When Oxford University Press needed a recovery solution it could rely on to keep its books on the shelves, Sungard AS ensured there was a happy ending.
The world-renowned publishing house Oxford University Press (OUP) was established in the 15th century and today has a presence in over 50 countries. Part of Oxford University, its authoritative publications have a reputation for excellence and academic rigour.
For more than ten years OUP has relied on Sungard AS to keep its core systems running. The most important of these handles its most critical business processes from order processing and stock control to warehouse management and invoicing. IT Infrastructure Manager David Weston comments, “Our most important business functions rely on us having our systems up and running – paper-based manual processes could never be an effective substitute. Sungard’s Recovery Services ensure this is never an issue.”
Customers range from small, independent bookshops and national high street chains to online booksellers and education authorities. The institution must compete with huge commercial publishing concerns and any failure in its stock control and distribution systems would seriously affect its ability to keep OUP titles on the shelves. For IT Infrastructure Manager David Weston, business continuity (BC) is just one of his many responsibilities and he finds it reassuring to know he can draw on Sungard AS’s expertise and resources whenever necessary. He explains, “We’re a small team with many calls on our time so I particularly appreciate the help and support I get from Sungard. We’re not their biggest account by any means but we’re always made to feel valued and important to them.”
OUP has a warehouse with redundant space that is far enough away from its listed Oxford offices to be a potential disaster recovery site for the organisation. But, after weighing up the options, David Weston concluded, “The capital outlay involved in putting in the hardware, not to mention keeping it patched and maintained, would cost considerably more than our Sungard contract.”
OUP currently contracts 50 seats at one of Sungard AS’s Workplace Recovery centres, which are located throughout the UK. This self-contained, fully equipped facility has everything OUP’s designated key workers would need to keep core business functions running in the event of a disaster.
“Our most important business functions rely on our IT systems – paper-based manual processes could never be an effective substitute. Sungard’s Recovery Services ensure this is never an issue.” David Weston, IT Infrastructure Manager, Oxford University Press
It would act as an alternative workplace for selected frontline customer service staff and other essential personnel to handle incoming and outbound calls as well as process orders.
As a longstanding customer Sungard AS has built up an in-depth understanding of OUP’s business and David Weston values the close relationship that has developed. He says, “Whilst testing our BC plans over the years we’ve encountered some horrendous problems – our Sungard team has been very proactive, giving us the support and guidance we need to overcome any issues.”
Looking ahead, David Weston believes email recovery and increasing the number of workplace positions at its recovery centre are priorities. When budgets allow, he plans to add more systems to the recovery contract and is also considering the use of SungardAS’s LDRPS software, which would give all OUP staff a web-based portal to access all its BC documentation in the event of a major incident.
According to David Weston, Sungard AS’s HP Technician epitomises the service OUP gets from Sungard AS. He explains, “The same guy has helped us with testing for the past six years or so. He obviously deals with thousands of customers each year but he remembers us, and all our idiosyncrasies, each time we come in. And that’s true of all the Sungard people we deal with – we’re not just another customer, it’s personal.”
“To Sungard we’re not just another customer – we value their personal approach to customer service.” David Weston, IT Infrastructure Manager, Oxford University Press