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Business Continuity Planning and the Need for Disaster Recovery

Business Continuity Planning and the Need for Disaster Recovery

The sweeping number of reasons that justify a communications disaster recovery plan (DR) are just as diverse as the range of companies which fail to implement one. A retail service provider for example may be unable to process EFTPOS transactions should their fixed line service fail; while a mine site might need to initiate a shutdown procedure due to OHS policies should the sites primary form of connectivity fail. Both of these highlighted examples differ in terms of application, however the implication on cost and loss of revenue are equally apparent, relative to the size and type of operation.

Retail: Cost and lost revenue implications calculation.

Referencing the NAB SME survey which captures firms with annual turnovers between $2 and $10 million, we base our example calculation on a SME having an annual turnover of $5 million.  With cashless transactions becoming the norm, we use the conservative assumption that the SME in our example will have 40% of its transactions as cashless.

40% of $5 million annual turnover = $2 million.  2 million dollars divided by 365 is the equivalent of $5,479 worth of cashless transactions in any one day.

Mining: Cost and lost revenue implications calculation.

For this example, let’s assume an outage of two days occurs, based on the complications associated with location and the time it would take for the service provider to get to site and rectify the problem.

5000 tons per day output (Iron Ore) with a conservative sale price of $45 per ton = 10,000 tons multiplied by the $45 per ton = $450,000 for each of day of the outage.

Reference http://costs.infomine.com/costdatacenter/miningcostmodel.aspx

So, the question is, why are modern firms ranging from SME’s to Global Enterprises failing to acknowledge or plan for an occasion which poses the threat of a significant disruption either to their ability to trade or produce? Simplistically, it comes down to three factors, 1) mindset, 2) perceived complexity and, 3) cost assumptions.

Orion can assist with 2) and 3) and following a consultation, we will set your mind at ease.

Perceived complexity with regards to integrating the backup link with the existing network infrastructure is a hurdle easily cleared once discussions reveal the simplicity of the solution required.  The final solution will see the disaster recovery service kicking in automatically, as soon as the primary link fails, creating a seamless failover solution for an interruption free business workflow. The VSAT solution will replicate the existing network and will provide a cost-effective solution independent of the existing infrastructure.

In relation to the cost assumptions, it is worth noting that satellite is now a very affordable option, all the more so given Orion’s end to end ownership of its network (including the satellite itself). This enables Orion to tailor a plan to suit any specific request. The cost of the required hardware is in most cases, less than $5,000, the Opex is minimised because the system spends the majority of its time in standby mode

Based on the fact that the solution can be easily incorporated within an existing network, foregoing any service disruptions in the process and the cost of doing so is negligible in comparison to the cost of failing to do so, the question becomes why aren’t businesses protecting their operations?

Orion has a number of clients with DR solutions in place, including a number who have had to activate the solution on occasion – we know that they sleep well at night.

Contact Orion today to discuss options and solutions for an always available emergency DR system which will give you the peace of mind you deserve.

NBN – why early savings may cost you in the long run

Finally, the National Broadband Network is here, and — on the surface at least — is seems to offer more access for less.

As the service is subsidised by government funds, private sector service providers are finding it hard to compete with the throughput on offer for the pricing listed.

But are the savings worth it?

Having had a number of our clients ask Orion about the feasibility of switching across to NBN, it is a worthwhile exercise to look at the key factors you should consider, which will ultimately impact on your outcomes and expectations.

The most important of these as we head into 2017 will be the impact on remote projects — here, cost is an ever-present consideration but so too are high priorities such as reliability, down time, contact, applications, connections, complex topologies and data requirements.

So, let’s consider the implication and outcomes of a switch to NBN:


  1. You lose flexibility to manage complex networks

One of the big advantages of our service is Orion has total end-to-end visibility and ownership of the network allowing us to:

  • Configure and maintain quality of services depending on unique site needs
  • Provide a layer 2 service
  • Provide DMVPN or routed services
  • Disable features as our customers require.

Unfortunately, NBN is unable to support basic commercial functionalities such as terminating into corporate WANs, prioritising traffic types at a network level or delivery of a private network.


  1. You lose support around the delivery of commercial applications

Orion works with many clients who have complex, often tailored applications that keep their business running as it should. For that reason, we provide after-care support to ensure application performance, QoS and priority can be configured to suit site and application needs, and we are dedicated to working smarter rather than just throwing more bandwidth at an issue.

In contrast, the NBN is unable to deliver custom configuration to support commercial applications relating to accounting, purchasing and management software packages and programs.


  1. You may get squeezed on data limits

This is a big one for many businesses: Orion can offer dedicated bandwidth channels as well as unlimited data plan options.

The NBN Fair Access policy can hamper/ limit some high usage sites, however, and the NBN contention ratio is liquid.


  1. You might be stuck in one place

We are a provider of choice for many of Western Australia’s remote exploration companies and mining sites, in part because of our focus on service portability.

 Orion’s VSAT can be moved without the need for a technician visit, particularly useful for exploration projects or small camps/sites.

We realise the importance of mobility, being able to relocate a service, and the reliable availability of communications whilst on the move.

NBN services are fixed and cannot be relocated.


  1. You lose tailored support on demand

We can offer 24/7 support and adhere to strict service level agreements. But that’s just part of the advantage of working with us. Since technicians are not needed to support Orion systems, any downtime can be minimised, and our end-to-end ownership of network means Orion can troubleshoot much quicker if you had to gather information and escalate the issue to NBN.

Typically, our technicians can be on site within two days should a local issue need to be resolved.

Compare that to NBN: Once NBN faults are reported, the information must be shifted through multiple departments and providers, risking loss of detail and miscommunications.

Service calls are booked by the NBN and cannot be expedited, with support usually taking, on average, 10 working days to attend.


So before you take the plunge and switch to NBN motivated by cost, talk to us about some of the other considerations that need to be taken into account. It may be that a more tailored service can give you some of the savings you seek, without losing the service and reliability your business needs.  Interested in knowing more? Give us a call on 1800 063 123 and we can chat.

New technology solutions to be showcased at Orion Innovation Open Day

Leading satellite communications company Orion Satellite Systems is bringing the latest in communications technology and innovation to Perth at a special open day on Tuesday 6 December.

In addition, Orion managing director Chris Ockwell and senior executives from global satellite leader Thaicom and its Australian subsidiary IPSTAR will give their views on the future of satellite communication and what it means for Western Australia at a question and answer session for media and industry.

In thirteen years Orion Satellite Systems has grown from a small supplier of satellite communication services to one of only two satellite service providers in Australia offering end-to-end ownership – from modem to dish to satellite.

The company was acquired by global satellite leader Thaicom through its wholly owned Australian subsidiary IPSTAR in 2014.

Thaicom currently has five satellites, the most recent launched in May via SpaceX. It is currently developing its next satellite, which will expand its options for broadband and mobile across the Asia Pacific.

The  inaugural Orion Innovation Open Day will showcase its range of innovative solutions for industries including:

  • Maritime and transport
  • Communication and information technologies
  • Agriculture and agri-tech
  • Medicine and telehealth

Mr Ockwell said that Orion was benefiting from the global partnership with a client book that included remote mine camps, small communities, local agencies, pastoral stations and regional event organisers.

Orion is an approved National Broadband Network (NBN) Retail Service Provider (RSP).

Tues 6 December 2016

Matilda Bay Function Centre, Crawley WA

Open day: 3pm – 8pm

Food service: 5pm

Question and answer session with Orion and Thaicom: 5.15pm

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Leading international telecommunications provider.