Harmony #1


Welcome to the launch of Harmony Notes!

If you’re new to Harmony Technology Services, please take a minute to get to know us. We think that’s important; personal connections and service are a few of the things that set us apart from other IT consulting services. We invest our time in our customers because they’re investing in their companies to make them run smoothly, efficiently and profitably. That happens when you keep business and IT processes in sync: You find Harmony.

Beginning in the New Year, we’ll share some insights into this intersection that we call Inside the Industry. We’ll highlight some common problems we see, how we tackle them and help our clients keep them from happening again. We’ll also point you to some signs that can portend a future problem.

In addition to our Inside the Industry column we’ll share tips, what’s happening In the News, and a glance at What We’re Reading.

Thank you for investing your time by subscribing to our newsletter. If you have any topics you’d like us to address in future issues, please email us.

The 2017 contradiction: Finding the best through weathering the worst

Weathering the worst, indeed. From hurricanes, to earthquakes to volcanoes and wildfires, it seems that no corner of the globe escaped misery and destruction this year. When it comes to Mother Nature there is just so much we can’t predict, much less prevent – a fact that leaves us humble.

But there are things we can do to prepare. While we can’t completely halt the devastation and destruction, we can do things to preserve life, property, and enterprise integrity. Allowing businesses to get back online, keep employees working, and the local economies churning to aid in recovery and rebuilding.

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina destroyed two shipyards for which members of the Harmony team had operational technology responsibility. Our datacenter was scattered over two miles of the countryside by the storm surge. Team members were successful in rebuilding and recommissioning the environment in a remote location, providing connectivity and business continuity faster than anyone thought possible. Everything was up and running after two weeks.

Here are some lessons we learned from our IT recovery approach after Katrina:

  • We focused first on the needs of the people who had suffered the greatest losses, but who understood what needed to be rebuilt. Once they felt safe, they could focus on recovery.
  • We managed the full spectrum of logistics required to plan, execute, and sustain the recovery effort. This included providing fuel, food, water, and clothing for the people who were working towards recovery.
  • We had to take a total system approach to restoration. None of the infrastructure (including public infrastructure) could be relied upon, so we had to carefully assess what was absolutely required and focus on prioritized restoration. 
  • We achieved restoration by providing temporary power, satellite-based connectivity, temporary workstations, as well as basic hardware. It also meant restoring data from obsolescent backups, identifying and constructing a recovery environment, and overcoming inadequate business continuity planning.
  • We restored emergency communications by putting in place a network of personal devices that did not require public networks. We rebuilt data center capabilities in remote locations not impacted by the storm. We recovered systems and data to restore operations in record time. 
  • We set up systems that not only managed people in the area but managed programs that required engineers from companies around the world to work on designs of complex platforms protecting our national security as well as our allies.
  • We leveraged remote people and capabilities to achieve operational restoration while enabling the eventual rebuilding and restoration of damaged facilities.

Harmony is in it for the long haul. It’s our Texas, too, and we are poised to not only keeping it running, but getting it back up and running after a disaster.

For more information about taking the next step towards recovery, contact Harmony Technology Services and find out how we can help.

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What We're Reading

2017 Cost of Data Breach Study – United States

A study on data breaches may seem destined only for IT personnel, but the cost of these breaches concerns everyone. This is the 12th annual benchmark study from IBM Security and Ponemon Institute, and the numbers should astound and concern us. You can read the study here.

Texas A&M-Commerce wins first DII national championship

If you’ll pardon our colleague Tom Shelman a little bragging, his Texas A&M Commerce Lions were crowned NCAA Division II Football Champions Saturday after a thrilling 37-27 defeat of West Florida. Texas A&M-Commerce was led by Luis Perez, named the Harlon Hill Award winner as the best player in DII football just one day earlier. He was sensational in leading the Lions to their first championship, completing 23 of 30 passes for 323 yards and two touchdowns. Read more here.

Tom is a proud alum of Texas A&M University-Commerce (formerly East Texas State) graduating in 1984.

For more information on our services, contact Harmony Technology Services and tell us how we can help.

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