April 2011
In this issue
Business Interruption Planning
Unsung Heroes
Assessing Legal Threats
Hidden IT Costs
Business Continuity Tip
Is Your Company Paying Hidden IT Costs?
By Chris Brown, Vice President,
NRG Technology Services
Everyone hates hidden costs. From the fine print on your cable bill to the surcharges that they stack on top of a resort hotel fee, just about anyone you ask has had the experience of seeing one price and paying another . . . and we never feel good about it.

So why are so many businesses paying hidden fees for technical support?

The short answer is that they don’t ever see them.

Read More


Business Continuity Tip

Prepare for the first 72 Hours

The crisis in Japan is heart wrenching and hard to fathom. It's been said that this will be one of the most closely examined disasters in history. The lessons learned will help generations for years to come. But what can you do today to prepare your business and family for a large scale event? Simply put, prepare to go it alone for the first 72 hours.

FEMA recommends to be prepared with adequate supplies for the critical first 72 hours after a disaster. This includes operating under the assumption that utilities (phone, electricity, gas) as well as public safety (police and fire departments) may be unavailable. The following items should be included in a 72 hour "go bag" or kit:

Clothing: Each person should have two sets of clothes.
First Aid: You should have a fully stocked First Aid Kit and include any over the counter medications.
Water: Water is critical. Each person should have a minimum of one gallon per day.
Food: Pack high energy food bars and other non-perishable high energy snacks. This will help both the physical and mental aspects of a disaster.
Medication: You should have a three, or preferably 10 day supply of any prescription medications.
Important Documents: Insurance policies, contracts, wills, deeds, titles, and medical prescriptions in a waterproof pouch.
Money: You should have at least $250.00 in cash. Power failures will disable ATM's and most credit card machines.
Misc: Extra blankets, hygiene products, N95 respirator masks, misc tools, flashlight, extra batteries and radio are all great things to have.

Just for Laughs


Quote of the Month

All things being equal, people will do business with, and refer business to, those people they know, like and trust.

Bob Burg


1661 Capitol Way, Suite 102
Bismarck, ND 58501
Phone: 701-250-9400



It looks like spring is finally here. What a long winter we have experienced in North Dakota. I, for one, am really looking forward to a fresh new season!

I invite you to check out the article on the left that talks about the “hidden” costs of Information Technology. Too often we only look at what we write a check to a service provider (like NRG) for and not the costs that are “lost” or incurred.

If you ever want to check out back issues of our newsletter, you can visit http://www.nrgtechservices.com/?id=52 to open and review previous editions.

Enjoy your spring and take care until next time!

Chris Brown, Vice President, NRG Technology Services

Business Interruption Planning Not Just for
Big Business: 10 Misconceptions About
Disaster Recovery


Paul Sullivan has seen it all. A 25-year veteran of disaster recovery and business continuity management, Sullivan witnessed the growth of continuity planning among the Fortune 1000 in the 1980s. He watched, first hand, the successes and failures of business continuity plans following the events of September 11, 2001 and in 2005 throughout the most active hurricane season in recorded history. Today, Sullivan is helping small and medium-sized companies plan for and recover after significant business interruptions.

"Continuity planning has always been associated with big business," said Sullivan, Vice President and General Manager, Agility Recovery Solutions. "We're using the same knowledge, strategies and tactics we developed with the Fortune 1000 and implementing them among small and medium-sized businesses across North America."

Agility Recovery Solutions, a former division of General Electric, focuses planning and recovery efforts on small and medium-sized businesses, though the company continues to do work with giants such as IBM and HP.

Why Business Continuity? Why now?
According to Sullivan, business of all sizes and industries need to think about continuity planning. Beyond the business as a whole, owners and managers should take into account the future of their employees, clients or customers, stakeholders and beyond.

But, the majority of small business owners have numerous responsibilities and continuity planning usually falls off the radar, according to Sullivan.

Read More

Unsung Heroes -
How Routing & Switching Keep the Business Going

used with permission from the Cisco Website

Routers and switches are the building blocks for all business communications from data to voice and video to wireless access. They can improve a company’s bottom line by enabling your company to increase productivity, cut business costs, and improve security and customer service.

Specifically, routers and switches support:

Sharing applications
•Provide staff access to business applications
•Improve employee productivity

Using routing and switching technologies allows your staff, even those located in different locations, to have equal access to all your business applications, information and tools. Keeping everyone connected to the same tools can increase employee productivity. Routing and switching also can provide access to advanced applications and enable services, such as IP voice, videoconferencing and wireless networks.

Speeding access to information
•Manage information efficiently
•Review what is happening across your business

Accurate, timely information is essential for making prudent business decisions. Routing and switching provides access to allow great visibility into real-time business information and provides a sound basis for effective decision-making.

Read More

Assessing Legal Threats
reprinted with permission from HP

If you’re like most companies, as much as 90 percent of your corporate communications and business activities take place electronically. And, like most companies, you must live with the threat of legal actions that could trigger sweeping requests for this kind of information.

Your current records retention programs may not adequately address the creation, management and disposition of all your electronic records. To be prepared for potential litigation and e-discovery requests, your executives must be able to deliver accurate records at any time. This requires an e-discovery program that includes tight records management policies, clearly defined processes that are known throughout your organization, and solutions that enable you to manage your company records throughout their lifecycle.

Building a Comprehensive Program
To create a cross-enterprise program for litigation preparedness, you must bring together the right people, processes and technology that allow your company to manage risks. From a people and process perspective, there are five key steps that should be followed:

  • Create an e-discovery team – Establish a team of legal, records management, IT and business unit personnel from across your company. These people must understand the business context of your company data, as well as how and when they use it. This team will define your information management policies and processes and identify the right technologies and solutions for your business. It should be led by a senior executive who serves as chief liaison to top management and your legal team.

  • Develop well-defined records retention policies – Create rules that provide clear guidance on document lifecycle policies by document type and the business context of the documents. These policies should focus on data retention and destruction, clearly outlining what records should be preserved, how long they should be preserved, and when and how information should be purged from your systems.

Read More