Wednesday, 06 April 2011 14:58

Greentree helps Christchurch on the long road back

By Duncan Campbell

New Zealand business software company Greentree's partners with Christchurch-based clients have had a busy time, helping them get back on their feet in the wake of February's devastating earthquake.


Many Christchurch businesses were able to resume work fairly promptly; those who were able to access their vital data remotely were the luckiest. But some have had to relocate, or have had to undertake complex recovery plans to get their data and carry on working.

'For most companies, paying employees is a priority,' says Tim Ryley, Director of Endeavour, one of Greentree's South Island partners.

'The second priority I've heard people talking about is finding out who owes them money, because cash flow is going to become a real problem for the next few months for a lot of companies. Getting your bills paid is pretty significant, and I guess probably at the same level is getting your ability to record the transactions that you're then providing.'

For Greentree users affected by the disaster, the good news was, once they were reconnected, Greentree proved its resilience. With computers switched on again, Greentree just resumed where it left off when the lights went out.

'The great thing was that once we got the servers up and running, Greentree just carried on working as per usual,' says Simon Vale, general manager of electrical supplies maker and distributor Vynco.

'Greentree was successfully restored from backup, fully operational and we had no problem with the database at all,' says Gordon Macleod, CFO of retirement villages operator Ryman Healthcare.

As for lessons learned, companies that had up-to-date contact lists - particularly including mobile phone numbers - were better prepared in the hours immediately following the quake. With business phones out of order, they were able to use cell phones to contact family, staff and customers. Text messaging proved especially useful.

Offsite data backups were also important for some businesses whose servers were inaccessible inside badly damaged buildings.

'You need off-site backup for data no matter what, and a reasonable relationship with someone to replace the hardware,' says Philip Morgan, Service Line Team Leader at Greentree's other South Island partner, Enabling.

Tim Ryley says he's telling his clients to get that extra level of protection on top of normal tape backups: get the core data off your premises and store it on hosted systems. Several businesses have already taken up this option, rather than rebuild their own in-house servers.

Christchurch businesses face some difficult months ahead, but most are now functioning, getting wages and bills paid, and - most importantly - getting business through the door.
Greentree and its partners are with them all the way, offering help and support wherever it's needed.

READ THE FULL STORY HERE http://www.greentree.com/news/Christchurch_Earthquake_Canterburys_Long_Road_Back.pdf

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