Advisor Products staff worked from their homes Monday, accessing company systems online, after Hurricane Irene knocked out power throughout Long Island and at its Jericho, N.Y. office.
Though Advisor Products is not an advisory firm, its recovery from the hurricane provides a model for advisory firms to prepare for a disaster.
An estimated half million Long Island residents—270,264 homes and businesses, according to Long Island Power Authority—remained without power as of noon Tuesday. Advisor Products operations, however, were back to normal.
Advisor Products websites were unaffected by Hurricane Irene. Advisor Products hosts about 1,100 financial advisor websites as well as secure client communications systems, like AdvisorVault, at an SAS 70 datacenter. The hosting facility never lost power and did not even need to resort to using its backup power systems.
However, internal systems for managing the staff and tracking client service requests had to be reconfigured Monday morning as the company implemented its disaster recovery plan and went virtual to service customers.
The professionalism and dedication of the Advisor Products staff has been remarkable:
· Nipun Manglik, an engineer on the advisor websites Help Desk, says that despite the disruption in power he has ensured all customer services requests made by Advisor Products are responded to within 24-hours by phone.
· IT Manager Jason Fogelson, whose wife is expecting a baby imminently, provided a desk and electric power to three Advisor Products staffers who do not have power in their homes.
While Hurricane Irene was downgraded to a tropical storm by the time it struck Long Island overnight Saturday, it hit the 125- by 25-mile swath of land in its power grid. By the time the wind and rain stopped on Sunday afternoon, widespread power outages had befallen the dense- populated suburban towns across the Island. Trees weakened by a rain-soaked August fell throughout Nassau and Suffolk County.
At 9 a.m., Monday, the company’s phone and email systems had been restored, enabling staff to answer client calls and emails, and the company’s CRM system was back online at 5 p.m., allowing project managers, HTML specialists, and technical support staff access notes about open cases and track client website development projects.
I’m proud of the way our team has performed.