mobility and flexibility in staffing


GUILFORD, UK. – Avaya today announced it is working with Google on innovative contact centre solutions for businesses. The collaboration combines Avaya’s expertise in customer engagement technologies with Google’s expertise in Web applications and Chromebooks to enable greater simplicity, flexibility and cost efficiency in contact centre operations.


The initial project enables simple set-up of new agents and supervisors in any location, ideal for managing peak or seasonal demands, as well as supporting business continuity, mobile and remote agent strategies. Customer service agents will be able to access the Avaya contact centre agent desktop with Chromebooks through a WebRTC-enabled interface. The Avaya Agent for Chrome solution eliminates the need to download thick clients on individual agent endpoints, providing significant management efficiencies and a highly cost-effective means to enable fast access to the full suite of technologies needed for real-time responsiveness to customers.


MeadWestvaco (MWV), a packaging orders and logistics company serving customers in 100 countries from 153 locations, will simplify their customer care operations by deploying the Avaya Agent for Chrome. They expect the solution to contribute to topline growth through increased business continuity, more efficient operations and higher customer satisfaction through first contact resolution.


The project is one of the latest efforts by Avaya to leverage the WebRTC standard and drive a 21st Century approach to communications and collaboration. In addition, as part of Avaya’s strategy to adopt next generation business tools, the company plans to integrate Google Apps for Work in a number of areas to help speed collaboration and enable greater access to key materials shared by Avaya teams.

Google uses Avaya technology internally both to power its global telephony infrastructure as well as to drive its contact centre operations.



“Contact centres are highly dynamic, business critical, functional areas. The flexibility to quickly and cost effectively equip customer service representatives during peak periods such as the holiday seasons, new product launches and marketing campaigns can make a significant difference in capturing revenue and improving customer satisfaction. Our work with Google will allow companies to gain that flexibility and cost efficiency using our leading contact centre capabilities delivered via our channel and service provider partners and accessible through Chromebooks.”

Joe Manuele, vice president, SI/SP, Alliances, and Cloud GTM, Avaya


“As a B-to-B packaging orders and logistics company, all of our customers are high value and we need to be there for them or risk loss of revenue and brand perception. With the Avaya Agent for Chrome in our business centres, our contact centre operations will be staffed and highly efficient - even when we might otherwise face business continuity issues. It’s remarkably simple and equally as powerful – just what we look for in technology to enable better customer engagement.”

Barry Toole, Voice and Convergence Manager, MeadWestvaco


“As a leading global provider of technology-enabled customer engagement solutions, TeleTech is continually seeking out innovations to help our clients improve their customers’ experiences. The new Avaya Agent for Chrome is an exciting new solution for clients operating in the Avaya ecosystem. Cloud-enabled solutions, like this one, drive TCO savings, increase flexibility, accelerate ramp time and make it easier to implement secure agent desktops. We have deployed the Avaya Agent for Chrome internally to support part of our 24x7 Network Operating Centre Avaya operations and look forward to partnering with clients for additional deployment scenarios.”

Tom Bowman, Vice President, TeleTech Customer Technology Services.


Additional Resources

Google Blog: MeadWestvaco Simplifies the Contact Center with Avaya

Avaya Blog: Agents Anywhere: Avaya and Google Collaboration Brings New Flexibility to the Contact Center

Tags: Avaya, Google, contact centre, customer service, technology, agent, Webrtc, Chromebook, Avaya Aura, customer experience management


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 centre and unified communications technologies and services are available in a wide variety of flexible premises-based and cloud deployment options that seamlessly integrate with non-Avaya applications. The Avaya Engagement Development Platform enables third parties to create and customize business applications for competitive advantage. Avaya’s fabric-based networking solutions help simplify and accelerate the deployment of business critical applications and services. For more information please visit www.avaya.com.

Bill Renews Terrorism Insurance Program for Six Years; NARAB II Included in Bipartisan Bill

WASHINGTON – The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) praised the U.S. House of Representatives for passing bipartisan legislation that extends the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) for six years and includes other provisions that benefit Main Street insurance agents.

Following weeks of intense negotiations, the House passed the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2014 (S. 2244) by a vote of 417-7. PIA calls on the Senate to pass the bill without delay. 

"PIA commends the House's passage of a long-term TRIA extension in which everybody wins," said PIA National Executive Vice President & CEO Mike Becker. "Insurance consumers, professional insurance agents, businesses across the country and our national security will all be strengthened and better protected by the renewal of our nation's terrorism insurance program."

"Members had an important job to do and they came together and got the job done," Becker said.

The bill provides much of what PIA has been advocating throughout the year, beginning with a long-term reauthorization of the program. While the trigger for the federal backstop in the event of a terrorist attack will be raised from the current $100 million, its level is limited to an increase of $20 million each year starting in 2016, eventually bringing it to $200 million by 2020. The bill would also raise the federal government's mandatory recoupment from $27.5 billion to $37.5 billion in $2 billion annual increases.

"This is an excellent bill that provides the certainty that America's businesses need," said PIA National Director of Federal Affairs Jon Gentile. "It ensures that terrorism insurance coverage will continue to be available and affordable over the long term. We urge swift action by the Senate."

Importantly, the bill does not include so-called bifurcation for treating nuclear, biological, chemical and radiological attacks differently from more conventional forms of attack. Notable for PIA, the bill also includes the creation of the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers (NARAB II). The bill also mandates various studies, including an annual study of small insurer market competitiveness, to examine challenges smaller insurers face in the terrorism risk insurance marketplace.

Founded in 1931, PIA is a national trade association that represents member insurance agents and their employees who sell and service all kinds of insurance, but specialize in coverage of automobiles, homes and businesses. PIA members are Local Agents Serving Main Street AmericaSM. PIA's web address is www.pianet.com.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014 00:00

xMatters Announces Enhanced Notification Platform

SAN RAMON, Calif. – xMatters, Inc., a San Ramon, CA-based manufacturer of communication-enabled business and technology platforms, recently introduced the latest release of its xMatters On-Demand cloud platform. Among its many capabilities, the technology facilitates efficient two-way enterprise-wide intelligent communications and alerting, especially in emergencies.

xMatters facilitates effective two-way communications to relevant internal teams and external service providers by setting up instant conference bridges during a crisis situation and escalating communications in alignment with pre-defined processes.

xMatters’ new technology release facilitates efficient and proactive communications to business owners, management and customers, especially in emergency situations. In addition, the company claims to have boosted cloud security capabilities by integrating cloud systems from behind firewalls.

The xMatters On-Demand cloud platform is currently available.


Wednesday, 10 December 2014 00:00

Will resilience replace risk and continuity?

By David Evans

Is the world of risk, continuity and crisis about to change as new concepts and approaches linked to resilience gain momentum or are we seeking solutions to the same old stories repacked through a different language?

Protecting organizations is big business, or at least it should be, as no one wants to fail and few if any executives can wish to face the negative impact of serious disruption or crises. In general, crises are expensive for organizations to handle, derail the best-laid plans and generally threaten the reputation of the top people in the business. Added to which there is a mix of guidance, regulatory requirements, employee concerns and shareholder expectations to address.



Patrick Alcantara explains why the BCI sees organizational resilience as an important framework that brings together various ‘protective disciplines’ and provides a strategic goal for organizations.

Resilience is fast becoming an industry buzzword which reveals underlying changes in the way practitioners view business continuity and other ‘protective disciplines’ such as emergency planning, risk management and cyber/physical security. From the development of clear boundaries which separate disciplines in the last decade or so, work is now underway to bring these fields together into a framework of organizational resilience. However, more than just thinking about it merely as the sum of ‘protective disciplines’, organizational resilience is thought of as a strategic goal that must be driven by top management. The quality of resilience is rooted in a series of capabilities that allow organizations to get through bad times (continuity) and thrive in good/changing times (adaptability). Organizational resilience involves a coherent approach ‘from the boardroom to the storeroom’ that requires strong governance and accountability among other ‘soft’ factors.

In the UK, this development in thinking culminates with the recent launch of the new British Standard 65000 (BS 65000) which outlines the principles and provides guidance behind organizational resilience. This parallels the development of global guidance on organizational resilience or ISO 22316 which is due on April 2017.