KingsBridge Blog

What a DISASTER!

You’re probably reading this because you follow websites and social media around Disaster Recovery.  So, you’re expecting a write-up about best practices and advice on how to plan for the inevitable business interruption, right?

Well, KingsBridge has decided that this year we’re going to remind anyone who will listen that even though we’re in the business of planning for the worst- we should all still live for the best!

Monday to Friday, 9 to 5, we hope you’re keeping your DR/BC plan up to date with a software tool like our KingsBridge Shield.  The rest of the time- we hope you’re living it up and enjoying the world, knowing that your DR/BC plan is ready, but out of sight.

In the spirit of that, we’re promoting #KDRLife, celebrating everything you enjoy as a result of not worrying what the world is going to throw at you.  So, we want to congratulate you for getting out there and doing what you love.  More than that, we want to see & hear what you do in your free time.  Catch is, you have to tie-in Disaster Recovery when you tell us about it…

Love skiing or snowboarding?  Great!  Tweet us (@KingsBridgeDR) a pic of your best wipe-out with the hashtags #KDRLife and #WhatADisaster.  Once a week, for the duration of the contest, we’ll pull a name from whoever’s tweeted a “Disaster” that week and they’ll win a pair of Ryders Sunglasses.  At the end of the contest, when Spring starts to appear, we’ll draw one name for the grand prize of a Snowboard.  Doesn’t have to be a snowboarding wipe-out.  In fact, it doesn’t even have to be a winter wipeout- Surfing? Checking the mail?  Walking your dog?  Come on, there are all kinds of “wipe-outs”, and yours might be the winner even if it didn’t happen on a mountain.  You can’t win if you don’t tweet. So tweet!

What’s so special about the snowboard?  For starters, it’s a LibTech custom, with #KDRLife emblazoned on the base.  Oh, and there is the fact that it was surfed through EPIC snow in the Rockies by a guy named Brett Tippie.  Don’t know who he is?  Google him, but be ready to lose a few hours.

So, the PLAN is:

1) You relax because your DR/BC plan is in great shape, so you can do anything you want.

2) Do anything you want.

3) Take pics! (Ideally of ski/snowboard wipeouts, or surfing, skateboarding, mall escalators) anywhere you can crash during your “You” time.

4) Tweet it.  Send out a tweet mentioning @KingsBridgeDR and the hashtags #KDRLife & #WhatADisaster

No limit on the number of times you can enter, just keep the pics and smiles coming!

Follow @KingsBridgeDR on twitter to catch the announcement of the weekly and Grand Prize Winners, both of which could be YOU!

Then- go back to work Monday and make sure your DR/BC plan is in good shape so you can take another shot at winning #KDRLife!

IoT is great, but real people still make the difference.

The “Internet of Things (IoT)” fills the blogosphere these days with talk of how it’s going to improve all our lives, but today I was reminded twice of how the best customer service experiences in life always come back to individual people, not technology.

@SheratonHotels will be surprised to see me complimenting their customer service after the frustrating experience I had last night. In the end- their people made up for a website advertising error.

@AirCanada went the extra mile (when they didn’t even need to) for a @KingsBridgeDR colleague who was upgraded to a First Class Pod on an intercontinental flight as a, “Thank you” for spending so many hours in the air on Air Canada for business last year. What was already a once-in-a-lifetime trip for our Tamara Williams became that much better!

KingsBridge is a small company, and we want to stay that way. Seems we’ve hit the sweet-spot of generating enough repeat and new business to continue growing, but without becoming one of those behemoths that forget how they got there- by keeping customers happy. We answer the phone when it rings, we do our best to fix any mistakes we make (Hey- it happens!), and we still appreciate every single customer we have.

In the spirit of #KDRLife, I’m going to spend a wonderful vacation in the sun with my family next week.   Being a 4-hour drive from the airport, I wanted to book a hotel near the runway as opposed to getting up at 3am (with two teenagers) to make the drive. The Sheraton was the perfect choice, including a week of free parking while we’re away.

Turns out, the Sheraton’s parking lot is at full capacity. Hey- it happens, no problem. But- Sheraton’s website didn’t know that, nor did poor Kristen (hope I spelled your name right!) on the other end of the phone. She was genuinely sorry and trying to make things right. For reasons beyond her control, Sheraton was unable to provide the 8 days of parking promised on their website.

I tweeted my experience, and within minutes- @spgassist (Sheraton Hotel’s customer service team) reached out to try to fix things.

What started as a very frustrating experience was smoothed over by fast, polite, personal action, taking responsibility for a mistake and doing what they could to fix it.

So, by all means embrace new technologies as they surface, and take advantage of how they can help your own customer service offering, but don’t forget- when all is said and done, it’s people that are going to make the difference in your company’s reputation.

“I told you so.”

“I told you so.”

No one ever wants to hear those words, but I’ve heard it twice this week (and yes, it’s only Tuesday!) from prospective customers who know they need a software solution for their DR/BC planning, but they can’t get buy-in from the powers-that-be to spend money on something “that can just be stored on the shared drive”.

When I asked one of them what they were going to do if they were taken to task when there was an event that justified activating a plan they don’t have, he said: “I’ll tell them- ‘I told you so.’”

Not the best way to ensure a lengthy career, by any means. But- I understood his frustration.

Frustrated is the best way to describe someone in his (your?) position: “I know what needs to be done, I know how to do it, the tools are out there, but- I can’t get approval to spend money on it.”

All too often, that’s the situation DR/BC planners find themselves in. You are tasked with taking care of the annoyance of “planning for something that will never happen”, but given no support to do so. The irony being- you know it’s not an, “If it happens”, it’s actually a “When it happens.”   Still, getting higher-ups to understand and authorize the resources (staff and/or money) to do it can be near impossible.

So how do you fix the problem? How do you get “Upstairs” to understand the value of investing in DR/BC planning?

Want help getting the message “upstairs” successfully? Drop us a line. We’ve been doing this for over 30 years, so we have some good ideas.

We also have some good advice on snowboarding…

Don’t get it right, get it written.

That’s one of the best pieces of creative writing advice I’ve ever read. Too often, we don’t write “it” down because “it” is not perfect, yet.   When I first heard that line, it was in a screenwriting course I took in my spare time. (Back when I had spare time!) The message being that too many great stories never get told because the author doesn’t think “it” is good enough to share…”it” just needs a little more time.

I wonder how many Oscars were never awarded to screenwriters who were too shy to share their work.

I was reminded of, “Don’t get it right, get it written” on a call with a prospective customer today. Your Business Continuity / Disaster Recovery Plan (BC/DRP) is no different from a screenplay. Ok, ok, Bruce Willis is not going to rappel through your office window to save you when you activate your BC/DRP.   The point is that ANY plan is better than NO plan.

Do you have a reminder in Outlook to work on your BC/DRP? Have you been pushing it to tomorrow, or next week, every time it pops up in your calendar, for months? The bad news is that you really do have to start working on your plan. The good news is that you don’t have to make it “perfect” today. Just start on it, that’s all it takes to go from “No Plan” to “A better plan than 63% of the companies in my industry”.

“It” will be incomplete, and full of holes when you start, but even then- “It” will get you back up and running faster than your competitor, who likely doesn’t have a plan either.

From there, it’s easier. Do it in bite-size pieces, make improvements here and there, just keep plugging away at it a bit at a time, you’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish with just 20 minutes a week.

This blog post isn’t perfect, but I put “It” out there because it’s better than no post at all. Your BC/DRP is the same.

Plan for disasters, but don’t wait for them.

Let’s face it: We’re dealing with what can be, at the worst of times, a very stressful and even scary situation. If you’re declaring a disaster and activating your plan, you’re not having a good day. On the flip side, even at the best of times managing your Disaster Recovery / Business Continuity (DR/BC) plan is not the most exciting of tasks. So there it is; Worst Case: Scary. Best Case: boring.

So why are we all in this business? Because having a well-managed, tested, ready-to-go plan means that we can relax, keep our business running as usual, and more importantly- enjoy life!

Keep an eye on KingsBridge in 2015, because we’ve decided that as much as we want you to keep using our services and software, we also want you to keep focused on the fun part of your life.

We’re going to let you in on who we are when we’re not in the office, and we’d love to know who you are when you’re not in yours.

Fun Highlights from KingsBridge:

  • Our CEO was named Business Consultant of the Year by the BCI last year, but more importantly- he biked through France!
  • The sales guys got paintball guns a couple of weeks ago. “Conflict Resolution” now takes place in the forest behind our office. Call ahead if you’re walking by at lunchtime.
  • Our lead software developer almost lost his GPS-enabled quadcopter drone when his pet poodle tried to “retrieve” it from the air. (Yes, the GoPro camera captured the event, and yes, Toby the poodle is fine.)

Want to see some of those videos? Keep checking here, we’ll be posting those, along with some other fun ones very soon.

In the near future, you’re going to hear about a crazy little promotion we’re running to put the fun back in DR/BC planning. You’ll be especially excited about it if you’re a fan of winter and gravity. Google a guy named Brett Tippie, our Director of Good Times, then keep an eye on this space! And speaking of your eye-  how does a pair of free Ryders sunglasses sound…?

Keep your DR/BC plan in good shape so you’re ready for one of those bad days, but don’t sit around waiting for them- Go out and have some fun, and let us know about it!

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