communications

Twittering on about stuff?

 
It's been a busy few weeks at the Continuity Forum!  
 
The new ISO22301 is with us and the Forum is busily putting our Webinars together, busily putting our breakfast briefings together, busily... You get the picture.  Busy.
 
But that leads me to thinking about conversations this week.  Everyone is fraught keeping up with the latest information, whether on standards or on other business developments.  It's the 21st Century, and I can no longer avoid becoming a member of the  Twitteratti, and have signed up not only to Twitter, but also to the idea of researching best Twitter/continuity practice.  
 

Testimonials

 
The Continuity Forum are pleased we have been able to help so many companies and organisations through our various services and we are always delighted to get feedback on the outcomes of our work with our many disparate partners.  
 
We are always looking to improve on this work in order to ensure we continue to deliver results and great value.
 
We'll never get complacent, despite all these very kinds words that have been received. 
"The Continuity Forum supported our Business Continuity events across social care sector aimed to deliver good governance and more resilient business continuity management in the social care industry.
 
Fantastic communication skills and ability to deliver - the events were a huge success and improved the BCM in the sector across the County." 
SP - County Council
 
“The Continuity Forum offer fantastic support to any organisation whether you are looking for strategies to get senior management or board level buy-in, or whether you want support when running business continuity awareness campaigns. 
Their knowledge in the resilience field is exemplary, and I would endorse the Continuity Forum.”
KS - Public Sector
 
"Over the years we have the pleasure of working alongside the Forum in numerous  activities  I have been thoroughly impressed with their energy, enthusiasm and depth of knowledge.
 
They are great communicators and are leading the industry with fresh ideas and new approaches - the ultimate professionals"
KN - Business Services
 
"If you have been in the Business Continuity profession for a while then you will have heard of Russell Price and of his work at The Continuity Forum. If you're just starting out then I really would suggest that you check them out they are most definitely one of the profession's leaders and shapers."
ES Public Sector  
 

MIR3 to introduce gateway to unify the corporate and social inbox

 
MIR3 Unveils Secure “Corporate Inbox” Strategy

Notification Technology Leader First to Introduce Protected Gateway for Safely Uniting the Corporate Inbox with the Social Inbox

SAN DIEGO (March 21, 2011)—With the increasing shift away from email to Short Message Service (SMS) textsand instant messaging (IM), and the increasing reliance on social networks, MIR3, Inc., the innovator of real-time Intelligent Notification™ and response technology, announced today its plans to unite business communication by bridging both the enterprise and social inboxes to create one central and secure “corporate inbox.” The company’s vision will be supported by its new MIR3 Enterprise Gateway™ (MEG™) technology. MEG brings the power and flexibility of social networking to corporate users through a protectedplatform that serves as a centralized repository that will consolidate, escalate, filter and prioritize a user’s communication across all devices into one central inbox.

Communication in a Crisis - Integrating Business Continuity and Communications Debate

 

Communication in a Crisis -
1st March London EC1M 6EZ
Breakfast Debate
Business Continuity and Communications

The Continuity Forum would be delighted to see you at our latest free Breakfast Debate on 1st March. 
 
The debate will run from 8.30, for networking and a little light refreshment, with the debate closing at around  11.30. 
 
We will be discussing a number of themes, all under the Chatham House Rule, but the following should help to provide a framework for your thought processes.
 

Avanti win £4.5m Contract

Business Continuity Forum satellite broadband communications and Business Continuity

Avanti (AIM: AVN), the broadband satellite operator, is pleased to announce that it has signed a three year contract with Computerlinks which becomes a major distributor for Avanti’s Business Continuity products including its patented Business Internet Continuity (BIC) service.

Computerlinks will enable its channel partners, of whom there are over 5,000, to address the rapidly growing market demand for disaster recovery telecoms services. They will now be able to provide true Business Internet Continuity to their installed and new customers who are becoming increasingly wary of reliance on single circuits to connect them to the “Cloud” or to their own application and data servers.

Avanti has secured international patent protection for its Business Internet Continuity product, which is capable of instantly restoring, by satellite, not only connectivity but also IP addressing in the event of a failure of customers’ primary telecoms circuit. The contract is worth up to £4.5 million.

Commenting, David Williams, Avanti Chief Executive, said:

“This contract brings an important new revenue stream to Avanti and our first major sale of our patented Business Internet Continuity product to a large and highly expert customer. With the increasing importance of cloud computing in the Enterprise market, simple, cost effective and scalable Business Continuity solutions will be in demand across the World. Avanti’s patented Business Internet Continuity product has potential application for almost every connected business in the World and takes satellite broadband beyond core rural and enterprise markets. With the global reach of Computerlinks working together with the coverage offered by the HYLAS fleet of three satellites, the possibilities are very exciting.”

For more on Avanti click here


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Vodafone retains BS25999 status ... and highlights the value

Business Continuity forum 

Vodafone UK has recently been undergoing a thorough audit by the BSI as part of the retention process for its BS25999 certification for Business Continuity Management. The successful outcome demonstrates the capability of the Vodafone approach and in achieving recertification demonstrates to customers the added resilience of the services provided by Vodafone.

 

This is a point not lost on Vodafone's management. In their press statement they make reference to the clear responsibility they have as a telecommunications company to other organisations and particularly their  BCM plans. Peter Kelly, Enterprise Director Vodafone UK says “We know that mobile communications are an essential service for all businesses – retaining BS 25999 certification demonstrates that we continue to deliver the most reliable and highest quality network for our customers, no matter what.”

COOP Systems and MIR3 Announce Strategic Reseller Relationship

 Business Continuity Forum

HERNDON, Va.- COOP Systems today announced a new reseller agreement with MIR3, Inc., the innovator of real-time universal notification and response technology for the enterprise, to integrate MIR3’s inEnterprise™ Intelligent Notification and Response platform into COOP Systems’ myCOOP Business Continuity system.

7/7 Phone network performance examined and explained

 

Following the explosions on the morning of 7th July hundreds of thousands of people used their mobile phones to contact their families and work colleagues. Mobile networks are designed to cope with significant peaks in volumes of calls, and a safety margin is also built in so that even major events do not overload the system. Call volumes on 7th July far exceeded normal levels, and the O2 network alone carried 67% more voice traffic in central London than normal, while text message volumes increased by 20% on the day across the whole country.

The O2 network was not damaged by the attacks and we took steps to manage the demand. The large number of calls did mean that there was network congestion in parts of London, but most customers were able to make calls after several attempts.

7/7 Phone network performance examined and explained

Waht happened with Mobile networks on 7th July

Background

 

Mobile  phones have been with us since the early 1980s and are now an essential part of everyday life. There are currently more than 60 million subscribers in the UK and in a recent survey, most people stated that they would sooner return home to collect their mobile phone than their wallet or purse. 

 

Following the explosions on the morning of 7th July, hundreds of thousands of people used their mobile phones to contact their families and work colleagues. Mobile networks are designed to cope with significant peaks in volumes of calls, and a safety margin is also built in so that even major events do not overload the system.

 

Call volumes on 7th July far exceeded normal levels, and the O2 network alone carried 67% more voice traffic in central London than normal, while text message volumes increased by 20% on the day across the whole country. The O2 network was not damaged by the attacks and we took steps to manage the demand. The large number of calls did mean that there was network congestion in parts of London, but most customers were able to make calls after several attempts. 

 

Actions taken

 

Let us consider the equivalent situation on a motorway. Normally the traffic flows freely, and vehicles are able to move at will. Occasionally however, an accident, a breakdown or bad weather cause the traffic to slow down and congestion inevitably follows.

 

Mostly this is short-lived and the situation recovers quickly, but sometimes the incident is more serious and the congestion lasts much longer. When this happens, the Police have a number of options open to them in order not only to reduce congestion at the point of the incident, but also to keep further traffic from entering the motorway and exacerbating the problem.

 

In much the same way, mobile network operators have a number of call traffic management options open to them. For example, we can make network changes in the immediate area of the incident which will normally remove localised congestion quite quickly, and we can restrict additional call traffic from entering the system which reduces the load on the network, especially the gateways between the fixed and mobile networks. 

 

These controls were used on the 7th July by all network operators, with the intention of preserving the integrity of the networks while still allowing as much traffic to flow as possible, but the situation was complicated by having four major incidents confined in a fairly small geographical area. This inevitably resulted in some customers experiencing the busy signal when attempting to make a call.

 

Those people who were unable to make voice calls turned to text messaging and again, inevitably, the text messaging systems became congested, delaying the time it took for a message to be delivered. 

 

Industry working together

 

Co-operation among the fixed and mobile networks is the key to an effective response to a major incident. The telecoms industry runs a tripartite forum consisting of fixed and mobile network operators, the industry regulator Ofcom and various areas of central government which comes together on a conference bridge on such occasions, with the objective of maintaining the integrity of the Critical National Infrastructure. This forum was convened several times during 7th July, and the spirit of co-operation which it encouraged ensured that all operators worked together to minimise the impact on emergency responders as well as the public at large. 

 

Emergency restrictions

 

Just before noon, the Police requested that O2 should apply a set of network access restrictions known as Access Overload Control or ACCOLC in a 1 kilometre area around Aldgate. This facility makes the network in the immediate area unavailable to the public at large, but permits a pre-agreed list of emergency responders to use the network in order to save lives and protect the infrastructure. The facility was removed later in the afternoon, but during that time, the O2 network would have been unavailable for all normal calls (with the exception of emergency calls to 112 and 999) within a kilometre or so of Aldgate station. 

 

Recommendations

 

Should events be repeated, there are a number of steps which individuals and businesses can take in order to improve the situation.  Encourage staff and individuals who might be in the affected area to call from their mobiles to a fixed line number rather than calling from fixed lines to mobiles   this is less onerous on the networks and relieves congestion.  Keep calls as short as possible: once you have established that an individual is safe, clear the call so that others can do the same.  Arrange a central 0800 number to which members of staff can call which will provide information regarding the incident and advice or instructions to staff. 

 

We would like to thank David Sutton, Network Continuity & Restoration Manager for O2 (UK) Limited for this piece. 

 

If you would like to know more about how your organisation can get involved and benefit from working with the Continuity Forum, please email us HERE! or call on + 44 (0) 208 993 1599.

 


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