Monthly Archives: June 2014

Business Leaders Can’t Let the Long Island Rail Road Strike Derail Their Goals

After months of threatening to follow through on their intentions to strike, workers on the Long Island Rail Road have called to pull their trains into the station indefinitely. Negotiations between the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and labor unions fell through on Monday, during an event at which MTA Chairman Tom Prendergast walked out after 45 minutes.

Too late to compromise

Capital New York explained that talks came to a standstill when board leaders on both sides failed to come to a compromise regarding the pay raises requested by the unions. Issues such as health care contributions and retroactive compensation also factored into the gridlock that resulted after mediated discussions beginning back in September 2013.

“MTA rejected the counter-offer we presented last Thursday,” said Simon in a statement, the source reported. “They presented no counter proposal. They continue to insist that the unions agree to a contract worth less than the value of the compromise recommendations of two Presidential Emergency Boards.”

While the strike is set to commence at 12:01 AM on Sunday June 20, the LIRR will likely begin winding down operations this Wednesday to secure equipment and organize its resources.

What does this mean for businesses?

Long Island is home to more than 300,000 individuals who rely on the LIRR to get to their workplace destinations on a daily basis. This means that several hundred businesses in the New York Metropolitan area may suffer from the absence of employees stranded due to the strike.

The media has not been optimistic about the LIRR returning to work anytime soon – organizations in the city will have to develop a plan to continue operations despite being unable to bring its workers into the office. Prendergast was reportedly unwilling to budge, suggesting that it may be weeks before discussions reopen and the strike is put to an end.

“Until they’re ready to move, there’s no reason to have negotiations,” Prendergast said, according to Capital New York.

Short-term solutions won’t work

The MTA has not provided commuters and businesses with any sustainable fixes to the forthcoming problems sure to arise with the strike. Business Insider explained that while the organization’s contingency plan to shuttle workers into the city on school busses is in place, it will likely result in traffic issues turning the Long Island Expressway into a 70-mile parking lot.

In addition, the bus solution simply does not hold much appeal for workers accustomed to regularly riding the LIRR.

“It’s like putting a Band-Aid on a bullet hole,” claimed Ethan Seatts, a Brooklyn man who travels by rail several days a week according to the source. “It will help some, but it won’t solve the problem. It will be miserable standing up on a bus like sardines.”

Developing a substantial plan

All is not lost for companies equipped to ensure business continuity in the face of interruptions such as the LIRR strike. The New York Times pointed out that today’s remote access policies are conducive to keeping Long Island-based workers in the loop.

“The strong assumption is, again, the combination of being July and the ability of people to work from home is going to make this, thank God, something that can be managed very effectively,” said Vincent Campasano, a Bayport commuter, according to the source.

But while telecommuting strategies may be able to uphold productivity and quality standards for a certain length of time, it won’t be long before workers will need to return to a collaborative environment to get things done. This is why business leaders should look into solutions such as local backup office spaces or dedicated work environments set apart from the city entirely.

With a strong continuity blueprint ready to be put into action, organizations can successfully overcome the roadblocks of the LIRR strike and keep their doors open for business.

CA Technologies Honors Continuity Centers

MIAMI – June 4, 2014 – Woodbury, NY-based firm Continuity Centers has received the ‘Managed Service Provider of the Year’ award for their managed business continuity and disaster recovery services at the CA arcserve Horizon Partner Summit in Miami. The continuity and recovery leader was praised for its early adoption of CA’s service provider license agreement and excellence in the field overall.

CA’s arcserve Horizon Partner Summit took place from May 12 to May 14 at the Trump International Hotel, with leading industry representatives gathering to discuss and share the latest trends in data protection and continuity. Speakers throughout CA’s directorial staff led audiences through topics such as arcserve’s recent product development, global market changes, sales and marketing strategy, IT advancements and the future of data protection.

As CA’s data protection thought leaders shared their ideas on the direction of the industry, Continuity Centers was recognized for exemplifying the best practices discussed at the event. The company’s willingness to embrace the latest compliance standards and develop a unique, comprehensive approach to continuity earned it the top spot in the MSP category.

Accepting the award for Continuity Centers was Chief Executive Officer Gregory R. Tellone, honored by executives from CA’s Data Management business, including General Manager Mike Crest, Vice President of Worldwide Sales Chris Ross, Vice President of Partners Sales Erin Malone, and Director of Partners Sales Chris Kreiling.

Gregory said of the award, “This is indeed an honor, and yet another example of success from our close relationship with the team at CA and our singular focus on recovery. Being a development partner of CA is an integral part of the strong foundation that makes our clients recoverable.”

Continuity Centers was recognized both for its bold adoption of new SLA regulations and the business results the organization has brought to its clients over the years. As champions of CA arcserve technology, Continuity Centers has seen consistent client growth and has become a top provider of data protection services across industries.

“Our Horizon Partner Summit educated and informed industry participants about game-changing developments in the sector, as well as acknowledged our most valued service provider partners who are putting our technology into action for customers on a daily basis,” said CA’s Mike Crest. “Continuity Centers established itself as one the preeminent MSPs at this year’s event, and we’re confident it will remain a shining example of how truly unified data protection can be effectively applied in a variety of complex business environments.”

Business Continuity Week is March 17-21: Will it Bring More Awareness to Businesses?

It’s still surprising that far too many businesses don’t bother with a business continuity plan to prepare for disasters. Even after high-profile natural disasters in the news this last year, chances are far too many businesses still won’t plan enough for something similar. The reason for that is likely complacency, particularly if any of the recent natural disasters didn’t happen anywhere near them. It’s easy to think nothing will ever happen just because nothing has before.

This lack of foresight in creating a business continuity plan may eventually change thanks to the Business Continuity Institute. This March, they’ll be setting up a Business Continuity Week that aims to give global awareness of how important business continuity planning is to every business. As part of this, they’ll be offering various webinars that businesses worldwide can watch and learn from about what can be done to get started.

The basic theme for this awareness week is “Counting the Cost” where focus goes to what the costs could be if you don’t plan for disasters. Based on the topics covered in the webinars, it may be a real wake up call for businesses still sitting on the fence.

Webinar Subjects and Live Events

While most of Business Continuity Week will be through webinars, a couple of live events will take place around the world. Continuity Centers will be hosting an event at our location in Woodbury, NY on March 20th featuring Penny Neferis of JetBlue Airways speaking on how we’ve Partnered for Preparedness. Find out more here and Register to be a part of this enlightening presentation.

Other events will be held worldwide. One to note will be in the U.K. at the Milton Keynes Business Resilience Forum on March 19, says Continuity Central. Canada is also going to be holding some live events to remind of the importance of business continuity in every country.

You’ll see subjects covering the costs of poor communication, resilience, short term insurance, supplies, then ending with a more direct “counting the cost” lecture. We highly recommend your own business watching these webinars to learn about the severe costs your business may take not preparing for the unexpected.

It’s also worth helping in the cause to get the word out about Business Continuity Week. The Business Continuity Institute has a page where you can help promote the cause yourself. They even provide three free infographics you can send to your fellow business associates that help describe the importance of business continuity.

Here at Continuity Centers, we hope you take this in and then take action by using us to help you design that business continuity plan. We not only help design it for you, we can help manage it as well.

Contact us after you take in Business Continuity Week and let us get you prepared for any type of event to avoid devastating losses due to downtime.

Minimizing Down Time: Disaster Recovery for Businesses

How will you keep your business going in the event of a disaster? What do you need to keep moving forward when a flood, power outage, or other incident strikes? Part of your disaster recovery plan should include a plan to recoup as quickly as possible and get back online. Because every day counts, it is important to have a plan in place to get up and running as soon as possible after an event.

Here are some things you can do or have in place to plan for such an unexpected event so you can keep going when disaster strikes:

  • Have an alternate work space set up. In the event of a disaster that temporarily shuts down your systems, you need to be able to keep working. Having an alternate space to continue will keep your business going while the disaster recovery is going on. These alternative solutions are knows as “continuity centers” and are becoming more popular as a real business solution in the event of a shut down.
  • Have a secure data backup solution. Needless to say data can be endangered by a shut down, whether electrical or otherwise. It is important to have a valid backup plan to house data while the problem is being resolved. Customers should feel that your business will have some sort of continuity, despite the temporary shut down of your regular servers and other equipment.
  • Have a plan for work group recovery. When you are operating on a network, it is possible and even likely that your entire work group will experience problems at the same time. Getting your work group up and working again is an essential part of avoiding business down time.
  • 24/7 Tech support a must. Equally important is the ability to talk to IT support crew in the event of a disaster. Having a direct line of communication both during the down time and afterwards will prevent any set backs or other issues stemming from the initial problem. In the event of a disaster, it is important to make a seamless transition and keep “business as usual” as much as possible.

You never know when disaster will strike. Whether it be a natural event like a flood or tornado, an earthquake, or electrical malfunction, it is essential to have a disaster recovery plan. Within this plan, you should include having a remote work space, a way to get work stations back online and functioning, and access to expert IT support during and after the event. If you are searching for a full disaster recovery solution for your business, contact us. We are in the business of keeping businesses going, no matter what the disaster. Because your customers are counting on you.