SunGard Availability Services today launched a new version of its Paragon software which expands the information availability planning and management tools organizations can utilize to help them ensure uninterrupted access to their business data and systems.
The software raises the bar in helping organizations manage their overall information availability program by making it easier to link business continuity and disaster recovery plans with specific business strategies, and expanding options available in managing real-time manpower deployments and communications during disruptions.
"An information availability program is only effective if it reflects today's business and technology environments," said Ann Pickren, senior vice president, Software Products Group at SunGard Availability Services. "This new version of Paragon adds tools to keep up with organizational and infrastructure changes so plans are always current. It leverages SunGard's intellectual capital generated from writing thousands of business continuity plans and running over 100,000 tests."
The new capabilities advance each SunGard Paragon component including:
- Profiles, which provides a "living whiteboard" to profile an organization's infrastructure, environment and interdependencies, can now be printed and stored - in addition to being viewed. This capability enables companies to take a snapshot of an infrastructure area and examine the impact should a disruption occur. For example, an organization could look at how people, business functions and facilities would be affected if a specific server was disrupted.
- Impacts, which allows organizations to conduct a business impact analysis of a potential disruption, provides the ability to create surveys, which now can feed results directly to any item in an availability plan. For instance, companies could assess and record how potential system disruptions may affect a business process such as Sarbanes-Oxley compliance procedures.
- Plans, which enables organizations to create information availability plans, includes a series of new report templates to help users produce graphical analysis and metrics on program progress and readiness. The reporting capability provides security safeguards to ccontrol information access down to the individual person and report levels.
- Situations, which tracks availability plans in real time, allows incident managers to swap individual team members in and out of an incident as shifts change or responsibilities are reassigned. In addition to the existing e-mail messaging, organizations can now use text-to-speech notifications to individuals and teams when assignments are due or completed.
- Notifications, which enables organizations to launch communication directly from any plan or crisis management screen, now support messages delivered via personal voice recordings in addition to automated text-to-speech. The notifications engine embedded in Paragon can be used independently of Paragon screens for communications not directly connected to availability planning and response.
"Too many organizations find their availability program is still hamstrung by planning that is based on word processing documents or - worse yet - manual processes littered with 'Post-it' notes scattered around a facility and critical information locked in the heads of a handful of employees. Paragon helps organizations manage their information availability programs in a single application with a centralized database so they can have actionable recovery strategies that are easy to keep current and accessible during a disruption," said Ms. Pickren.