KingsBridge Blog

App-y 4th of July!

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You’ve been asking for it, now you’ve got it! KingsBridge Shield is available (for free!) for Android devices in the Google Play store.

While you’ve always been able to (and still can) log-in to your Shield account from a mobile device, the app now allows you to have a locally stored copy of your plan. So, even if you don’t have connectivity, you still have the most recently synced version of your plan in hand.

Download it, give it try, and let us know what you think. As with the full version of Shield, your suggestions will make future versions that much better.

(Be patient fellow Apple users, the iOS version is next!)

With Shield on your device, you can throw it in your pocket or backpack and get back to the more important things in life, like enjoying the 4th of July holiday!

Our own Skip Williams is enjoying the 4th in fine form mountain bike racing all this week in the BC Bike Race! You can catch a quick glimpse of him at the 1:30 mark in this video, and you’ll recognize The Director of Good Times, Brett Tippie running the interviews.

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Whether you’re racing through the trees like Skip, or just relaxing around a grill with family & friends, here’s wishing you a safe happy holiday with Shield in your pocket!

Wear a helmet!

Brett's new helmet

Why in the world is KingsBridge so excited about Brett Tippie’s new helmet?

Because his shiny new brain-bucket is a lot like our flagship software tool, KingsBridge Shield.

That helmet protects Brett in the event of a gravity-related disaster. Inside it is every piece of information that he needs to continue running the machine that is Brett… contact info for the critical “personnel” in his life, it houses the “computer” that keeps his lungs breathing & his heart pumping, and it contains the knowledge of how to keep the bike on track even when there’s an unexpected interruption on the trail.

Photo ~ Scott Markewitz

Brett Tippie going huge!  (Photo ~ Scott Markewitz)

Shield does the same thing for your organization. It contains and protects databases of all the people, systems, and information critical to continuing on in the face of anything from the minor annoyance of a brief power-outage to a crippling event like a hurricane. Shield is the interface between all those people, systems, and information. On their own, they are not enough to see you through an incident. The key is to have all that content organized and connected in the form of a well-written plan so you don’t have to lose precious time wondering what to do next, you just follow the steps you thought through and tested well before they were needed.

shield

See that red and yellow shield on the side of the helmet?  That’s our “KDRLife” tag.  KDR stands for KingsBridge Disaster Recovery.  The “Life” part means that we want you to get out there and live your life, not worrying about the “what if’s” that might interrupt it.  The helmet lets Brett ride without worrying, our Shield software lets you ride, or do whatever it is that you have passion for, without worrying.

KShield

We hope our Director of Good Times never finds out how well that helmet works, and likewise – we hope you never find out how well Shield will help you through a business interruption. Just the same, we do hope Brett wears that helmet, and we hope you’ll continue using Shield.

See you on the trails!

D’oh!… Business Continuity Lessons from The Simpsons

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You’re expecting to read about what a loveable “disaster” Homer Simpson can be, but that’s not what this is about.

Every organization should know where its weak spots are, those single points of failure that can be the source of devastating impact when things go wrong.

We all have those weak spots. Whether it’s a bank, a manufacturing facility, a software company or­— a long-running cartoon series, they’re in there somewhere and you need to:

  • 1) find them
  • 2) deal with them.

Number 1 above is usually pretty simple. Whether you do it yourself or bring in a company like KingsBridge, it’s just a matter of mapping out how the various parts of the machine you’re a part of connect to each other.

Number 2 is the challenge. And that’s why even a bazillion-dollar franchise like “The Simpsons”, with all it’s resources, was the victim of an obvious, long-known single point of failure.

Harry Shearer, a voice actor on the show from the very first episode in 1989, walked away after a contract dispute, taking a multitude of key characters with him.

Will The Simpsons survive? Time will tell. But how much time? What’s the MTO (Maximum Tolerable Outage) on Ned Flanders, or Mr. Burns? How much downtime will we, their “clients” allow them before we take our business to another show?

If the producers of The Simpsons are as smart as they are funny, they will long ago have seen this possibility and been planning for it. Maybe they’ve got redundant back-up voices for every character, maybe they’ve been rehearsing (i.e. exercising the response) in a private studio, ready to jump into action when someone like Harry left.

It will be interesting to see how things play out. You and I are the “clients”, but the real test will come from the “auditors”, and by that I mean the TV ratings.

Take an hour this week to review your own plan. Do you have any “Harry’s”? Now’s the time to make sure you’re ready to deal with their loss, not when the power’s out and you have no internet connectivity.

Don’t have time to give your plan the thorough examination it needs? We do. Give us a call and we’ll be glad to keep your own long-running “show” high in the ratings.

We’ll bring donuts, too.

Win, place, or show?

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Business Continuity Planning is a lot like betting on the ponies. No- really, it is.

One of KingsBridge’s finest, Steve “Captain America” Rogers, celebrated his birthday recently.   As is the KingsBridge way, this called for a night out!

Chance would have it that there’s a Harness Racing spot about 20 minutes away from head office, but almost none of us had ever been. So- that was the plan, a night at the races!

A very fun time was had by all. And- looking around the track, I noticed something very familiar; there were three distinct groups of people watching the races: The people who had read the details on the horses, checked the math on the odds, and played it smart. Clearly, the most prepared and boring people in the building- winning small amounts, consistently. They were also the most content.

Then- there was one big winner, she was happier than everyone else in the place. She bet LARGE on a long-shot, and won. But there was also one of the saddest sights I’ve ever seen: a man well into his years who clearly lost a lot more than he could afford to lose, and it showed on his face.

All three of them reminded me of the most common three situations we see in BC/DR planning:

The Lucky Ones: They don’t put any effort or thought into their planning, but nothing’s gone wrong (yet), so they come out smiling. We never hear from them.

The Sad Ones: They bet on the long-shot: “Nothing will ever happen”, and they lost. They are on the other end of the phone calls we get the day after “it” happened. The horses are gone and they’re still trying to close the barn door.   Not necessarily the 100-year storm, or the meteor hitting the datacenter, but the non-headline events that happen every day: the sink in the bathroom above the server room backed-up… the company downstairs is on strike so no one could get into the building… someone set the cafeteria microwave for 40 minutes instead of four, and now the building’s full of smoke… (all of those are actual events experienced by our clients.)

The Boring Ones: These are the people we try to create- Taking the “Lucky” and “Sad” out of the equation and welcoming consistently content, safe, prepared people into the fold. They don’t have the most exciting stories when we work with them year after year to maintain and exercise their plans, but- they’re THERE year after year because they’re doing the right thing. The “Lucky” ones quickly become “Sad”, and neither of them are around for very long.

So, when Post-Time (“It”, the Event) comes, and it will… are you going to be Lucky, Sad, or Boringly Content? If you’re not sure, call KingsBridge today, while the barn door is still closed.

Or, if you just need a really happy guy to ride a plastic horse on his birthday- Call Steve!

Happy Birthday, Steve!

Happy Birthday, Steve!

An angel, an adventurer, and a brewer.

No, they are not all the same person. Easy to find people who can check-off any two of those, but I don’t think the hat-trick has been done yet.

Today’s a pretty ordinary day (this year), but it marked a number of impressive events in years gone by.

An angel

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We’re lucky to live in a time when the Red Cross is there, usually before anyone else, to help out in times of disaster- most recently, the tragic twin Nepal earthquakes come to mind. But, there was a time when the organization didn’t exist. People were left to their own devices and the help & charity of more grass-roots rescue efforts. Many times, that was enough. Too many times- it wasn’t.

So, when you look at the calendar and see “May 21”, take a minute to think back to 1881 when Clara Barton founded the American Red Cross. Born on Christmas Day, 1821, she was a nurse in the Civil War, a teacher and devoted much of her life to The Office of Missing Soldiers– an organization dedicated to finding or identifying MIA soldiers from the Civil War. (An interesting coincidence that this date falls just days before Memorial Day Weekend in the USA). After travelling to Geneva and seeing the work of the Red Cross in Europe, she came home to the United States and brought the heroic work of the Red Cross home with her.

An adventurer

PICTURE SHOWS : CHARLES LINDBERGH PICTURED AT LONG ISLAND NEW YORK

PICTURE SHOWS : CHARLES LINDBERGH PICTURED AT LONG ISLAND NEW YORK

Are you by chance reading this in an airport after a long, exhausting day of travel? Don’t complain too loudly. On May 21, 1927, Charles Lindbergh landed in Paris after a 33-and-a-half hour flight from New York. Oh- and he was flying solo. Without radar. Lindbergh was the first, but René Fonck attempted the flight a year earlier. Sadly his plane crashed on take-off because it was overloaded with a sofa and a refrigerator. (No, seriously- he tried to fly a fridge across the Atlantic in 1927.)

A brewer

beer overflow

beer overflow

Ok, this isn’t about one single brewer, it’s about every brewer in Canada in 1925. Prohibition ended on May 21 of that year, so we Canadians could finally have a cold-one on the May long weekend without fear of imprisonment! I know, this is a much less serious topic than the paragraphs above, but come on- the summer is upon us, we have to mention beer!

So with the weekend approaching you have a chance to be an Angel like Clara- maybe donate to the Red Cross efforts in Nepal, or be an Adventurer like our own Brett Tippie, Director of Good Times (Ok, Don’t do ANYTHING Brett does, he’s crazy. Seriously.), or just have a cold beer.

Let us know if you do all three, you’ll claim the first hat-trick!

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