Fully equipped, ready-to-use office environments
For the last 10 years, Sungard AS Workplace Recovery Centres have played a significant role in the RAC’s overall business resilience strategy. Today, whether caused by power, weather or other factors disrupting normal operations, the RAC has three geographically separated Sungard AS recovery centres available to resume business.
The RAC contract, recently renewed for another three years, includes sufficient seating capacity to support the RAC business operation within Sungard AS’ Workplace Recovery Centres, with access for up to 13 weeks at a time. Each Workplace Recovery Centre environment is designed with the physical security, power management, environmental controls and high-speed connectivity the RAC needs for a smooth transition.
"Once we invoke Recovery Services, our RAC network is extended into a Sungard AS Recovery Centre,” says McNeill. “When we walk inside, we have PCs, phones and desks ready for us, with secure access to our IT and telephony systems.”
For example, if an incident occurs at either the Manchester or Walsall RAC call centre facility, workers and workloads handling consumer requests would shift to the uncompromised RAC site. Contact centre operations for commercial vehicle breakdowns would transfer to a Sungard AS Recovery Centre in Coventry.
Core back-office functions, such as finance and HR, could also shift to the Sungard AS Coventry site. Select workers and workloads supporting sales operations in the Bristol RAC call centre would move to a Sungard AS Recovery Site in Bristol.
McNeill cites a January 2019 power outage in the RAC Walsall office as one instance that proved the RAC’s readiness for disruption. The building was without heat for more than 12 hours.
The Sungard AS Coventry site quickly prepared for an influx of 240 RAC employees. “I got a call at 8:00 in the morning,” says McNeil. “I was in the Sungard AS Recovery Centre by 8:45, and the site was ready for us.”
Crisis management consulting for executives
The RAC’s Business Continuity solution with Sungard AS also features crisis management coaching for RAC executives. Delivered through awareness workshops and exercises, the goal is to prepare leaders for a range of crisis scenarios, from cyber-attacks that threaten IT systems to incidents that may put the company’s reputation at risk.
During these workshops, Sungard AS consultants share best practice approaches and advice to help executives understand the problem at hand, analyse the impact, identify priorities and take action to manage and resolve incidents — including dealing with the media, regulators, customers and employees.
Drawing upon actual case studies and crisis scenarios, Sungard AS consultants engage executives in in-depth discussions and hands-on exercises, using proven principles, plans and processes that can be applied in many situations.
“Each time our Sungard AS consultant is here, he puts a slightly different spin on the exercises, using real-world stories our executives can relate to,” says McNeill, noting the six workshops completed over the past three years. “My first experience with a Sungard AS workshop in 2018 helped me re-write and document our crisis management strategies to be more meaningful.”
In addition, McNeill created a wallet-sized card, which each executive now carries, including key information for invoking, managing and resolving an incident. In 2020, all this forethought helped the company prepare for an unforeseen situation impacting organisations the world over.
“I believe the crisis management exercises we went through with Sungard AS in January helped us manage the COVID-19 pandemic better than we would have last year,” confirms McNeill. “They served as a pre-emptive strike that gave executives a ‘heads up’ on what could happen. So, when the virus hit in March, their minds were already in the right place to react to it.”