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KMRD Partners Case Study

Think what you don’t know can’t hurt you?

 

Tell that to Starbucks Coffee who recently lost their point of sale credit card processing system for the several hours to a computer software upgrade gone wrong. The outage resulted in thousands of stores in the US and Canada having to dole out free beverages just to save face. Imagine the cost of operating thousands of Starbucks locations for free for 5 hours…

There may have been no way to know their upgrade would take down their credit card processing system, but you can bet there was a way to recover from the outage more quickly.

In the risk management business, it’s what you don’t know that you need to be protected against. While it is impossible to consider every potential scenario or pitfall that can interrupt your critical business operations, you can still craft protection strategies that will have your back when the unthinkable happens.

Enter KMRD Partners of Warrington, PA.  KMRD are risk management specialists. Their clients turn to them for bulletproof strategies and insurance solutions that go beyond the ordinary.

“We protect our clients from exposures they’ve never even contemplated”, said co-founder and principal Bob Dietzel. He’s right; KMRD’s process of evaluating risk and exposures for their clients is both unique and second to none.

In order to assess a client’s operational risk, KMRD visits and inspects operations in person so they can gain a first-hand perspective. This allows them to identify and address areas of weakness that could lead to a loss. Then they review the insurance coverage and strategies to determine whether the appropriate risks are transferred and make sure the best possible value is achieved.

Because KMRD approaches every customer engagement in this way, each client gets a thorough review of the terms and conditions of each policy on a “micro” level. Once the required coverage is in place, KMRD facilitates ongoing customer interaction via their exclusive online platform called KMRD Xchange.

Rather than solely relying on the typical management systems available to today’s insurance agent, KMRD developed the XChange – a unique online collaboration tool that puts information about their customers risk management and insurance programs in an easily recognizable and accessible format. Xchange allows customers to have unprecedented 24x7, self-service access to all of their risk management information.

“In order to deliver on such an ambitious technological initiative, we needed to build and maintain an IT infrastructure not previously undertaken by any insurance agency”, commented Kevin McPoyle, co-founder and President.  “Designing and building it was only half of the battle. We had to be sure it would be available all the time. “

“You see, the tools that our risk managers use to gather, store and organize information about customer policies and contracts are the very same ones that drive the content that is available to our customers online via the XChange”, said McPoyle.   “This technology is integral to both the day-to-day operations as well as the customer-facing information portal. It simply has to work every day, all day…. period. Downtime is not an option. “

So how did an insurance company wind up with such a bulletproof IT infrastructure? “Well it didn’t start out that way”, recalls Dietzel. “We had a few bad experiences with IT companies who didn’t deliver what they promised. In fact we had a server fail in middle of a business day and our former consultants were not able to recover our data using the backups they had been taking. It resulted in a lot of downtime and lost information. It was a real eye opener for us.”

Enter Carisma Managed IT of Doylestown, PA.  “I met Kevin McPoyle through a mutual friend”, said Frank Ricciardi president and founder of Carisma. “He told me how much they were struggling and that they needed their data network to simply work all the time.”

Ricciardi recalls, “We presented them with options for fault tolerant servers and high availability clusters that they never knew existed.  We explained how we could guard their data and their operations against threats and vulnerabilities they could never have anticipated.”

Listening to Carisma explain their thought processes to us it became apparent that we’re both in the same business, the risk management business. We sell insurance policies and coverage; they sell hardware, software and services. Both of us protect our customers from the unforeseen and position them in such a way that no matter what befalls them, they’ll continue to operate and to thrive.

“Even our backups have backups”, chuckled Dietzel. Carisma setup a VMware high availability cluster wherein KMRD can have an entire server in their datacenter fail and their critical business software still keeps running. In fact, no one in the organization would even know that there was a hardware problem. They installed two redundant internet connections which act together to maximize throughput, while at the same time back each other up should one or the other go down. Finally Carisma set up a hot recovery site at a KMRD remote location that houses a second backup server farm. All business operations are mirrored at both sites and kept up to date with their doppelgänger systems at the other site every 15 minutes.

“If some natural disaster or other unforeseen event should cripple our home office, we’d have a full running system ready to go in our satellite location with in minutes of making the call to Carisma” beamed McPoyle.

Problem Statement
 

We had a few bad experiences with IT companies who didn’t deliver what they promised. In fact we had a server fail in middle of a business day and our former consultants were not able to recover our data using the backups they had been taking.

"Even our backups have backups"

 

Carisma setup a VMware high availability cluster wherein KMRD can have an entire server in their datacenter fail and their critical business software still keeps running. In fact, no one in the organization would even know that there was a hardware problem.

Added Value

 

If some natural disaster or other unforeseen event should cripple our home office, we’d have a full running system ready to go in our satellite location with in minutes of making the call to Carisma.