services

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Innovation Consulting

We simply help companies innovate effectively, consistently, and continuously.

We find many companies innovate once, enjoy the fruits of their innovation, and then stop thinking! Concepts Rise consultants work with our clients’ executive teams to keep them thinking about new products, new services, new markets, new industries, and new set of clients.

How do we do it?

Our approach is simple: We focus on uncharted waters. Our consultants use data and predictive analytics tools to identify a client’s best customers, niche industries, and blue waters – and help client executives develop new products, services, partnerships to support such areas. Moreover, we help them do this consistently, effectively, and continuously, so that their growth is constant.

It’s never too late to innovate! Let us show you how.

For more information – and a free consultation – please contact us via email at info@ConceptsRise.com or call us at424-320-0524.

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10 Steps of a Successful Business Continuity Plan

As part of our engagements with our client organizations, we always ask about the organization’s business continuity plan. We ask this question regardless of the size of the company, or our level of engagement. Answers often sound something like this: “We’re covered!” or this: “We have a very detailed disaster/recovery plan” or our favorite: “We backup our data every night”.

As we dig deeper, our Sherpas often realize that most companies either don’t have a business continuity plan or at best have a data backup plan.

This has prompted me to write this article about the areas that an organization needs to think about when it comes to business continuity.

Step 1: Business Continuity Plan is an Operational Risk, Not an IT one.

Business Continuity Plan (BCP) is an operational risk. It effects much more than just simply the technology side of the house, and would include cross-training, rescheduling, and focusing on worst case scenarios

Step 2: Disaster Recovery Plan is a subset of a Business Continuity Plan

In our opinion, the Disaster Recovery (DR) plan is the technology subset of the business continuity plan. For example, a medium-size break and mortar print organization with several offices across the US, and running several systems including CRM and ERP platforms would not only need a DR plan, but also, need to figure out how to deliver customer online, telephonic, and manual orders should a disaster wipe out one of its print centers. In addition, should a call center be closed due to a natural disaster, would other centers have adequately trained specialists to answer the customer phone calls?

Step 3: Define Key Business Activities

We’d like to start by defining key business activities, processes, and systems within the organization. For example, production lines for manufacturing companies, systems, key resources, and important business processes. We also ask some stupid questions: What if the phones are down for more than one day? Could you continue to operate? Are the phone systems designed to relay phone calls to people who work from home?

Step 4: Define Potential Disasters

What does disaster look like in your business? The scenarios are quite different for each organization. Of course, the following categories are the most common set of business disasters:

  • Natural Disasters (earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes, etc.)
  • Architectural Disasters (Fire and Water damage)
  • Technological Disasters (servers crashing)
  • Terrorist attacks (e.g. September 11)

In addition to the above set of disasters, each organization has its own set of issues that could be potentially disastrous for the company. For example, a number of major public companies – as well as the US Federal Government – prohibit traveling of 2 of their high ranking members on the same flight as a method of insuring business continuity.

Step 5: Define the Potential Cost of the Disaster

The way to answer this question correctly is to be able to realize that there are 3 types of cost associated with each disaster (a) The unproductive time/money loss due to lack of resources; (b) revenue loss due to lack of sales; and (c) long-term loss due to customer dissatisfaction. For example, an e-commerce company whose servers have crashed will have to pay its personnel while the site is being recovered; will lose sales for the duration; would pay for online ads during this period; and would potentially lose customers as they might find the rival site and never come back. One should calculate this cost as it would directly help with the next section.

Step 6: Define an Acceptable Recovery Time

Following the above example, if e-commerce company A could potentially lose $1,000 per hour, its business continuity strategy might be quite different than e-commerce company B that is losing $75,000 per hour. In case of Company A, the company might be happy for a recovery time of several hours or days, where Company B, would like the recovery to be a matter of minutes.

Step 7: Define an Acceptable Recovery Budget

So far, we have identified disaster types, cost of each disaster, and acceptable recovery times for that disaster. But how much are we willing to pay to be prepared? Nobody really wants to pay for something that could never happen (including the cost of cross-training, re-deployment, etc.), but it is a necessity of life.

Step 8: Consider External Vendors

What if you couldn’t fulfill your products and services for a certain period of time? Could there be external vendors who could perform these services for that period to keep the customers happy? If so, start building a relationship with them and establish the criteria of working together.

Step 9: Protect Your Data!

Data is the new gold. As part of any solid BCP and DR Plan, you’d need to make sure that your data is backed up, accessible, and recoverable. As long as we know data us accessible, recoverable, and easily discoverable, we would be able to restore it or use it in the interim to support our customers. Let’s use this example: Company A uses a sophisticated ERP format. IT department backs up this data every night to a secure offsite location. A few months down the line, the ERP servers crash and we have to wait for new servers for a week. During this period, this data is not accessible which could cause a lot of issues for the company.

Alternatively, a better business continuity plan, would have dumped key data (customer, product list/cost/price, etc.) to an unsophisticated system on nightly basis, allowing users at various offices to have access to this information during the disaster period.

Step 10: Train Your Employees

And finally…. Make sure your employees know what to do in case of a disaster, whether it is natural, technological, or architectural. It’s important for them to have all steps documented in a manual and practiced those scenarios so that they could react to those conditions naturally. Such manuals should be customized for each vital set of groups, so that they’re simply focused on their specific function in case of a disaster.

In Conclusion

As you can see, organizations should be actively developing business continuity plans and should remember that these are live documents that be modified continually as business requirements, systems, and personnel change. As such, it’s very important for executives to review, update, and test the plan, and schedule training and reminders for their employees and team members, on annual basis. One hopes that such plans are never put into action, but executives should always be ready.

 


 About The Author:

Majid Abai is Managing Director of Concepts Rise, LLC. (www.ConceptsRise.com and www.RevenuesRise.com), a Technology, Revenue Growth, and Innovation Consultancy based in Los Angeles, CA, USA.

With over 30 years of experience in leading and managing US and global organizations, Mr. Abai focuses on strategy and tactical approached to innovation and rapid growth of organizations.

Majid could be reached at 424-320-0524 or via email at majid.abai@ConceptsRise.com.

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IoT Data Integration and Analytics

Internet of Things definition: The vast network of devices connected to the Internet, including smart phones and tablets and almost anything with a sensor on it – cars, machines in production plants, jet engines, oil drills, wearable devices, and more. These “things” collect and exchange data.

At Concepts Rise, we help move IoT data from silos into a stream of knowledge. Our tools catalogue and integrate data delivered from IoT devices and above all provide an analytics layer that provide actionable knowledge to our clients. We provide such data to various industries including medical, automotive, retail, and effectively all industries.

Our consultants can also help you determine how IoT would affect your business. Can it reduce costs? Can it increase revenues? Can it impact the future of your organization? We can help!

For more information – and a free consultation – please contact us via email at info@ConceptsRise.com or call us at 424-320-0524.

Information Security Analysis & Advisory

Weaknesses in information security can jeopardize your mission, threaten your profitability, and invite fines and penalties from regulatory bodies. If you aren’t completely confident in your information security posture or your ability to manage IT risk, talk to Concepts Rise. Our cyber security consultants provide services and solutions that deliver continuous security assurance for small/medium size businesses, government, and critical infrastructure.

Concepts Rise is focused on identifying current issues associated with infrastructure, software, and tools used by small/medium size businesses and work with the internal teams and outside vendors to close the security gaps. Concepts Rise protects organizations in various industries.

Outside Counsel for Cyber

Understanding the total realm of possibilities is critical to defending the cyber domain. More than a vendor of technical capabilities, we act as outside counsel to ensure you have an objective view of your security posture and IT risk management strategy. We provide independent advice based on your industry’s best practices and more than two decades’ experience in protecting the information of various organizations.

Whether assessing risk, investigating vulnerabilities, testing for external and internal threats, or engineering a hardened IT security environment, Concepts Rise delivers the capabilities you need for information security and assurance.

For more information – and a free consultation – please contact us via email at info@ConceptsRise.com or call us at 424-320-0524.

Big Data

With Over 25 years of managing massive amounts of data, our team is the best partner for your company to develop, manage, and implement Big Data, Business Intelligence, and Information Analytics projects. We utilize the most experienced specialists, latest technologies, methodologies, and processes in order to minimize project costs, and maximize ROI for our clients.

Our business advisors work with our clients to devise a plan of approach for capturing the nuggets within massive amounts of data that is sitting internal and external to your organization. Since we are fully technology and vendor agnostic, we can offer the best approach that would fit your organization’s vision, approach, and budget.

Let Concepts Rise’s  Big Data consultants help your organization take advantage of many of the best technologies Google, Facebook, Amazon, Yahoo, eBay, and other data giants continue to use and enhance. Our expertise in Hadoop-based platforms, MPP databases, cloud storage systems, and other emerging technologies will help your enterprise get its feet wet with Big Data if you are just embarking on Big Data’s big return or have some infrastructure in place but need some help. We have expertise to help you, including:

  • Business Consultants to plan the right approach for your organization
  • Big Data Architects to design your system
  • Installation and Configuration of Cloudera, Hortonworks, and other Hadoop distributions
  • Data processing using Hive, Sqoop, Pig, and Spark
  • Development using Java, Python, and Scala
  • Integration with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure environments
  • NoSQL processing with MongoDB, HBase, and others
  • Relational analysis with Redshift, Vertica, Teradata and others
  • Analytics with Spark, R, Python, and others
  • Visualization and analysis with Datameer, Alpine Data Labs, Tableau, and others

For more information – and a free consultation – please contact us via email at info@ConceptsRise.com or call us at424-320-0524.

Software & Platform Selection & Implementation

For a one-stop solution to tool and platform selection consulting, your organization needs a team that cuts through the sales hype to determine which tool or platform best suits the project, the organization, and the team.

Because we are independent and technology agnostic, we don’t push one software package or another.  Our goal is simply the success of your organization.

Essentially, we are your advocates and program managers in this process. Our goal is to guide you through the challenges and concerns associated with tool and platform selection, manage vendors, and reduce time and cost associated with such deployments.

We take the pain out of tool, platform, and even vendor selection, customization, and installation.

For more information – and a free consultation – please contact us via email at info@ConceptsRise.com or call us at 424-320-0524.

Mobile Enterprise

Concepts Rise’s Mobile Application team possesses comprehensive technical & business acumen capabilities. Its skilled professionals are able to meet the high development standards of the iPhone, iPad, Android phone and Tablet. Our team offers multitude of services, including system architecture design, business and system analysis, UI Design, Interface Design, Code Implement and Q&A. The team has developed several mobile applications that are compatible with iOS and Android for clients globally and in various industries.

For more information – and a free consultation – please contact us via email at info@ConceptsRise.com or call us at 424-320-0524.

IT Management

Our team members work directly with business & IT executives to reduce IT costs and increase the effectiveness of IT department and IT projects across the organization.

Concepts Rise’s IT Strategy and Management Services include:

  • IT Audit and Restructuring
  • IT Performance Improvement
  • IT Governance, Compliance, and Risk Management
  • IT Interim Leadership
  • IT and Business Alignment
  • IT Program and Project Management
  • IT Team Building & Effectiveness

IT Leadership Coaching Services

Our team of experience technology executives support your IT executives and manager and help them make better decisions by coaching them on identifying their departmental goals, establishing solid strategies, and work with them on execution of such plans. With over 20 years of coaching experience, our team would be able to help your IT executive achieve a higher level of performance within the organization.

Abai Group’s IT Leadership Coaching Services will result in:

  • Better Team Performance
  • Stronger and more effective negotiations
  • Effective strategy and execution
  • Increased productivity

For more information – and a free consultation – please contact us via email at info@ConceptsRise.com or call us at 424-320-0524.

Predictive Analytics

How do you build a predictive analytics platform systematically? That’s where we will make the most impact.

Our advisors work with business executives to determine the needs of the company, build a solid approach, identify the most suitable tools for the project, and to deliver the project on time and on budget. In addition, we identify the best internal and external sources of data, integrate, cleanse, and catalog the information in order to be able to extract the most amount of insight.

With over 25 years of experience, our BI and Analytics specialists have evaluated, installed, configured and implemented high-performance BI and analytics systems globally. Our solutions are designed to be flexible, scalable, and expandable with future add-on capacity to avoid unnecessary up-front costs.

We start from determining business needs of the organization and calculating the potential ROI of such solution. Our team will then take it to architecture, tool selection, and implementation stages while our project management team oversees the whole process.

Our team will architect and deploy analytical and intelligence-based systems that would support rapid decision making that could increase revenues, reduce costs, and have a direct impact on bottom line of the organization.

For more information – and a free consultation – please contact us via email at info@ConceptsRise.com or call us at 424-320-0524.