KingsBridge Blog

KingsBridge Welcomes Chuck Norris!

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For immediate release:

KingsBridge Disaster Recovery today announced they are welcoming Chuck Norris, 6-time World Professional Middleweight Karate Champion and movie star, to their executive team.

The surprise recruiting move shocked many in the Business Continuity industry, but anyone inside the company would tell you that Mr. Norris was the most logical person to add to the C-Level at KingsBridge.

Chris Whitten, Software Developer, explains it from a technical perspective: “Our Shield SaaS tool is one of the best out there. Between the security protocols we’ve put in place, and our own proprietary encrypted-at-rest database in the back end, Shield is more secure than the online banking portals people use every day. However- we did find, through a recent 3rd-party independent penetration test, that we were still quite vulnerable to a team of ninjas rappelling down from a helicopter. That’s where Chuck comes in.”

Mr. Norris was not hired just for what he brings to software development.  His skills will complement an already strong team of consultants in the Professional Services side.

Melanie “TexMex” McCormack, Senior BC/DR consultant, had this to say about adding Mr. Norris to the consulting side of KingsBridge: “We’re in our 32nd year of writing BC/DR plans for a huge range of organizations, and as a result we’re very good at what we do. But, even though our Skip Williams was named North American Business Continuity Consultant of the Year by the Business Continuity Institute last year, he still can’t be relied on to land a knock-out roundhouse kick on the jaw of an escaping drug-lord; he’s only 3 out of 5 in those situations. Chuck will give us the 100% take-down rate we’ve been looking for.

When asked for his thoughts on making the jump from show business to Business Continuity, Mr. Norris had this to say:

“Happy April Fool’s Day!”

You guys went WHERE?

What do KingsBridge and Pitbull have in common? We’re both WORLD-WIDE!

People are often surprised at the amount of ground we cover in a given year.  Back in November, Skip and Tamara were in San Francisco, Melanie was in Fort Worth, Texas, and Steve was in Kuujjuaq (for all intents & purposes- the North Pole, look it up!).  January saw Skip and Tam in Barbados, while Melanie was in London, Ontario, Canada.  This month, we’ll all be together at the DRJ SpringWorld show in Orlando to hear Skip speak at one of the Sunday afternoon sessions, but only after Skip and Tam get back from New York and Steve returns from… Kuujjuaq.

sled_Dogs

Sled Dogs in Kuujjuaq, Quebec

Looking ahead, we’ll have projects in Hong Kong and London England, and Steve will be going to…Kuujuaq for the 3rd phase of that project.  It’s going to be a busy year, with a lot of frequent flyer points stacking up!

Aside from the obvious perks of being able to see a lot of the world, all this travel means that we are continually adding to our experience and knowledge base, which results in even more value that we can bring to the table when we’re helping you develop your Disaster Recovery / Business Continuity (DR/BC) plan.  Steve likely didn’t spend a lot of time discussing the problem of how to keep the server room properly chilled, and likewise- Skip & Tam didn’t put a lot of focus on planning for a three-foot snowfall when working with our Biotech client in San Francisco.

Over the past 31 years, we’ve been just about everywhere and we’ve seen & heard just about everything.

(Sidebar:  In conversation with the CFO of a blazingly successful Ad Agency in California we asked about their insurance policies and if there were any challenges.  His response:  “Well, last year we sent a chicken into outer space, took a while to get insurance for that.” True story.)

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Alcatraz Island, as seen from the Swirl.net offices.

That wealth of experience means we come to the table with a lot of proven ideas & solutions, but we’re also there with open eyes & ears ready to learn what sets you apart from everyone else, it’s a two-way knowledge exchange that results in a better DR/BC plan for you.

So, whether you’re in the sun or the snow, we’d love to work with you and we likely have experience with the same challenges and opportunities you deal with on a daily basis.

Give us a call, we can’t wait to see your part of the world!  Oh- and if you’re from somewhere warm, Steve’s extension is 399, he’d LOVE to hear from you.

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…

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