Hurricane Irene, the biggest storm to hit the New York metropolitan area in 25 years, battered Long Island with 65 mile-an-hour winds and gusts to 85, but service to Advisor Products websites and customers were uninterrupted.
Long Island, a peninsula-shaped stretch of land jutting east 125 miles from Manhattan into the Atlantic and the home of Advisor Products in Jericho, N.Y., was hit right in its power grid early Sunday.
On Monday morning, 24 hours after the rain and had winded ended, a half-million Long Islanders reportedly remained without electric power (including the CEO’s home.)
At Advisor Products headquarters, where no advisor websites are hosted but internal management information systems are maintained, IT managers Steve Gordonson and Jason Fogelson elected late Saturday night in preparation for the hurricane to shut down all internal operations systems. The decision proved wise. Power to the Jericho area turned off and on many times overnight Saturday but by 9 a.m. power outages in the suburban hamlet of 13,045 were widespread.
Fallen trees and power poles can be seen all over Long Island Monday morning. A map on the website of the local utility, Long Island Power Authority, on Monday morning showed widespread power-outages still affected almost every town on Long Island.
By 7 a.m. Monday, when it was clear the power would not be restored in time for business by 9.m., Advisor Products went virtual, relying solely on web-based apps to service advisory firms. By 9 a.m., Advisor Products VOIP phone system was relocated and restored, enabling customers to call the company.
Advisor Products’ 14 employees were all able to run internal company systems from their homes using the Internet and were available to help customers.
A senior member of the service staff located in Florida and another staffer in California were unaffected by the hurricane. In addition, contractors worldwide work for the company by accessing Advisor Product’s internal applications online. For Advisor Products, "going virtual" and shutting down its Jericho office, takes a few hours.
While some disruption to daily operations was expected Monday morning, all systems supporting service to Advisor Products clients--including the company's CRM--are expected to be fully operational by mid-afternoon Monday afternoon.
While the company’s engineering team was well-prepared and responded quickly to Hurricane Irene, Advisor Products recently made a significant new investment in new hardware configuration enabling virtual server technology is expected to be launched by the end of 2011 and it will make disaster recovery simpler.