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HP Business continuity and recovery for London agency.

Storage Expo : 02 October, 2007  (Application Story)
HP's disaster recovery service provides full recovery within 24 to 72 hours for London based agency.
Proximity London Limited, part of BBDO Worldwide and the Omnicom Group, is a leading integrated marketing communications agency that manages both domestic and global businesses as diverse as BBC licensing, Eurostar, Jim Beam whiskey, Volkswagen, Save the Children, Shell and From its eight-storey building in central London, Proximity provides clients with a full range of creative services including direct marketing, design, copywriting, digital marketing, promotions, and general planning and strategic marketing. Analysing customer behaviour plays an important role for several of these services.

"Mobile phone companies need to plan marketing communications activities that target customers before their 12-month contract periods expire," explains Richard Brumwell, Technology Services Group Director, Proximity London Limited. "By analysing several factors including their spending habits, we plan various activities with a view to preventing the customers'

Proximity differentiates itself with disaster recovery natural tendency to migrate to another provider. The data spawned by this work is critical, it's our lifeblood." Protecting this client-sensitive data and keeping the IT infrastructure up and running is vital. The risks go beyond lost revenue and productivity for Proximity— they can impact the revenues and productivity of their clients. For an agency that has spent years building a stellar reputation, the repercussions could be

About 70 people work in Proximity's data analytics department, farming enormous databases that generate and analyse data, to model and predict customer behaviour.

"We have a very broad spectrum of IT disciplines supporting the business and numerous applications running on our 300 plus PCs, laptops and Macs," explains Brumwell. "But of all the vital data generated by these applications, 80 per cent of the volume is held by systems in the data analytics department."

Keeping regular backup tapes offsite provides much of the data protection Proximity needs, however it was recently decided to analyse its entire IT infrastructure and supporting services recovery plan. If a disaster struck, there was no second site for staff to move to - and no way of maintaining business continuity.

"To many companies, disaster-recovery planning only became a serious business issue within the last ten years - the millennium bug probably started it. Today, many of our clients insist we have a plan in place. It has become a prerequisite to doing business - no plan equals no business. Sometimes they even specify a business-recovery period in our contract and audit us twice a year to ensure we're complying," adds Brumwell.

As this demand for a business-continuity plan grew, Proximity London decided to consult with three vendors - NDR, Sun Guard and HP - about ways to minimise the threats to its business.

After learning about Proximity's requirements and objectives, HP proposed a solution combining a number of services from its Business Continuity Services (BCS) portfolio. The proposed solution comprised HP Business Continuity Consulting to analyse, design, build and manage the project, and two offerings from HP Business Recovery Services (BRS). Firstly, the Business
Recovery Core Service provides a fully operational 'ship-to-site' IT infrastructure at a location of choice, where rapid access to servers and storage is assured.

The second service, Office Recovery Centre, allows staff to move in to a fully equipped temporary office at one of HP's fixed recovery centres in the UK.
"After we had looked at the various proposals, it wasn't a difficult decision," says Brumwell. "The HP solution was head-and-shoulders above the others. This credible, cost-effective solution was well thought out and their credentials were verified by an excellent selection of reference sites. HP's expertise shone through."

The contract provides 140 seats at either recovery centre, together with an appropriate number of PCs fora period of up to 13 weeks. A full telephone switch and communications capability is available together with networking connections. Meeting rooms, fax, copy and food services are included, as well as secretarial assistance and shipping/receiving services. An annual disaster rehearsal, backed by expert on-site technical assistance, is also part of the contract.
In the event of potential business disruption, Proximity simply notifies HP and the service swings into action with HP experts setting up suitable arrangements. If the agency decides to relocate all or part of its business, an appropriate number of its 'recovery team' - armed with any backup material - proceeds to the specified recovery centre ready to implement agreed procedures.

HP typically aims to recover IT-supported business services for data centres within 24 to 72 hours, which allows Proximity to demonstrate high resilience to its customers.

With both the HP Business Recovery Services and its own disaster-recovery plan in place, Proximity London can demonstrate high resilience to its customers and reassure them that essential business-critical data will be available.

For Proximity, the services and planning helps minimise the estimated revenue impact of £167,000 (Euros 244,000) per day, were the agency unable to recover quickly in the event of disaster. Now the agency knows that it can quickly deploy staff to a fully equipped recovery centre to maintain essential services and this contributes to the confidence and loyalty of customers, business
partners and investors.

"We now have peace of mind because if anything did threaten our business, we know that HP has put a quality solution in place. During our last rehearsal, some of our business processes had re-started within 12 hours and in 34 hours everything was running smoothly," concludes Brumwell.

Hewlett Packard is exhibiting at Storage Expo 2007 the UK's largest and most important event dedicated to data storage. Now in its 7th year, the show features a comprehensive FREE education programme and over 100 exhibitors at the National Hall, Olympia, London from 17 - 18 October 2007.
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