by Garrett Hill, CEO, X2nSat, Inc.

In the Medieval Era, knights engaged in an annual New Year tradition of renewing what was known as a “peacock vow” to prove they were completely committed to being chivalrous. A quick Wikipedia search defines chivalry as a “moral system which combined a warrior ethos, knightly piety, and courtly manners, all conspiring to establish a notion of honor and nobility.”

Let me first say that I like anything that includes as part of its definition the phrase “warrior ethos.” And I’d say “warrior ethos” defines how serious we are about business continuity here at X2nSat, and how serious we are about providing it for our customers.

The connection between knightly chivalry vows and this month’s blog topic is that the New Year is the traditional and logical time to make plans for the months to come. It’s the perfect time to look at where you’ve been, where you want to be, and to update your personal goals and business goals. It’s the perfect time to think about the core services your business offers, what would happen if any of those services were to “go down,” and what your plans are for mitigating that risk. The common term bandied about in corporate circles is “business continuity.”

But what is business continuity, really? And as a busy business owner, why should you care?

My favorite definition is the one touted by the Business Continuity Institute – they say it’s just “common sense” in many ways. This BCI video is a little dramatic at the beginning as not all business interruptions are caused by huge disasters involving explosions; in fact, disruptions to business operations are often much more innocuous than that. However, it does stress the important fact that business continuity planning in the boardroom is vital to the success of any organization. According to the BCI, about 25% of businesses never reopen following a disaster. In a recent internal study by Hewlett Packard, it was found that unexpected network downtime costs their organization approximately $900,000 per hour.

Business Continuity Diagram
Contingency Planning and Resilience mind map, types of plans

Our satellite communications solutions offer a major component of any business continuity plan, and we’re able to be there for you, and ensure our own systems will be available because we staff a Network Operations Center 24/7/365 at our primary teleport and data center in California, with a backup hub located in Georgia.

So now I’m going to get a little technical, in order to make clear how our services can be part of your business continuity planning. If I use a little geek speak here, forgive me; I’m not only the CEO of X2nSat, I’m also an engineer myself and so can be guilty of rambling on in a way that might sound like gobbledy-gook to a non-satellite-industry audience. If you really want to know a little more detail about what we offer and how we offer, read on, dear knights. If those details bore you, skip the next six or seven paragraphs. You won’t hurt my feelings. That said …

X2nSat’s wireless, satellite-delivered continuity is the most secure continuity option currently available to enterprises with one site or thousands of sites. Our enterprise-level satellite platform provides true path diversity and is completely untied to local communications infrastructure. My awesome team delivers a consultative approach to evaluating clients’ continuity requirements and provides customized solutions specific to each of your sites.

Most enterprises have multiple fixed sites worldwide. Communications and connectivity to these sites is a vital part of business continuity. When primary connections go down or suffer interruptions for any amount of time, an organization without a redundant connection to their critical infrastructure is bound to lose revenue.

X2nSat’s fixed-site continuity and recovery platforms provide an unbeatable redundancy completely independent from typical terrestrial infrastructure. This means when your primary connection goes down for any reason, sites outfitted with our dish and router will automatically fail-over and provide you with bandwidth for voice, video and Internet data applications. The satellite router and dish installation fully complements your current IT environment, requiring no new software and very little training for your IT personnel.

With capacities of 512Kbps X 1024Kbps or 2048Kbps X 2048Kbps, you are able to customize each site capacity to the needs of your enterprise. Additionally, due to the compact nature of these 1.2-1.8M dishes, their installation is discreet and can be tailored to each site (roof-mounted, side-wall mounted, non-penetrating), the site survey, IT implementation and installation generally take less than a day.

X2nSat’s auto-acquire MVSAT kits are among the most reliable remote, on-demand solutions for Enterprise communications, first-responders, law enforcement and anyone seeking path-diverse communication and data transfer. Able to deploy anywhere in North America with a view of the sky, satellite infrastructure is independent from typical terrestrial infrastructure, creating a true path diversity with virtually 100% annual link availability.

VSAT auto-acquire devices create hot spots on demand, wherever your key personnel require data and voice communications. Whether using a .98M dish or higher-capacity 1.8+M dishes mounted to a Humvee or trailer, these units require no training and offer on-demand voice communications and Internet wi-fi hotspots, available within minutes of deployment.

This auto-acquire antenna configuration allows non-skilled personnel to operate mobile VSAT communications equipment, enabling access to any broadband application over satellite, including Internet access, VoIP and video. X2nSat’s MVSAT kits are a fully turnkey communications solution, giving you instant infrastructure at the press of a button within minutes. I sound like a salesperson here, I know, but this really is what we do.

I read a recent blog on Continuity Central highlighting the three major challenges business continuity managers will be facing in 2015. In short: The rise of information security threats, increased focus on organizational resiliency, and how business continuity systems will be measured at organizations will be on the minds of managers this year. You can read the full article here. I think the migration of IT infrastructures to the cloud could also be added to the list.

According to the BCI, business continuity is about building and improving resilience in your business; it’s about identifying your key products and services and the most urgent activities that underpin them and then, once that ‘analysis’ is complete, it is about devising plans and strategies that will enable you to continue your business operations and enable you to recover quickly and effectively from any type disruption whatever its size or cause. It gives you a solid framework to lean on in times of crisis and provides stability and security. In fact, embedding BC into your business is proven to bring business benefits.

Think about those medieval knights of days gone by and employ your own warrior ethos toward the building and testing of your resiliency and business continuity plans for 2015. I can’t promise that this will improve your courtly manners, the romance in your life, or your knightly piety, but it will ensure your business will survive and thrive should the unthinkable happen.

By being prepared, you can avoid market share loss, you can protect your brand you’ve worked so hard to build, and you can ensure solid communications between your fixed-site locations, employees and customers. I really like this Stay Open For Business toolkit provided for free online by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety. It offers a good start.

Dress in your finest armor and get planning!

About the Author

As CEO and founder, Mr. Hill guides the vision and cutting-edge culture of X2nSat, one of the most veteran VSAT providers in North America. In 1996, he founded this forward-thinking satellite communications company with a mission to provide highly reliable, wireless network and communication solutions to a variety of North American industries.