Quick Value Services

All of our engagements are customized to meet your specific needs. Listed below are a few of our "Quick Value" engagements - typically four to six weeks in duration, that provide you immediate benefit:

BCP Independent Assessment

In any enterprise-wide initiative, one of the keys to success is consistent support by the board and senior management. In order to support and emphasize the importance of BCP testing within financial institutions, new FFIEC guidance (March 2008) recommends that the board of directors and senior management establish a testing policy that includes evaluation by a qualified independent party.

By observing, analyzing and reporting on your BCP exercise, our technical experts provide an impartial assessment of the testing scope and objectives, written test plans, testing methods and schedules. These results are then evaluated along with any underlying assumptions of the BCP exercise. Finally a written report is generated describing the effectiveness of the organizations Business Continuity Plan and testing methodology.

This assessment can be accomplished independently or in association with the client organizations Internal Audit staff.

What you can expect...

The results from the Independent BCP Assessment will provide:

z/Series Data Backup Strategy Assessment

A Recovery Specialties Backup Assessment documents a customer's backup and recovery implementation and identifies any gaps between the current implementation and the implementation necessary to meet your Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and business continuity requirements.

Our Backup Assessment starts with an inventory of key data and the underlying infrastructure that requires backup, the backup hardware and methodology.

Using a combination of on-site interviews, data collection, and review of available documentation we will perform a rapid checkpoint of your current backup strategy, processes and controls.

What you can expect...

The results from the Backup Assessment will:

When we're done, you'll have an accurate picture of the viability of your data backups today and where there are opportunities for improvement. Even if everything is running smoothly today, this process will provide numerous insights, quantify where your backup environment is today, and provide the first step in building a road map for future improvements.

IT-Backup Strategy Development

Should you desire, we can build on the results from the backup assessment and design a high level backup architecture that corrects any deficiencies identified in the Backup Assessment, meets your backup and recovery time frames and identifies the costs associated with the design, and tradeoffs between costs and desired Service Level Objectives (SLOs).

What you can expect...

Based upon the requirements defined in the Backup Assessment along with additional direction from the IT Management team, the IT Backup Strategy will:

We evaluate and document your current backup environment and processes, then contrast those findings against new technologies and methodologies to provide a foundation for effective planning and budgeting.

A suitable backup strategy which takes people, process and technology into consideration will be developed to meet the specific needs of your enterprise.

Recovery Capability Assessment

We can evaluate your Business Continuity program to assess the structure and content of the existing capability as well as the coverage it provides. Industry standard methodology and best practices are utilized as a baseline.

We identify system exposure points, gaps and business impact risk, as well as review recovery processes and methodologies, measuring them against industry best practices and your own expectations. As part of this engagement, we would like to observe one of your recovery validation exercises in order to provide an unemotional, honest and independent evaluation of how the process is functioning today.

The Recovery Capability Assessment is not intended to develop a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) but provides; the foundations and initial guidelines for the preparation of a BCP, as appropriate to critical service requirements; or an independent end-to-end review of any existing BCP.

The Capability Assessment pairs an experienced consultant with relevant personnel from both business and IT services (as agreed beforehand) and is aimed at providing a clear indication of the requirements and feasible solutions. Indicative cost-benefit analysis provides tangible evaluation criteria for establishing or evolving a BCP. The development of an appropriate BCP can then be pursued as best fits your specific requirements.

What you can expect...

The exercise itself will deliver a report which will cover the key areas relevant to Business Recovery for the client. These include:

Component Failure Impact Analysis and Configuration Review

The CFIA process was originally described by IBM in the 1980s as a means of validating "best practices" and improving the availability of mainframe applications. The CFIA process continues today and has been adopted as one of the ITIL "best practices".

The Recovery Specialties consultant will take a fresh look at your z/Series environment. Starting at the mainframe, we will investigate and document all physical and logical connections to your other devices. By performing this service, we can identify any single points of failure (SPOF) as well as other challenges to availability and operational resilience.

What you can expect ...

The results from this analysis will provide detailed information about:

Pre-Implementation Readiness Review

This Service is particularly suitable for large mainframe and data center storage environments where critical infrastructure is being updated in a short time frame.

Our technical experts will meet with your project and technical staffs and perform a rapid assessment of the production readiness of your major implementations.

What you can expect...

The approach to such assignments will vary depending upon the nature of the changes being introduced but a typical example would usually involve the following:

The primary output from the exercise is confirmation that the implementation can proceed as planned (without jeopardizing the business) or a suggestion of things to consider before the "go/No-go" decisions is made. In all implementations there will undoubtedly be some areas which have not been covered fully; the consultants will identify these and recommend a priority sequence for these to be addressed.

Request For Proposal (RFP) Decision Support

There are times when an organization does not require outside help to manage an RFP but could use additional help at specific points in the process. This is particularly true when an IT organization decides to move forward into an Advanced Recovery environment or are considering other major infrastructure changes. In situations such as this, it is sometimes difficult to clearly communicate requirements to the vendors and even more difficult to truly understand if the vendors response fully addresses your requirements.

Recovery Specialties can provide this type of short-term, targeted help for organizations planning for or in the midst of major RFP projects and decisions.

When decision-support help can be useful:

Knowledge Transfer

A priority of each and every engagement is the success of the client. In order to achieve success it is important that the client's IT staff understands and feels comfortable with the direction and implemented solutions. The Recovery Specialties staff works alongside the clientís IT staff during all phases of the engagement. The result is a level of knowledge transfer that is unattainable by simply reading manuals or attending classes. Through this mentoring approach, the client retains the knowledge of how people, process and technology solutions deployed apply to their unique environment.

Recovery Specialtiesí expertise combined with partnerships of software and hardware developers provides the assurance that your IT infrastructure is efficient, reliable, operating at optimal capacity, and recoverable.

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