My Visibility Tool (MVT) was originally developed in 2008 in-house as a track and trace system for customers of Metro Shipping. However, its capabilities were significantly enhanced and extended in 2011 to become the market-leading, standalone product it is today, supporting global collaboration throughout the supply chain and full purchase order and SKU management.
MVT’s numerous customers transport goods worldwide by air, road and sea and span a wide range of industries including retail, automotive and petrochemical. This end-to-end supply chain management system helps many of the most successful blue-chip companies globally manage their complex logistics and reduce transport lead times.
The MVT system is a neutral platform based on proven technology developed by logistics professionals to meet the specific needs of the logistics industry. It gives customers clear visibility into their supply chains and allows real-time collaboration between different supply chain partners. Designed to be easily integrated with customers’ ERP and other back office systems, a key selling point of MVT is that it is accessible on any internet-connected device anywhere in the world at any time. Consequently, high availability is critical.
“If our MVT system was down for any prolonged period of time our customers would go elsewhere. Uptime is absolutely imperative,” explains Simon George, Head of Product Development for MVT. “We have a reputation in the marketplace for being an innovative, best-in-class company. I don’t want to jeopardise that reputation built over many years and with Sungard AS I have the peace of mind that availability is never an issue.”
With thousands of users depending on the MVT system worldwide, it in turn, relies on Sungard Availability Services to keep its systems running all the time. It has invested in a cloud disaster recovery service from Sungard AS, which replicates data on its critical servers in near real-time with a Recovery Point Objective of less than two minutes. This gives Simon George considerable reassurance: “Knowing our systems will be up-andrunning so quickly not only gives our customers peace of mind but is also what helps me sleep at night!”
Sungard AS’s Recover2Cloud replicates the My Visibility Tool system and data to one of its highly resilient UK data centres. The service provides continuous data protection by keeping a journal of data changes to enable restoration to a specific point in time in the event of a virus, hardware failure or software corruption. Should any servers fail, the replication service acts as the live environment until the original servers are restored, dramatically speeding up recovery time. What’s more, Recover2Cloud costs up to 50% less than traditional replication solutions.
“If our MVT system was down for any prolonged period of time our customers would go elsewhere. Uptime is absolutely imperative, and with Sungard AS I have the peace of mind that availability is never an issue.” Simon George, Head of Product Development, MVT
In today’s complex production environments just one change a month per system can result in more than 10,000 configuration changes before each annual test. Simon George recognises the importance of frequent testing to identify and adapt to changes in the environment so there are no surprises during a real disaster. “You just want that reassurance that when you need it you’ve tested what’s on paper and know it will work,” he says. “Every time we test we find something we can do better. So we liaise with our Sungard AS team to put the improvements in place for the next test.”
Recovering a business is not just about the technology, it also involves their people so the MVT team also contracts a number of shared recovery positions at a resilient Sungard AS recovery centre near its Birmingham headquarters. This is fully-equipped with all the telephony and technology the firm might need should its own premises be unavailable and would act as an alternative workplace for key staff in the event of a disruption. Simon George finds that being a Sungard AS customer helps him win new contracts. “When we are invited to tender and are talking to new customers it’s a given that we have business continuity provision in place. Prospective customers often ask for details of our contingency plans and I can say with certainty that we wouldn’t have the household names that rely on MVT now if it wasn’t for our relationship with Sungard AS.”
Since MVT made the transition to Recover2Cloud around 18 months ago, the relationship with Sungard AS has deepened. Simon George says, “I’m confident that if there is ever a problem Sungard AS will work with me to sort it out. I know I can be open and honest in my communications with them and it works both ways. I view it as a genuine partnership, the proof being that I was quite happy to sign another five-year deal.”
“Prospective customers often ask for details of our contingency plans and I can say with certainty that we wouldn’t have the household names that rely on MVT now if it wasn’t for our relationship with Sungard AS.” Simon George, Head of Product Development, MVT