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Volume 27, Issue 3

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Mike McClain, Senior Web Designer & Site Manager

Baton Rouge, LA – Strengthening its reputation as a leading provider of business continuity, cloud-based virtualization and battle-tested data recovery solutions, Venyu today announced the company achieved strong performance in 2012.  The company now counts three top sports franchises among its portfolio of new customers, while taking home multiple editorial honors and introducing a new VMware vCloud-powered service during the year.

Ensuring customer data is always available and recoverable, Venyu offers three primary solutions -- ranging from cloud to hosting and backup.  VenyuCloud is a secure and controlled platform to easily provision cloud servers on demand.  The company’s managed and co-location hosted offerings drive customer profitability via highly redundant, commercial-grade data centers, while RestartIT® continues as the leading solution for rapid data recovery in the event of disaster or outage.

“At Venyu, we’re committed to making data secure and reliable at cost-effective price points,” said Scott Thompson, Venyu Chief Executive Officer.  “It’s this commitment that drove such tremendous results during the year.  Now more than ever, companies count on the power of Venyu to reduce IT costs while heightening the security and scalability of their critical data centers.”

During 2012, Venyu named three professional sports franchises among its portfolio of new customers  – the Dallas Cowboys, the Atlanta Falcons and the New Orleans Hornets.  The Cowboys implemented a Venyu-based cloud IT disaster recovery solution for backup of football and business information, while the Falcons are Venyu-powered to recover data including ticketing, coaching, and Point-of-Sale (PoS) operations.  For the New Orleans Hornets, data protection is guaranteed with a replicated hot site created by Venyu.

Also added during the year were notable names such as Habitat for Humanity, Bowman Systems, and the Louisiana Technology Park.  These companies are powering success utilizing Venyu’s highly redundant, commercial-grade data centers – as well as the RestartIT data recovery platform.

Highlighting the year, Venyu introduced its new VMware-powered service.  With VenyuCloud as a vCloud-based service, customers have a low-cost, easily-deployed alternative to physical servers.  IT managers can quickly provision cloud servers and data centers on-demand with VenyuCloud – while remaining fully aligned with on-premise VMware-based infrastructures.

Closing the year, Venyu was honored with several high-profile editorial awards from TMC, Communications Solutions and Cloud Computing Magazines.  The organizations singled-out RestartIT and VenyuCloud as two “technologies to watch” in 2013.

“While we made big strides this past year, 2013 will prove to be even better.  Looking ahead, we’re not only adding load balancing and service insertion into our cloud-hosting platform – but also an enhanced customer-facing management portal,” continued Thompson.  “Combine this with the roll-out of an entirely new cloud suite for end-user computing, and it’s easy to see why Venyu is a company to watch in 2013.”

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

Naples, FL—January 3, 2013—Nothing is safe in today's ultra-connected world, when thieves in basements around the world are trying their best to get their hands on your sensitive data and send it to underground BBSes for prying eyes to see. That's what makes ASPG's MegaCryption so important. ASPG is constantly evolving MegaCryption and has released some important updates, placing it even further ahead of both competitors and criminals.

The newest release of MegaCryption adds some important features. The symmetric encryption and decryption algorithms have been improved to inter-operate with IBM's DB2 Distributed Data Facility feature. In addition, two new symmetric algorithms have been added: IDEA 128-bit and ARC4 128-bit. Another noteworthy improvement is the addition of the SHA-512 hashing algorithm. Keeping current with features like 512-bit encryption helps keep your data as cryptographically safe as is possible.

Data security and encryption is not something to be taken lightly—in some cases, it is enforced by government mandates--and ASPG knows there is generally far less safety in obscure, proprietary encryption methods than public systems that have been analyzed for years by cryptography professionals, which is a primary reason why MegaCryption is based on open standards of encryption. Further, the MegaCryption software allows administrators to choose from multiple encryption standards such as AES, CAST-5, DES, Triple DES, and Blowfish – exponentially increasing security. These are time-tested, well-known methods that have survived intense scrutiny from the world's leading encryption experts. 

As it was engineered specifically for IBM's mainframe systems z/OS and OS/390, MegaCryption executes very quickly—most users report negligible or unnoticeable extra time required to work with it. It's easy to install and implement, and thereafter can be used as a stand-alone step or easily called by custom applications – all of which are features highly sought after by system administrators.

“We’ve taken a world-class product in MegaCryption and made it even better,” said ASPG President Cathryn Thompson. “Would-be data thieves don’t stand still, and neither do we. We have decades of experience in continually making our products better – and that’s one thing that will never change at ASPG.”

Anyone interested in improving the security and efficiency of their system is welcome to contact ASPG by phone at 800-662-6090 (Toll-Free) or 239-649-1548 (US/International), 239-649-6391 (fax) or via email at aspgsales@aspg.com

ResilienceONE® BCM software developer provides guidelines to building a framework
for best practices and assuring regulatory compliance, based on the BCP Genome

Plymouth Meeting, PA - February 26, 2013 | Strategic BCP, Inc., business continuity management (BCM) specialists and developers of cloud-based ResilienceONE® BCM software, today announced the availability of an insightful report, "Evaluating and Applying Relevant BCM Standards," derived from experience gained while building the company's own framework—the BCP Genome.

This BCM Professional's Playbook shows continuity professionals how they can map mandatory compliance regulations, industry standards, and industry best practices into their own gold-standard frameworks for comprehensive business continuity planning and management.

From this document, BCM professionals can pinpoint key strengths and gaps in widely known industry standards, and glean tips for compiling a unique framework for their own needs by:

  • Differentiating between setting up planning structures vs. developing specific plans
  • Pinpointing standards most focused on business and IT recovery
  • Identifying eight key areas as a basis for any business continuity framework

"The BCP Genome—originally developed in 2006 and updated several times since then—provides a blueprint for any continuity professional wanting to build their own framework of BC principles," says Frank Perlmutter, president of Strategic BCP and co-author of the original BCP Genome. "This playbook communicates both the findings of the original BCP Genome and a checklist of steps an individual can take to construct a similar framework for his or her own unique application."

Download the Evaluating and Applying Relevant BCM Standards report for free.
More information about ResilienceONE is available at www.strategicbcp.com.

Roanoke, VA -- Valcom, Inc. is pleased to announce that their Elaunch IP Mass Notification Systems supports Inova Solutions OnAlert textual LED displays.

John Mason, President of Valcom said: "Valcom is pleased to support Inova, the innovative and leading provider of IP PoE-based LED displays for the Mass Notification market. Now Valcom customers can incorporate Inova OnAlert LED displays with Valcom Mass Notification Systems for easy "plug and visually page" interoperability."

Inova OnAlert LED displays provide highly visible textual information that can be communicated instantly and directly from an infrastructure or enterprise application-based emergency notification system, providing vital instructions during an emergency. OnAlert LED displays deliver preprogrammed, targeted and first responder messages to provide an additional mode of communication ensuring students, faculty and employees are aware of an emergency or crisis and how to proceed to safety. OnAlert LED displays also provide assistance for the hearing impaired and in areas with high noise levels or poor acoustics, and where gaps in wireless network coverage may exist.

Pete Sisti, CEO of Inova Solutions said: "We see Valcom as a leader in the mass notification market and welcome them as a technology partner. We look forward to supporting their mission to deliver holistic, multi-modal solutions to the market and are excited to be included as an integral part of their solution."

About Valcom:

Valcom IP Mass Notification Systems allow highly reliable voice and visual alerting systems to be deployed over existing network infrastructure. Valcom IP Mass Notification Systems have been installed in many large corporations, Universities, Schools, State and Local governments, military facilities and small companies. To learn more, please visit www.valcom.com

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Emerson Network Power, a business of Emerson (NYSE:EMR) and a global leader in protecting and optimizing critical infrastructure for both IT and telecommunications, is uniquely positioned to understand the increasing convergence of voice and data. Leveraging that unique breadth of capabilities and expertise, the company today released an infographic that illustrates just how rapidly convergence is happening and what it means for consumers and providers.

“The speed of the mobile revolution has been relatively well documented, but it isn’t until you stop and look at the data that you really understand what has happened over the last decade,” said Scott Barbour, executive vice president, Emerson, and business leader of Emerson Network Power. “The distinction between voice and data is evaporating, and this infographic illustrates not only how quickly it has happened, but what it means for providers and their customers.”

Some of the facts explored in the infographic:

It’s a wireless world

The world is more connected than it has ever been. The advent of the smart phone has fundamentally changed the way consumers access information. For example, in 2007, before the introduction of the smart phone, consumers purchased almost 300 million PCs. In 2011, that number was 350 million—but it was surpassed by the 360 million smart phones purchased that year.

We can’t sit still

Consumers aren’t just buying mobile devices, they’re using them—in huge numbers. In 2007, about 1.1 billion people accessed the internet from PCs and about 400 million from mobile devices. That gap will disappear this year, and by 2015 mobile access will outpace PC access by about 300 million users. About 33 percent of Facebook’s traffic came from mobile devices last year, up from just 5 percent in 2008.

Providers racing to keep up

The change in behavior isn’t as simple as selling more smart phones; the requirements of the network are drastically changing. The infrastructure that supports a 15-minute, 4-megabyte phone call is drastically different than the one that supports a 15-minute, 150 gigabyte, high-definition video. 4G download speeds can be anywhere from 4 to 10 times faster than 3G while reducing the cost per bit to providers by as much as 80 percent.

To view the full infographic, visit the Emerson Network Power newsroom. For more information on Emerson Network Power products and solutions to support telecommunications networks and the data center, visit www.EmersonNetworkPower.com.

ISO 22301 (Societal security – Business continuity management system – Requirements) is the first international standard focused exclusively on business continuity. Whether your goal is to align to the standard or pursue certification, Avalution Consulting’s latest white paper, Implementing ISO 22301: The Business Continuity Management System Standard, will serve as your road map for success. 

Cleveland, OH – February 26, 2013 – Avalution Consulting – a leading provider of business continuity consulting  and software solutions – announced today the release of a new white paper, Implementing ISO 22301: The Business Continuity Management System Standard, co-authored by Brian Zawada, Avalution’s Director of Consulting and the Chairman and Head of U.S. Delegation to ISO Technical Committee 223 (the group charged with developing ISO 22301), and Greg Marbais, a Consultant at Avalution. 

ISO 22301 is the first international standard that focuses on implementing, operating, and continuously improving a business continuity management system. Avalution’s new white paper, Implementing ISO 22301, breaks the standard down section by section, discussing what each clause means, the value it delivers, recommended approaches for alignment, and items to consider before moving forward.

Organizations with a strong understanding of management systems realize the most value from ISO 22301, so this white paper is organized into three sections:

  • Section 1: Introduction to ISO 22301

This section provides an overview of the standard, including its scope, audience, and value proposition. 

  • Section 2: What is a Management System?

This section introduces key management system concepts that all business continuity professionals should understand before moving forward with the implementation of ISO 22301. 

  • Section 3: Understanding ISO 22301’s Structure and Content

This section focuses solely on ISO 22301, introducing practical, pragmatic guidance to successfully implement the standard and take advantage of each element of the business continuity management system.

Whether your goal is to align to the standard or pursue certification (only if there’s a business case, of course), this white paper will serve as your road map for success. Download your free copy today!

Download Implementing ISO 22301

About Avalution Consulting

Avalution – the 2012 BCI North America Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery Company of the Year – is a leading provider of business continuity and IT disaster recovery consulting and software solutions for organizations in both the public and private sectors. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio (USA), Avalution is a BS 25999 certified firm (transitioning to ISO 22301 in April 2013) and maintains a contract on GSA Schedule 70.

Avalution also offers two unique, web-based business continuity software solutions. Catalyst combines a simple user interface and on-screen guides with Avalution’s consulting methodology to make continuity planning easy and repeatable for every organization. No long-term contracts are required, and a 30-day free trial is available via the website. The Planning Portal, built on Microsoft SharePoint, delivers highly customizable tools and processes to assist organizations in managing and executing their business continuity and IT disaster recovery programs. Demonstrations are available upon request.

866.533.0575 | avalution.com | theplanningportal.com | bccatalyst.com | @Avalution | LinkedIn

Media Contact
Courtney Bowers | 866.533.0575

Dell Ventures leads syndicate of investors to promote an award-winning enterprise solid-state storage systems provider

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Skyera today announced it has closed $51.6 million in financing led by Dell Ventures, with participation from other strategic investors.  Skyera, backed by key technology and financial partnerships, is positioned at the forefront of the hyper-growth solid-state storage sector.  The syndicate of strategic investors provides Skyera with its second round of institutional capital.

Skyera is a disruptive provider of enterprise solid-state storage systems designed to enable a large class of applications with extraordinarily fast performance, exceptionally lower power consumption, high density, and cost effectiveness relative to existing enterprise storage systems.  Solid-state storage, with its exceptional speed and performance, has the potential to be an enabling technology for next-generation enterprise computing to support the Cloud, Big Data, increased mobility and social networking.

The investment will be used to accelerate the integration of the latest-generation flash technology and drive broader adoption of Skyera’s enterprise solid-state storage solutions.  The general availability of Skyera’s skyHawk series of enterprise solid-state storage systems will mark the first time that the most advanced latest generation 19/20 nanometer solid-state technology can be used as a direct replacement for traditional enterprise hard disk-based systems, with a system price of less than $3 per gigabyte.  Data compression and deduplication can bring the effective price to as low as $1 per gigabyte.

“We view the investment in Skyera as a validation of the disruptiveness of the technology we are bringing to enterprise organizations seeking to take advantage of both the technical and cost benefits of the latest generation of flash,” said Dr. Radoslav Danilak, Founder and CEO of Skyera.  “Moreover, Dell and the investment syndicate bring deep knowledge of the storage sector that will be beneficial to Skyera as we take our next steps.”

“Skyera offers innovative technology that is breaking new ground in enterprise solid-state storage systems, including controllers, memory and software,” said Marius Haas, President, Enterprise Solutions Group for Dell.  “Dell continues to expand its growing enterprise systems portfolio to help our customers do more.  We are focused on changing the economics of storage and other systems for our customers by bringing high-end enterprise features to the broad mid-market and solving enterprise problems at a mid-range price point,” he continued.

“We see solid-state technology as a game changer and one of several fertile areas for investment,” said Jim Lussier, Managing Director of Dell Ventures.  “The investment in Skyera is one example of how we are deploying our Fluid Data Storage Fund to target areas critical to the evolution of storage, and how our venture investing activity supports Dell’s innovation strategy and helps strengthen our enterprise solutions capabilities.”

According to Gartner Research , “The SSD appliance market, while nascent, is emerging as a compelling solution to deliver high performance with ultra-low latency, which is particularly attractive today in database/data warehousing, virtual desktop, high-performance computing and cloud storage environments.  While cost-effective flash-based hardware is essential, vendors most poised for success must possess a thorough optimization of data management software specific to the characteristics of flash memory to best exploit a market projected to grow from $393 million in 2012 to nearly $4.2 billion in 2016.

Follow Skyera:   

http://www.twitter.com/skyerainc

http://www.facebook.com/skyerainc

http://www.youtube.com/skyerainc

About Skyera

Skyera Inc. is a disruptive provider of enterprise solid-state storage systems designed to enable a large class of applications with extraordinarily high performance, exceptionally lower power consumption and cost effectiveness relative to existing enterprise storage systems.  Founded by the executives who previously developed the world's most-advanced flash memory controller, Skyera is backed by key technology and financial partnerships designed to position it at the forefront of the hyper growth in the solid-state storage sector.  The company was chosen by Flash Memory Summit as a Best of Show award winner for 2012 in the category of Most Innovative Flash Memory Enterprise Business Application.  For more information about the company, visit skyera.com.

TORONTO, ON – BLACKIRON Data, a wholly owned subsidiary of PTGi (Primus Telecommunications Group, Incorporated) (NYSE: PTGI), is the first data centre provider in Canada to utilize the industry’s most efficient room-based data centre cooling system, Emerson Network Power’s Liebert® DSE. BLACKIRON Data partnered with Emerson Network Power to select and install the technology at their new Toronto DC3 site, Canada’s first Tier III design and construction-certified data centre facility.

“We had three objectives in building our newest data centre in Toronto – make it environmentally friendly, attain third-party certifications and guarantee 100 percent availability for our customers,” said Ron Ethier, Vice President, Data Centres and Operations, BLACKIRON Data. “The Liebert DSE allows us to meet all three of our objectives. The system leverages Toronto’s cool temperatures for optimum efficiency and energy use without sacrificing performance or disrupting our availability guarantee for customers. Utilizing this new precision cooling technology was one of the key elements to the Toronto data centre successfully achieving Uptime Institute and LEED certifications.”

BLACKIRON Data’s Toronto DC3 facility uses multiple 40-ton Liebert DSE cooling systems to regulate cooling in the 50,000-square-foot data centre, with power density at 15kW per rack. Each system features variable speed fans, staged evaporator coils, tandem Copeland Scroll™ Digital compressors and innovative pumped refrigerant economizers to ensure highly efficient and effective cooling, no matter the season.

With the environment in mind, an important element of the design and build of DC3 was to avoid the waste water often associated with water-cooled chillers. BLACKIRON insisted on using cooling technology that did not use water, a configuration that benefits both the environment and customers. The installation of this system has allowed BLACKIRON to save up to 100 million litres of water waste a year, as traditionally associated with operating a data centre of similar size.

Liebert Econophase™, the industry’s first pumped refrigerant economizer, leverages cold outside air to cool the refrigerant used in the Liebert DSE system, reducing or eliminating compressor operation. This system provides cooling within the data centre, allowing BLACKIRON to cool a large space without chiller plants and chilled water. With Toronto’s cool temperatures, this translates into free cooling more than 75 percent of the year, allowing BLACKIRON to significantly lower power usage and energy expenses. During the summer, the Liebert DSE utilizes the most efficient variable capacity compressors for operation.

“We are well-positioned to help customers solve their unique challenges through our innovative products and solutions, our expertise in end-to-end data center controls and our service,” said Steve Madara, vice president, global cooling, Emerson Network Power. “Our team was thrilled to deliver an integrated system that has enabled BLACKIRON Data to use water-saving refrigerant-based economizers for such a large portion of the year, helping them to realize a great amount of energy and financial savings.”

Since opening its doors in September 2012, BLACKIRONs Toronto data centre has seen maximized energy efficiency and offers superior performance and availability for its customers. With a 100 percent availability guarantee and aggressively reducing power consumption and related energy costs, BLACKIRON Data has raised the bar for data centres across the continent.

ABOUT BLACKIRON DATA

BLACKIRON Data ULC is an innovator in data centre, cloud and managed services technology, providing a singular focus to ensuring the most robust and bullet-proof IT infrastructure to meet the needs of business. With eight owned and managed state-of-the-art, and highly reliable data centres, including Canada’s firstTier III design and construction certified facility, and the vast array of fully audited operational, facility, and environmental certifications, BLACKIRON Data is the most certified data centre services company in Canada. BLACKIRON Data is a division of Primus Telecommunications Canada Inc., a subsidiary of PTGi. Visit blackirondata.com for more information.

 

ABOUT PTGi

PTGi (Primus Telecommunications Group, Incorporated) is a leading provider of advanced communication solutions, including, traditional and IP voice, data, mobile services, broadband Internet, collocation, hosting, and outsourced managed services to business and residential customers in the United States and Canada. PTGi is also one of the leading international wholesale service providers to fixed and mobile network operators worldwide. PTGi owns and operates its own global network of next-generation IP soft switches, media gateways, hosted IP/SIP platforms, broadband infrastructure, fiber capacity, and data centers located in Canada. Founded in 1994, PTGi is headquartered in McLean, Virginia.

About Emerson Network Power

Emerson Network Power, a business of Emerson, delivers software, hardware, and services that maximize availability, capacity, and efficiency for data centers and healthcare and industrial facilities.  A trusted industry leader in smart infrastructure technologies, Emerson Network Power provides innovative data center infrastructure management solutions that bridge the gap between IT and facility management and deliver efficiency and uncompromised availability regardless of capacity demands.  Our solutions are supported globally by local Emerson Network Power service technicians.  Learn more about Emerson Network Power products and services at www.EmersonNetworkPower.com.

About Emerson

Emerson, based in St. Louis, Missouri (USA), is a global leader in bringing technology and engineering together to provide innovative solutions for customers in industrial, commercial, and consumer markets around the world.  The company is comprised of five business segments:  Process Management, Industrial Automation, Network Power, Climate Technologies, and Commercial & Residential Solutions.  Sales in fiscal 2012 were $24.4 billion.  For more information, visit www.Emerson.com.

ATLANTA -- CloudeAssurance, Inc. – an eFortresses Company last month released its first Cloud Security Benchmark: Top 10 CSPs and added this report to its cloud security rating system platform: CloudeAssurance. This platform enables safe and secure adoption of Cloud Computing!

In response to customer demand and in the spirit of President Obama's recently signed Cybersecurity Executive order that outlines the critical nature of the cyber infrastructure of the United States and sets forth provisions for improving the protections of this infrastructure, using the CloudeAssurance platform, critical infrastructure owners and operators are now able to quantitatively assess risks associated with their use of different cloud computing services.

CloudeAssurance 1.2 is designed for global enterprise and government customers, cloud brokerages, cloud auditors and cloud service providers that want to differentiate themselves by providing higher levels of security assurance and transparency to their customers and stakeholders.

With the global cloud services revenue projected to reach $148.8 billion by 2014 and $241 billion by 2020, Information Security can either become a nightmare or an enabler for cloud adoption, particularly with recent increases in highly publicized cloud security breaches.

CloudeAssurance SaaS platform is the industry's first truly risk-intelligent rating, continuous education and continuous monitoring system assuring cloud service provider's cloud security and governance, risk and compliance. CloudeAssurance protects customers by measuring cloud service providers' ability to securely deliver services in accordance with industry best practices, standards, and regulatory compliance.

"Our research team undertook this independent study aimed at assessing the overall security posture of some of these CSPs. The goal of the study is to rank the Top 10 CSPs using the CloudeAssurance platform to assess their security posture, leveraging information that these CSPs themselves have made publicly available in relation to their cloud security," explained Taiye Lambo, Founder of CloudeAssurance, Inc.

About eFortresses, Inc. and CloudeAssurance, Inc.

eFortresses, Inc. is an 11-year-old Cyber Security and Compliance Solutions company with a focus on cloud computing security. We help our customers to stay out of the headline news due to a security breach or data loss that could result in major financial losses and reputational loss. Our mission is to provide clients with the knowledge and expertise to make informed decisions regarding exposure to regulatory non-compliance and potential theft or compromise of information assets.

We focus on quickly identifying risks and crafting remedial solutions that provide tangible value, reduction in costs, and return on investment (ROI).

CloudeAssurance, Inc. is the software division of eFortresses, Inc. focused on Cloud Security Scoring through a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) licensing and delivery model.

To access this independent study from the Library section of the platform, Sign Up for a CloudeAssurance FREE Trial from www.CloudeAssurance.com.

RED BANK, N.J. -- A new website has been launched that provides a public platform for policyholders who have had a negative experience during the process of an insurance claim. The site, InsuranceComplaint.com compiles statistical data on insurance complaints while providing an open forum for individuals wishing to share their claims experience and/or seek professional assistance. The data provided is compiled and used to initiate "Market Conduct Surveys" against carriers who demonstrate patterns of unfair claims practices.

While each state has a Department of Insurance to oversee their insurance market, many do not have the resources to thoroughly investigate the numerous complaints they receive annually. In addition, each State Department of Insurance acts independently, so detecting patterns of unfair practices by an insurance company across state lines is extremely hard to accomplish. Developed with this in mind, InsuranceComplaint.com is the only site of its kind that collects statistical data on complaints and has the ability to sort this data by insurance company, broker, agent, independent adjusting company and coverage type.  InsuranceComplaint.com also utilizes a strategic check list to further address problematic underwriting, policyholder service, in-house claims handling, field adjusting, sales/marketing, etc.

Working as advocates for the policyholder, InsuranceComplaint.com founders Peter Nicolas and Michael Grady have firsthand experience with the frustrating issues policyholders can face when during the claims process. Grady is an insurance professional with extensive experience adjusting claims.  Peter is a policyholder that ran into a claim nightmare after a fire destroyed his home and possessions.

According to Grady, "Although seemingly unfair, your policy is just your ticket to the fight, no policy no claim." Mike explains that having an insurance policy does not guarantee a worry free claim. "There are no policy provisions that compel your carrier to educate you of your rights therein. Simply put, if you do not understand how to administer your own claim the carrier is not contractually obligated to do so on your behalf. This is not meant to imply that carriers will not offer you any assistance, but the finer points of adjusting the claim are your responsibility and ignorance is no excuse," he says.

"The insurance industry has a powerful lobby that has strong influences at the state and national level," states Grady. An individual policyholder cannot match the power and resources of even the smallest carrier. But now, policyholders can band together and level the playing field. There is power in numbers," says Grady.