Best IT Blog

Sample Visio – Project Coordination

Posted in Projects (400),Visio Samples - Stencils (457) by Guest on the June 29th, 2011
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Sample Excel – ITIL Service Operational Production Checklist sample

Posted in Compliances (1300),Sample - IT Spreadsheets - PowerPoints (251) by Guest on the June 19th, 2011
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Sample Visio – Business Goals – Maturity mapping

Posted in Visio Samples - Stencils (457) by Guest on the June 17th, 2011
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Temporary Cooling Systems – Considerations

Posted in Business (600) by Guest on the June 15th, 2011

1)      Purchase – appropriate equipment for ongoing usage, or to be housed on-site for immediate availability in case of emergencies or as a supplement to existing cooling systems

2)      Rent/release – appropriate equipment for short-term or temporary use, for trial opera­tions, or to avoid significant expense or commitment from all-out purchase

Cooling isn’t just for people comfort. If you have a significant investment in electronic, computer, and telecommunications equipment, portable air conditioning is an inexpen­sive insurance policy. Proper temperature control is essential in computer rooms, elec­trical and telephone switching stations, hospitals, restaurant kitchens, for process cool­ing on assembly lines, and spot cooling applications in offices, warehouses, and manu­facturing sites, when material is too hot to handle or package. When people are exposed to hot operations such as welding, brazing, or ovens, spot cooling will make a difference in productivity and quality that’s easily measured. You can purchase portable units for primary, supplemental, or emergency cooling.


1)      Can equipment be delivered immediately? If not, how long will it take? Estimated setup time?

2)      Vendor experience/qualifications specific to my industry?

3)      Number and scope of projects like my own that the vendor has accommodated to date?

4)      What is the level and availability of technical expertise and assistance?

5)      Is start-up training provided for in-house maintenance staff?

6)      Is the equipment UL listed?

7)      Does it meet city codes in all our facility locations?

8.      What are the equipment’s limitations?

9)      What are the warranty terms? Is an extended warranty for parts and labor available?

10)  References available?

1)      How similar to my own are your company’s cooling needs?

2)      How adequately does your equipment do the job for which it was purchased?

3)      What are some equipment quirks or limitations to be aware of?

4)      How reliable is it?

5)      Is it quiet enough?

6)      Was the equipment delivered on time?

7)      Was installation disruptive?

8.      Why was this vendor or equipment chosen?

a.       Were others considered?

9)      What did the selection process entail?

10)  What are the strengths and weaknesses of the provider or equipment?


1)      Make sure portable cooling equipment is really what you need. Sometimes it’s the only solution, as for rooms to which ductwork or chiller stems cannot be extended. But many ongoing applications can be covered by conventional cooling systems at a lower price, especially in company-owned buildings.

2)      If contemplating a purchase, plan for the future. Accommodating your cooling system needs of tomorrow maybe worth the investment today.

3)      Consider equipment availability in time of urgent need.

4)      Consider the geographic area covered by the supplier.

1)      Involve appropriate operations managers and facilities maintenance personnel in equipment evaluation and selection.

2)      Request or create a features matrix accounting for options and at-a-glance compari­son of all models being considered.

3)      After pre-qualifying all vendor candidates, request a presentation at your facility. Ideally, test actual applications applied to emergency cooling scenarios.

4)      Request written replies to follow-up questions not answered during vendor presenta­tions.

5)      Rent before you buy to give the equipment a trial run, or buy a single unit at outset and purchase additional units later.

6)      Do your homework now—not at time of urgent need.


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Printing and Mailing Recovery Services

Posted in eMail (66) by Guest on the June 12th, 2011


1) Dedicated recovery sites—hotsites devoted to printing/mailing business continuity; subscriber fees paid for availability, space, equipment, and services of fully operational facilities maintained by independent providers 

2) Excess capacity offerings—printing/mailing facilities offer operational resources and time beyond normal workload in order to accommodate disaster recovery 

3) Reciprocal agreements—pacts made by companies having similar printing/mailing requirements and equipment to support each other with disaster recovery 

Critical mail applications, including billing and customer service, must be recovered along with data to ensure that data will be put to use. Dedicated printing/mailing recov­ery sites offer high-tech equipment that’s ready to go when you’re ready to recover. Such sites also avoid potentially disruptive lead times of up to six months that are typi­cal when replacing specialized mail inserting equipment.


1) If temporary relocation is not feasible, alternate site’s proximity to your primary facility should be a priority.


2) Up-to-date technology and specific equipment to replicate your environment 

3) Expertise in print and mail finishing, as well as postal regulations

4) Well-documented, organized, accountable methodology

5) Local postal facility’s ability to absorb additional high volume of mail 

6) Uninterruptible power supply (UPS) in case of power outage at alternate site

7) Climate control and fire detection/suppression systems 

8. High level of on-site security

9) Telecommunications support

10)  Storage space and systems to warehouse your firm’s printed stock on-site

11)  Transportation accessibility, proximity to food and lodging

12)  Vendor with sound internal business recovery plans

A detailed cost analysis will often reveal hidden expenses. Then adding up costs, consider the following:

1) Set-up, programming fees

2) Monthly subscription fees 

3) Testing fees

4) Usage costs

5) Cost per piece

6) Warehousing fees


In order to bid for your business, vendors will want to know:

1) Monthly print volume and number of statements rendered

2) Number of pages per envelope

3) Number of computer program applications and their sizes

4) Print format

5) Special printing/mailing requirements

6) Type and quantity of equipment currently used

7) Need for intelligent inserting equipment

8. Control codes for intelligent applications 

9) Number of employees responsible for each function 

10)  Experience processing first class transaction mail 

11)  Business impact analysis for loss of printing/mailing operations 

12)  Turn-around time required



1) How many customers are contracted at your site?

2) How many customers can you simultaneously support? 

3) Who is the closest customer to my location that you currently serve or will accept? 

4) Is recovery time assigned on a first-come, first-served basis? 

5)  What is your level of experience? Industry qualifications? 

6) Is your equipment reserved specifically for disaster recovery? 

7) For what percentage of your business does disaster recovery account? 

8. What is your disaster declaration procedure?

9) What percentage of my monthly volume must be processed at your location?

10) Are my employees permitted to operate your equipment?



1)  How similar to my own are your company’s system and recovery needs? 

2)  How long have you contracted with this provider? 

3) Why was this vendor chosen? Others considered? 

4)  What did the selection process entail? 

5) Provider strengths, weaknesses? 

6) Any experiences with site activation? Testing? 

7) Is service consistent? Is there a liaison designated specifically for your company?

8. Has the vendor offered recovery planning services/support?

9) Are maintenance and test support adequate? 

10)  Have costs exceeded original estimates?


1) Vendors that offer printing/mailing disaster recovery services as a sideline. These ven­dors wiul fit you in when regular schedule permits, while those dedicated to disaster recovery will process your work immediately. 

2) Regional hazards – flooding, earthquakes, tornadoes, etc – and potentially hazardous industries in vicinity 

3) Sites served by the same electrical power grid or communications center as your primary facility

4) Inadequate security. Forms containing sensitive information, such as credit cards and check blanks, must be protected. 

5) Inadequate testing – anything less than four times per year


1) After pre-qualifying all vendor candidates, request a presentation at your facility.

2) Request written replies to follow-up questions not answered during vendor presentations. 

3) Visit actual site(s) of vendor finalists. Include your disaster recovery or security spe­cialist to conduct site surveys and your production manager to inspect equipment and evaluate operations.


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Transportation and Shipping Services

Posted in Business (600),Compliances (1300) by Guest on the June 10th, 2011


1.      Same day

2.      Temperature controlled

3.      Overnight

4.      Oversized freight

5.      International

6.      Electronic media

7.      Sensitive, fragile

8.      Air charter

When urgency and guaranteed delivery are priorities, specialized shipping and trans­port providers can get mission-critical equipment or supplies where you need them and when. Often providing better care and attention than common carriers these com­panies are aware of business disruption concerns, can accommodate unusual ship­ments, and stake reputation on service performance.


1.      Excellent track record of on-time, safe deliveries

2.      Wide geographic coverage area that includes all of your company and vendor locations

3.      24-hour service

4.      Service guarantee with specific terms

5.      Transporters who can accommodate your particular goods with appropriate resources

6.      Ability to adequately insure your shipments

7.      Efficient tracking system that provides updates at any time

8.      Ability to reroute shipments in transport

9.      Provider with regularly tested disaster recovery plan

10.  Familiarity with your industry, business practices


A detailed cost analysis will often reveal hidden expenses. Then adding up costs, consider the following:

1)      Assessorial charges vary from provider to provider and may include additional charges such as for lift gates, special communications provisions, extra staffing to load or unload cargo, and pads and straps for sensitive, fragile shipments. Ask for the total cost, including an itemized list of assessorial charges.

2)      Surcharge for delivery outside of normal service hours or on weekends or holidays?

3)      Additional charge for exclusive vs. commingled transport?


In order to bid for your business, vendors will want to know:

1)      Correct address and phone number of recipient and name of point person

2)      Your need for speed: How quickly must the delivery be made?

3)      Your special requirements: Can the items be flown? Must they be in a temperature-controlled environment?

4)      Your communications requirements. Do you require delay updates while the package is enroute?

5)      Consequences to your business in the event of late or damaged shipments

6)      Your budget—at least a rough idea of what you can afford, to pursue the best ser­vice option within a given price range


1.      What distinguishes you from your competitors?

2.     What percentage of deliveries are on time? Of those that are late, how late are they?

3.      Will you inform enroute if a delivery is running late?

4.      What type of tracking system do you use? How is it backed up?

5.      What is your pick-up promise, and how do you measure service? Quantify’ terms.

6.      Do you have the infrastructure to support service claims? How many trucks? How many terminals?

7.      What is your fleet composition? How do you communicate with your fleet?

8.      Is the fleet company-owned and maintained regularly?

9.      In case of a vehicle breakdown, will you provide a back-up vehicle or arrange for air transport at your expense?

10.  References available?


1.      How similar to my own are your company’s transportation/shipping needs?

2.      Do you think this carrier can fulfill my needs?

3.      How long have you contracted with this provider?

4.     Why was this vendor chosen? Others considered?

5.      What did the selection process entail?

6.      Carrier strengths, weaknesses?

7.      Is service consistent?

8.      Have you used this provider in a business recovery situation?

9.      Has a delivery ever been late? If so, how late, for what reason, and how was the situation handled?

10.  Do promised services generally meet punctuality and cost approximations?



1)      Carriers who faded you in the past

2)      Those not specializing in priority transport; vague or non-committal regarding delivery terms and guarantee 

3)      Providers who claim they can do more than their resources actually allow

4)      Service promises that are not door-to-door. Air charter typically breaks down on the ground. If your guarantee is not door-to-door, your shipment may be late.

5)      Last-transaction progress reporting only affords tracking information up to the ship­ment’s last stop Enroute information is not available.


1)      Visit the provider’s headquarters. Inspect the facility for security concerns and general efficiency of operation.

2)      Conduct unannounced dry runs with all potential carriers.

3)      Do your homework now—not at time of urgent need.


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