Local Recovery Solution – Wales

Local Recovery Site in Wales and a Great Business Relationship help ADAM Continuity Stand out from the Rest…

 

At Wales and West Housing Association (WWHA) Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery are taken very seriously. With 9,000 properties to manage and 25,000 people to house it has to be.

 

WWHA was founded in 1965 and is one of the largest housing associations in Wales, providing housing to customers throughout the length and breadth of the country. With over 300 staff, WWHA are committed to providing quality services to their residents and other customers. As part of their commitment to providing a quality service, WWHA have always considered disaster recovery an integral element of their IT facilities.

 

When WWHA came to put their Information Services disaster recovery requirements out to tender in 2006, they were looking for the best supplier to fit their needs.

 

A Recovery Site in Wales

 

WWHA’s previous supplier had offered fixed site recovery in Bristol and Birmingham or in mobile offices in Wales. However, it did not prove practical for the organisation and its staff to recover to Bristol or Birmingham.

 

Recovery needed to be local and fast! If an actual disaster occurred, staff having to commute to Bristol from Cardiff would be a real strain on the business. WWHA were looking for a supplier who could offer them somewhere geographically close to carry out Disaster Recovery exercises.

 

Duffryn Site:

 

The Duffryn site is a live site and not just open for exercises, it is available to visit any time. As WWHA explained, other DR companies can offer local sites in Wales but they are not necessarily ready for use or specialised Disaster Recovery locations. The ADAM Continuity site at Duffryn can be expanded as and when required.

 

The site has a separate reception, this is important as people like to have somewhere to meet when they find themselves in a recovery situation. There is good road signage to the site, again useful in an emergency situation.

 

Over the course of the relationship, WWHA has worked with ADAM to improve the infrastructure of the site and this has opened up a lot more options in terms of how they recover. One of the considerations during the recent renewal of the contract was that the Duffryn site is a proven site, which is a big benefit to WWHA.

 

The Importance of Local Support:

 

WWHA comment that some other Disaster Recovery suppliers have gone from ‘dedicated account manager’ support to ‘phone contact manager’ support to ‘call centre only’ support. ADAM Continuity always provides clients with a dedicated account manager.

 

A Flexible Contract:

 

The WWHA contract is unique; as an organisation, they are aiming for unassisted recovery and ADAM Continuity are helping them achieve this goal. When the initial contract ended. WWHA reviewed the market and then re-contracted with ADAM for a further term.

 

They considered other companies during the review process but felt that whilst offering elements of Disaster Recovery they didn’t bring the whole solution together in the same way as ADAM Continuity. ADAM Continuity don’t expect WWHA’s IT plans for the next few years to be set in stone and are happy to be flexible with the contract terms to reflect this.

 

Rehearsal Support:

 

There is always a lot of support from ADAM Continuity for WWHA rehearsals. The account manager attends and WWHA comment that ADAM Continuity engineers are pro-active in suggesting new ways of doing things and letting them try different methods of recovery. Internal feedback from WWHA users is positive regarding both the premises and the equipment provided.

 

WWHA takes their Disaster Recovery rehearsals very seriously. They offer services to 25,000 people and they don’t want this high quality of service to be disrupted.

"The success of this relationship is the pragmatic relationship we have with our account managers and the technical support of the Recovery Specialists..."

Gareth Williams

– Head of Information Systems at WWHA sums up the strength of the relationship between the two organisations:

 

“I am looking forward to working with ADAM Continuity in the future. As we change our technologies and requirements, I am confident that ADAM will maintain their capability and, just as importantly, their motivation to support us”.

 

“A local site is a far more realistic proposition for both exercises and recoveries”.

 

“The recovery building looks, and is, secure, which is an important psychological factor in disaster recovery”.

 

“Just by standing still, and retaining a dedicated account manager, ADAM Continuity are a few notches above many other suppliers who only want to speak to you through their call centres”.

 

“We haven’t met anyone at ADAM we haven’t liked – everyone from Specialists to Directors has proved to be approachable, capable and professional”.

 

Nehad Ayoub

- Senior Information

Systems Officer at WWHA says:

 

“I was reluctant to move from our proven supplier, but ADAM Continuity’s Duffryn (Ystrad Mynach) site was a big positive benefit for us. Recovery for us has to be far enough away to be safe, but close enough to be practical. The Duffryn site satisfies both these requirements”.

 

“During the tender process, ADAM Continuity worked with us. Rather than just submitting a tender, they went the extra mile. I was proved wrong about my concerns. The success of this relationship is the pragmatic relationship we have with our account managers and the technical support of the Recovery Specialists. We have since changed account manager, but the high standards provided have remained consistent -allowing us to organise successful Disaster Recovery rehearsals”.

 

“ADAM Continuity engineers listen to us. The bottom line is that we choose how to recover but with support and useful suggestions from ADAM Continuity. The ADAM Continuity equipment is always a good specification (as good as or better than contracted configuration). The equipment and site are always in working order and clean… Our users notice things like this. Again, it raises everyone’s confidence”.

 

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