The NEC is Europe’s busiest exhibition venue, according to figures from the European Major Exhibition Centres Association and home to many high-profile events such as the world famous Crufts Dog Show, the Horse of the Year Show, Grand Designs Live, Clotheshow Live and the BBC Good Food Show.
“We found ourselves in the same boat as many organisations do, having embraced the Business Continuity concept a few years ago, which resulted in a detailed Disaster Recovery Plan for our IT and Communications systems, it quickly got out of phase in our fast-paced environment. We needed help to work through what the current organisation’s needs, expectations and capabilities were in order to produce a “fit for purpose” plan and process that could truly stand the test of time and enable us to respond to business-agreed SLAs.” Mark Collins, IT Director, NEC Group Ltd
The Business Challenge
Meet the Project Objective whilst working within a strict budget and to a tight deadline. Quickly process the “desires” versus the actual needs of the business and identify the deliverable tactical capabilities of the current infrastructure distributed across 3 data centres, 5 venue locations and 12 Business Units. Produce clear and succinct analysis reports including any recommendations for change and maintain full resource measurability throughout the project.
Overall Project Objective
To analyse the feasibility of the existing IT Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP), documentation and processes with a view to producing an updated, streamlined DRP that is both “fit for purpose” by matching the agreed levels of response required by the business and efficiently sustainable over time.
Why the NEC chose Red Vista
“Red Vista quickly understood our needs and displayed tangible experience in working on this type of project. We held initial meetings to discuss our requirements which resulted in the receipt of a clearly defined proposal and statement of understanding. In layman’s terms, what we could expect to benefit from in return for our custom!” Mark Collins, IT Director, NEC Group Ltd
The Flexible Approach
Red Vista worked hand in hand with the NEC team throughout the entire project, using industry standard project management methodologies such as Prince II as a base for the groundwork and then adapting the relevant areas to suit the NEC’s working environment thus ensuring a match with the overall project objective at all times.
The project had 2 primary focus streams running in parallel; an operational-level functionality analysis for IT and Telephony systems with a strategic-level audit of all NEC Business Units for a detailed needs and dependencies study including a historical and current Business Impact Analysis.
“We chose one of the options offered by Red Vista of having a dedicated on-site resource presence for the duration of the project as we felt that this would give us the level of interaction and understanding needed. Obviously a great deal of trust was involved as the chosen Project Manager would be working at the heart of our business and therefore having access to details that our other suppliers would not normally receive.” Rob Palfreman, IT Systems Architect, NEC Group Ltd.
The personalised end to end project management solution from Red Vista delivered:
A gap analysis on the existing infrastructure with an agreed action plan for change where required
Recovery Point and Recovery Time Objectives (RPO/RTO) for identified key business systems
An agreed process for risk identification, probability and impact levels with associated DR classification and subsequent actions required
Proposed supplementary solutions to enhance the overall DR response utilising existing resources and new solutions where appropriate
A “fit for purpose” DR Plan (DRP) in alignment with NEC Group IT Strategies including the return to normal business operation following an incident
“We changed from working with a considerable sized DR manual with numerous associated work flows and processes to just 3 succinct, complimentary documents! All of which we can now use quickly and easily in the unlikely event that disaster strikes.”
Mark Collins, IT Director, NEC Group Ltd.
The “fit for purpose” DRP comprised of:
DR Plan: containing clearly defined roles and lines of communication, key responsibilities for each role and the chosen DR Models to deploy linked with the agreed RPO/RTOs.
DR Risk Matrix: An easy to navigate database listing identified Risks with its correlating Probability, Business Impact Level, agreed associated DR Level Classification and Action required.
RPO/RTO Matrix: A report showing current agreed levels of Recovery Point and Recovery Time Objectives for all major business systems
“A project that delivered all of its agreed requirements, on time and within budget; what more could an IT Director ask for?”
Mark Collins, IT Director, NEC Group Ltd
Case Study: DR1 02/2009