Fusepoint launches disaster recovery and business continuity suite in Canada

A Canadian provider of managed services launched a full suite of disaster recovery and business continuity services for mid-market businesses and large enterprises across North America on Tuesday.

Until recently, Fusepoint Managed Services operated mainly as a provider of fully managed hosting and IT solutions.

With the purchase of an 85,000 sq.-ft facility in Toronto earlier this year- to serve as the company’s main data centre – coupled with an increased awareness of disaster recovery within the enterprise, the movement into disaster recovery and business continuity services was a natural extension for Fusepoint, said Stephen McWilliam, director of product development.

The suite being offered by Fusepoint is a type of a la carte package, designed so companies can select specific services they require, McWilliam said.

The services include: a 24-hour managed data centre; guaranteed technology replacement; business resumption services; mobile recovery services; and system restore services. These services can be activated within 12 to 48 hours, depending on the service selected by the customer, McWilliam said.

“Now that the Web is so important to how Canadian companies do business, if that site were to disappear for example, it not only means that people can’t get information about that company, but it means they can’t do business either,” he said. “It has a bad impact on the company, because if you’re not available to do business, then it’s not good news.”

A disaster can be anything from a component-level or system failure, to some catastrophe happening to a company’s Web site, causing operations to be shut down.

McWilliam said the recent scare of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) is a good example of a disaster, where some people literally couldn’t go to their facility to work. They either had to find an alternative site to work out of or they had to stay home and work remotely.

The other popular example is that of the World Trade Centre attacks in New York City on September 11.

Companies need to have a plan and employees need to know where to go if they can’t get to the office, he said. “Our motto is, if you fail to plan, plan to fail,” he added.

Repercussions of inadequate planning or lack of disaster recovery and business continuity is loss of business, McWilliam said.

“Restorative services are all about leveraging [Fusepoint’s] expertise to get you back in business faster than you would be able to do yourself,” he said.

Michael Smith, principal for Ernst & Young LLP in the security and technology solutions practice, said a recent survey conducted by his firm found that many Canadian businesses are concerned about business continuity in the event of a disaster, adding that many companies are not prepared for a disruption in operations.

“Fusepoint is offering an interesting spin on recovery services for organizations because the company can put together very efficiently and very precisely, centre-based recovery services along with mobile recovery services,” Smith said.

In the past, traditional options would include the use of hotsite, or centre-based, recovery. Companies would have off site storage locations to store back-ups and usually had their own computer centre in the event of a disaster. Back-ups would have to be loaded, operating systems restored and reactivation of a network could take days, he said.

The trouble is, in this day and age using the hotsite would take way too long for some organizations,” Smith said. “Now we see organizations actually parking a hot back-up computer in another site, that could be at the Fusepoint data centre.”

That old paradigm, McWilliam said, was one of a company doing it all by itself. “The new paradigm is one of selectively outsourcing some of these activities to folks who do it for a living.”

Other companies who offer disaster recovery include IBM Canada Ltd., SunGard Data Systems Inc. and Agility Recovery Solutions.

Fusepoint in on the Web at www.fusepoint.com.