Princeton, NJ (Jan. 27, 2016) – Educational Testing Service’s Enterprise Resiliency Team has won both the North America Business Continuity and Global Continuity and Resilience Team of the Year awards from the Business Continuity Institute (BCI). The Business Continuity Institute trains and certifies companies in disaster preparedness.
The award recognizes ETS's high level of training and readiness to carry on its critical operations in case of a natural or human-made disaster. One example was ETS’s effective response to Super Storm Sandy, the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season, and the second-costliest in United States history.
The driving force behind preparing for Sandy and coming out of it relatively unscathed was ETS’s Enterprise Resiliency team, created in 2006, which conducts emergency management simulations, business continuity and disaster recovery walkthroughs, and validation exercises year-round. But it was an organization-wide effort coordinated to merge the best resources of every department that made the outcome a successful one as illustrated in this White Paper on ETS’s response to Super Storm Sandy.
“How was ETS able to keep functioning? A lot of planning and hard work,” President and CEO Walt MacDonald said. “Planning is all about prioritizing. When disaster hits, we know what to focus on to get things done. But it doesn’t happen without great people and lots of hard work. This award recognizes that effort and the outstanding practices and policies we’ve implemented over the years to ensure business continuity and disaster recovery.”
“All ETS employees should be proud that we have been selected as Enterprise Resiliency Team of the Year. The work that ETSers do every day to ensure that the company is protected in the event of a disaster is what this award recognizes”, says Tim Mathews, Executive Director of Enterprise Resiliency.
“This award also recognizes ETS's executive management commitment to make certain the company's operations are protected in case of a disaster, whether that is something like Super Storm Sandy, a fire, a power outage, or even an intruder on campus,” Mathews adds.
The Enterprise Resiliency team plays a critical role at ETS, working with Business Continuity and Emergency Management teams to establish recovery requirements, strategies and plans. “By reviewing and exercising our capabilities, and adjusting our plans accordingly, we can better prepare ourselves when adverse situations arise,” notes Wayne Cosner, ETS Business Continuity Manager.
“By working closely with the Business Continuity teams and Disaster Recovery teams, we identify the hardware that is critical for recovering our business and then contract for disaster recovery resources and services,” said Paul Steinberg, ETS Disaster Recovery Manager. “Without their help and support, our ability to plan for, and recover from, a disaster would be severely limited.”
Angela Gill, Business Continuity Analyst, says, “It is difficult to predict a disaster, but you can do everything possible to be prepared in case something happens. Our goal is to protect not only the company, but each and every staff member,” she adds. “We could not have earned this award without the dedication and participation of all ETS staff who are members of the recovery teams that strive to keep ETS resilient.”
The lessons of Sandy proved helpful not only to ETS’ future, but as a model that others took note of on subsequent visits to the campus. ETS’s Business Continuity Management System has been certified to the BS-25999 certification since 2009 and is now certified to the ISO-22301 standard. ETS also earned PS-Prep certification from National Quality Assurance in 2013 for meeting the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Private Sector Preparedness Program. All of these programs are designed to guard against threats and disruptions including sudden loss of critical services, failures of technology, natural disasters and more.