Data Restoration Tests And Searching For Belly Button Lint

Do data restoration tests have anything to do with belly button lint? Read on and see...

Okay, "Data Restoration Tests And Searching For Belly Button Lint" may seem like a strange title for a blog entry, but if you give me a moment, I can explain. Unless you are very odd, you only search for belly button lint when you are bored and have nothing else to do (or someone else does the job for you and points out that there is an issue with your, er, personal habits). For many companies, data restoration tests are also an afterthought – if they even are a thought at all. Yeah, the IT department may do a data restoration to test a new tape technology, or perhaps a database analyst might run a test after changing some tables. But these are not routine occurrences...they're a … Read more

How Can Your Business Continuity Plan Help with Your Company’s Living Will?

The secret to developing your company's Living Will is already in your business continuity plan!

By John Beattie and Charles Iannuzzelli Did you know that businesses can have living wills? In fact, all banks and many other financial institutions are required by law to develop and maintain Resolution Plans, also known as Living Wills. A Living Will describes the company's strategy for rapid and orderly resolution in the event of material financial distress or failure of the company. These plans must be approved by the FDIC, the Federal Reserve Bank, and the Financial Stability Oversight Council. They must then be continuously maintained to reflect the realities of a changing business environment. Many banks and financial institutions find the development and maintenance of Living Wills … Read more

How To Turn Customer Complaints Into Innovation

Don't be discouraged by customer complaints! Instead, use the information as a catalyst for innovation.

When you deal with customers, you might hear more complaints than praise. Maybe it’s simply human nature to dwell on the negative. Or maybe customers believe that, as the adage goes, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.” But don’t be dismayed. Customer complaints can be a source of valuable feedback for improving the user experience of your products—if you’re willing to dig for it. Mine The Value in Customer Complaints What benefit can an unhappy customer provide? If one customer is complaining, likely many others feel the same way, but will remain silent and take their business elsewhere instead of telling you. So when a customer complains, they’re providing helpful feedback that you wouldn … Read more

Rise of the Modern Marketer: Marketing Nation Summit 2014

Marketing has finally arrived!

It is here. Finally. The rise of the modern marketer. Gone are the days of booth babes and coffee mugs. Marketing has earned a seat at the big kid's table. Today's best modern marketers blend their art with some heavy duty science. Marketing now has the tools it needs to transform from a cost center to a profit center, becoming a revenue engine that directly contributes to the organization’s top line revenue growth. The underpinning of this revolution is marketing automation technology, and it has changed the game for good. I just got back from Marketo's Marketing Nation Summit in San Francisco and I am still on such a high from spending three days with some of the best and brightest … Read more

How To Multiply The Effectiveness Of Your Disaster Recovery Testing

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Disaster recovery testing is essential to ensure that your business continuity/disaster recovery plan really will work when a disaster strikes. Until you put your proposed procedures to the test, they’re just words on a page! However, a “laser focus” isn’t always preferable when it comes to disaster recovery testing. Here’s what I mean. Usually, disaster recovery testing zeroes in on one of four different types of scenarios: • A problem with your location (i.e., your facility is flooded) • A problem with your technology (i.e., you’ve been hacked) • A problem with your people (i.e., an influenza epidemic takes out a large percentage of your staff) • A problem with your vendors or suppliers … Read more

Do You Need a Lotus or a Lada in the Cloud?

Choose your cloud computing companies the way you would choose your cars... purposefully.

When it comes to cars, I can’t imagine why anyone would pay serious bucks for a Lotus when a Lada has the same four tires and 1600 cc engine … in fact, the Lada seats four instead of two, so it has more value than a Lotus right there. Okay, I’ll stop now, before all the car aficionados out there have heart attacks. Obviously, there is a world of difference between a Lotus (which is one of the hottest vehicles on the road and “corners like it’s on rails”) and a Lada (which has the visual appearance and driving appeal of a cardboard box) that more than justifies the price differential. If someone says “they must be the same because they both have four tires and a 1600 cc engine,” it simply … Read more

Extreme Makeover at Sungard Availability Services!

sungard as logo

Welcome to the new face of Sungard Availability Services! With our exciting new status as an independent company, we wanted to take the opportunity to spiffy things up a bit and launch a whole new brand – new logo, new colors, new website (oh my!). But, not to worry, the value you have come to rely upon from our customer-focused delivery at Availability Services will always remain at our core. Think of it as our own version of an Extreme Makeover - aren’t they all the rage these days? So, why now? As you may know, Sungard Availability Services officially splits off from SunGard Data Systems, Inc. today, April 1, 2014. This change is a natural evolution, since we have always fun … Read more

Surprise and Sneak Peeks: SunGard AS Software Takes Center Stage at #DRJ Spring World 2014

DRJSpring2014

Four more days till Disaster Recovery Journal (DRJ) Spring World 2014! I am looking forward to a great conference and, of course, to reconnecting with our clients – both old and new – who live and breathe ‘resiliency.’ Excitement is palpable as I speak to our clients day by day and discuss the topics of the conference, all of which focus around the theme of Ensuring Resiliency in a Risky World. This theme is particularly apt for us at SunGard Availability Services, as the rapid pace of change in IT is triggering a very different discussion about risk. When you come to Spring World 2014, be sure to stop at booth 611. That’s where our software team will be, including our very own Tracey Fo … Read more

Why Maps Matter to Business Continuity and Risk Professionals

Connecting data and events through maps is the next game-changer for business continuity and risk professionals.

Maps matter to us as humans. According to Wikipedia, the earliest known maps are of the heavens. Geographic maps of territories also have a very long tradition and exist from ancient times. The word "map" comes from the medieval Latin Mappa mundi, where mappa meant “napkin or cloth,” and mundi meant “the world.” Thus, "map" became the shortened term referring to a two-dimensional representation of the surface of the world. In practice, maps help us make sense out of complex information. They provide order to the content we process on a daily basis. Why else would we use the word in so many contexts? Think about it: we rely on road maps, site maps, dependency maps, customer journey maps, route … Read more

The Worst Case Scenario In A File Server Migration

File server migrations are well-documented...except when they're not. Find out what our worst-case scenario file migration was.

File server migrations are typically straightforward. After all, there’s lots of information out there showing you what to do, step by step and screenshot by screenshot. And that’s all fine if you’re doing a standalone to standalone file server migration (one server to one server), or a cluster to cluster file server migration (a set of servers to a set of servers). But what if you have a non-standard file server migration? What if you want to go from a standalone server to a cluster of servers? What do you do then? Well, if you’re not prepared, you may end up with a file server migration nightmare. We had a client request just such a file server migration – and they had good reasons for … Read more

How March Madness Can Help Up Your Business Continuity Game

march madness, business continuity

Basketball and business continuity are in my blood. When it comes to hoops, I played in college, I love watching the game, and I am raising the next generation of players. As for business continuity, well, it’s my main focus five days out of seven (and sometimes more). So perhaps it’s not surprising that when my eyes are on the court, my mind is making connections to a business continuity and disaster recovery (BC/DR) playbook. One of the biggest correlations I see is in the area of situational awareness. Take basketball first. Ever watch a group of 6-year-olds play? The little guy with the ball dribbles slowly and determinedly down the court with his head down, completely oblivious to th … Read more

“The Best Security Articles Are On Forbes.”

When a customer recently pointed out that the best security articles are on Forbes, we said, "Hey, that's us!"

I was lunching with a colleague last week who told me an interesting customer anecdote. During a recent meeting, a customer told him, "You know who's writing the best stuff on security right now? Forbes." It turned out that the customer was talking about a series of articles that we at SunGard AS had written under our Forbes column, "SunGardASVoice." He just didn't know it was us! As managing editor of both this blog and our Forbes column, this feedback is particularly gratifying to me. But to make sure we get the proper credit for our big in-house security brains (Billy Gouveia, Matthew Goche, Asher de Metz, among many others), I've aggregated the articles here for your security reading … Read more