IBM is currently assisting 30 customers that normally operate out of the World Trade Center. These customers, which choose not to be identified at this time because of lingering security concerns, are primarily engaged in the financial services, insurance and transportation industries.
The most immediate needs of customers included equipment replacement and repair, user and LAN support, processing, output and networking.
Within minutes of the news of the World Trade Center blast being carried by CNN, IBM Business Recovery Services’ (BRS) customer service representatives began contracting BRS subscribers by telephone to determine their requirements.
In addition, many other parts of IBM were, and continue to be, involved with these 30 customers. For example, IBM’s Pennant Systems built 15 IBM 4224 table top impact printers the Saturday after the blast specifically for WTC customers. These printers were up and running at the customer’s location by early Sunday afternoon.
Further, IBM U.S. Marketing & Services’ offices, in the heart of New York’s financial district, worked with the IBM Personal Computer Co. to arrange for almost 300 PS/2s to be delivered, set up and operational at another customer’s alternate site by 9:30 a.m. Monday. The branch even found office space for customers, set up telephones and work areas, including the desks. IBM also offered to share its office space with customers that couldn’t obtain alternate work sites.
The bottom line was that BRS, and the many other parts of IBM, were prepaid to react and reacted quickly to this type of event. BRS had prepared a terrorist response plan several years ago during Operation Desert Storm, to protect against the threat of a terrorist to a bomb attack. During the course of developing the plan, commitments were secured from nearly a dozen ISSC data centers to provide both the equipment and people to recover our customers, should the need arise. As a result of this planning and foresight, IBM was able to coordinate a quick and seamless response to its customers in need.
This article adapted from Vol. 6 #2.