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ContinuitySA celebrates 21 years of innovation

ContinuitySA has another good reason to celebrate in 2010; it is the company's 21st year in business. From a small IT disaster recovery consultancy to the largest and most successful business continuity service provider on the African continent, ContinuitySA has surpassed all expectations and has been a driver for the adoption of the business continuity management discipline in South and southern Africa.

"More than simply assisting in establishing business continuity awareness, ContinuitySA has initiated many firsts in the industry," says Allen Smith FBCI, CEO of ContinuitySA.

ContinuitySA, when it was formed in 1989, was the second company offering disaster recovery services in SA, with the first competitor being Safcover, later to be acquired by IBM and now the second largest operator in SA. ContinuitySA was, however, the first company to expand beyond proprietary IT disaster recovery and offer multi vendor solutions when it partnered with Digital to offer disaster recovery on DEC equipment. In 1998, the company also started offering work area recovery (WAR) office services.

ContinuitySA was the first to establish a company dedicated to world-class BCM consultancy service following the BCI's principles. The company has supported the principles of the British Business Continuity Institute (BCI), the world leader in business continuity standards, and has encouraged its employees to become BCI certified. It currently employs more BCI members and fellows than any other company in Africa. Moreover, one of its employees, Louise Theunissen has been elected to the board of the BCI.

One of the latest innovations to come out of ContinuitySA is the CM2, continuity maturity model. CM2 is a business continuity management capability and maturity assessment service, designed and offered by ContinuitySA. The assessment measures an organisation's business continuity capability and maturity in numerous areas and charts the path it can follow to improve business resilience against operational disruptions. Senior executives of large organisations can now measure each division or subsidiary's true BCM capability against an international standard as opposed to relying on different and confusing views of what constitutes an effective BCM program.

"The company was also the only business offering continuity advice and services to organisations during the World Cup," adds Smith. "We created the BCM Forum in which large corporates got together to assess the potential risks caused to business by the Soccer World Cup. Fifa and government were particularly supportive of this initiative and the forum proved to be of great value. We hope to keep it going to provide a venue for corporates and indeed government to interact on BCM and other risk management issues.

"The disaster recovery or IT Continuity side of BCM has also not been forgotten. As organisations have become more and more dependent on IT and the recovery window has shortened have so the need to offer mirrored solutions to clients became necessary. ContinuitySA was the first to offer dedicated secure cages to clients wanting dedicated equipments provided by ContinuitySA or themselves in order that recovery could be within a few hours, not days. ContinuitySA now has upwards of 50 such cages dedicated to individual clients."

ContinuitySA now has 34 000 sq meters of space for its clients in SA alone, with further sites in Botswana, Mozambique, Mauritius and shortly Namibia and Kenya. Johannesburg has four sites and Cape Town two.

"The reason for our success and our innovative flair, particularly in an environment which some incorrectly look upon as somewhat staid, and the greatest strength ContinuitySA possesses is our staff," explains Smith. "Our staff are all highly trained and motivated, many have been with us for years and we therefore have decades of collective experience in business continuity management. Our future lies in the provision of the next generation of bandwidth based continuity and hosting services and expansion into other countries, notably Africa and the Middle East."

ContinuitySA

ContinuitySA

ContinuitySA is Africa's leading provider of business continuity management and related services. The company boasts some of the continent's most highly skilled and qualified business continuity and disaster management experts who help companies, organisations and government departments of all sizes prepare for and deal with all eventualities. These include potential threats, events, incidences and unforeseen or sudden disruptions due to human error or natural events.

ContinuitySA also provides a variety of hosting solutions, ranging from co-located to fully managed virtualised environments, with their primary focus being to ensure its clients are able to address the resilience and recoverability of their IT services. These hosting services are complemented by managed backup and recovery services, virtual server replication and high availability solutions to satisfy any level of continuity requirement.

ContinuitySA operates the largest recovery facilities in southern Africa. It has a number of recovery centres in southern Africa with over 20 000 square metres of recovery facilities in Midrand, Gauteng. Smaller sites have been located in Cape Town, Gaborone, Botswana and Mozambique, and a joint venture has been established in Mauritius.

ContinuitySA. Our business is keeping you in business. Additional information about ContinuitySA can be found at www.continuitysa.com.