SEPTEMBER 2013

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Don't Let a Disaster Spell One for Your Business
Scott Bidwell, President/COO

This month is National Preparedness Month. I don't know about you, but it seems to me that natural disasters are more numerous and more destructive than ever. Severe storms in Mexico…the devastation following Pakistan’s recent earthquake…floods in Colorado… The impact of these disasters cannot be underestimated. The loss of lives is, without a doubt, the most devastating. Other stats fill in the picture of the various ways Mother Nature’s wrath is felt. In Colorado’s recent floods for example, they estimate that 1,900 homes have been destroyed and another 16,000 are damaged, with 50 bridges and 200 miles of road being affected as well.

The focus of these stories initially targets the threat these disasters pose to human life – as they should. Subsequently, we hear about the residual impact to homes and businesses -- and we all know that floods and fires show no discrimination.

Would you like ASI to provide a managed backup service for your software applications?

Email Scott directly with your thoughts.

Responses are confidential.

It’s these kinds of incidents that cause business owners and managers to discuss their own DR and backup plans. They ask “How can we protect our business in the face of a natural disaster?” It’s a valid and important question; however, it’s the wrong question. Take out the word “natural” and it’s the right question.

What I mean to say is that businesses are affected most often, not by natural disasters, but by those that are man-made.  And the disaster isn't often one of great magnitude, yet immediate and business-critial action needs to be taken to restore data and/or systems. The important thing is to be prepared for any sort of business interruption -- large, small or otherwise.

I won’t address the larger DR plan. There are many others who are able to provide detailed assistance in this arena. For the purpose of this discussion, I'll focus is on the data backup plan.

The options available to companies to protect their IT assets are numerous, with many companies relying on tape or CD backups. The most significant shortcoming of these solutions is human error of course. Online data backup addresses this concern quite handily by automating backups and managed data backup is one that is gaining traction as well.

What’s the difference between managed backup
and online backup?

Mainly, it’s in service and support.  A company that invests in an online backup service (especially a cheaper one) will find that they have to manage the backup. A managed backup service implements and sets up your company’s online backup. IT experts provide systems monitoring your systems to make sure that your data is protected at all times. In the event of a disaster, using other options, you’d have to restore all that data by yourself if you’ve been using a basic service. It could take days (in some cases weeks or months) for you to get all your data back. With a managed backup service provider, they handle the restoration and are usually able to do so within a few hours.

Don’t wait for disaster to dictate the success or failure of your business. Take the time to review your data backup plan and research your options to protect your company’s future.

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DR Articles Worth Reading

The info available online to help with your business continuity and disaster recovery planning is plentiful. Here are a few we feel are especially helpful:

Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Planning Definition and Solutions

National Preparedness Month: 3 Ways Small Businesses Can Be Prepared

The Disaster Recovery Planning Process:Part 1 of 3

The Disaster Recovery Planning Process: Part 2 of 3

The Disaster Recovery Planning Process: Part 3 of 3

DR Journal Sample Plans


Tana's Tech Tip: The Custom Benefits Offered by VCKweb.NET
Tana McAtee, QA Manager

VCKweb.NET takes into account that every company has its own preferences. What works for one isn’t always what works for the next. Here are some ways you can make VCKweb.NET your own:

Unexpected Flexibility

The flexibility of screen layout in VCKweb.NET is amazing, to say the least! It’s more than just putting the fields for data entry or the search/query screen in an order that you like. You can position them on the screen anywhere you like. The labels for the fields have their own controls, so they may be placed to the left of the field or even above the field. This is controlled by setting the pixels from the top and pixels from the left to find your desired location for the label and/or field.

A Custom Fit

Screen layouts can also be customized PER DEPARTMENT in VCKweb.NET. This means that when entering box data, once the department is chosen, the screen layout and available fields will be specific to that department. This is also true when performing a search/query for a single department.

For example, If tabbing through the fields from the top of the screen to the bottom of the screen doesn’t suit you, you can change the tab order so that you are tabbing through the fields from the left side of the screen to the right side of the screen.

Fields can be marked as ‘Required’ for data entry or renamed to a label that is more familiar to the end user. Unused fields can also be hidden.

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