ICM today announces Shadow-Planner 4.2 which, for the first time, will allow an organisation’s Business Continuity coordinator to initiate real-time two-way communication directly with relevant staff via email, or SMS during an incident.
In addition, coordinators will now have access to the complete functionality of Shadow-Planner while on the move via the Blackberry PlayBook tablet, and can synchronise BC Plans and contact information directly onto their Blackberry Smartphone. These new innovations mean that coordinators are no longer tied to their desk and can immediately access critical information and pre-approved BC plans, wherever they are, saving precious time and minimising the impact of a crisis.
Ian Houghton, Head of Continuity Management for multinational insurance group RSA, said: “The new Shadow-Planner notification tool is powerful in its simplicity. Other messaging systems we’ve reviewed are far too complex. All you want is a simple communication process and ICM has been very careful to preserve this easy functionality. The real advantage is that the notification and communications modules are integrated, making crisis management much simpler and helping us to resolve incidents faster.
“We are also very excited about the Blackberry app for Shadow-Planner. People can’t carry paper-based crisis plans with them, but they always have their Blackberry. This means that the team can take action immediately and I will also be able to monitor local activity during a crisis in real-time as it automatically feeds back to our central dashboard,” concluded Houghton.
The new notification function allows a user with sufficient privilege to select precise groups or individuals with which to communicate particular information/action plans and to review their responses. This ensures that the right people receive appropriate messages and can respond quickly, reducing ‘communication overload’ experienced with other systems that blanket broadcast messages which are irrelevant to many staff. The Blackberry PlayBook connectivity means that end-users can also do more than view plans via the Shadow-Planner system as they now have remote access to the complete system functionality and no longer have to return to the office to action and manage crisis incidents. So efficient is the application that it works even over 3G mobile connections.
Shadow-Planner 4.2 also includes a raft of other new functionality, such as the ability to apply different recovery polices depending on the individual system or business process that fails; a ‘my favourites’ function that gives users single-click access to commonly used items; and a number of new and improved reports that deliver real insight, especially into Business Impact Analysis data.
Mike Osborne, Managing Director, Availability Solutions & Development at ICM, said: “Shadow-Planner 4.2 is now the first Business Continuity planning tool that allows seamless access and action from multiple channels, be that Web, tablet or smartphone, with or without online data access.
“As the impact of a crisis is reduced the quicker it is resolved, Shadow-Planner 4.2’s new capability will make a significant difference to the effectiveness of business continuity plans and response. This new mobile capability, coupled with the notification module, means that plans can be invoked faster and communicated more effectively to ensure that the right people and resources are in place faster to tackle a crisis,” concluded Osborne.
Note to editors
ICM will be officially launching and demonstrating Shadow-Planner 4.2 on Stand 10 at the BCM World Conference, Olympia, 9-10 November, 2011
The Shadow-Planner software has already been widely deployed in all sizes of business, ranging from SMEs to large multinational organisations. Launched originally in 2002, it was the first web-based business continuity planning application, enabling many organisations to move from a manual to an automated Business Continuity planning solution. Its hierarchical structure simplifies Business Continuity planning by enabling input at departmental level, making it easier to involve staff with limited prior BC experience to develop and maintain a comprehensive business continuity plan.
About ICM www.ICM.co.uk
ICM is the only UK IT infrastructure and business continuity services provider to offer a complete range of on-premise, off-premise and cloud-based solutions to the mid market. Its many accreditations include Microsoft Gold Partner, Citrix Gold Partner, HP Gold Preferred Partner, NetApp Platinum Partner, as well as VMware Premier Services & Solutions Partner.
ICM has more than 30 years’ experience working alongside private and public sector organisations, including Costain, Eddie Stobart, Phones4U, Swinton Insurance, Thomas Cook and Welcome Break, as well as building societies, universities, local government and healthcare organisations.
ICM was formed through the merger of Servo and ICM Business Continuity Services and is part of the Phoenix IT Group plc (quoted on the London Stock Exchange). ICM employs 700 people in 23 locations, including 18 business continuity centres and 13 datacentres throughout the UK, and has an annual turnover of £153.7million.
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