Bell Atlantic Launches Continuity Planning Service to "Disaster-Proof" Large Business Communications

NEW YORK — These days it's possible to keep your business afloat even when your office is under water. Whether it's a flood, a fire or even a man-made disaster, you can keep your doors open as long as you stay in communication with your customers and suppliers.

Bell Atlantic has put together a "swat" team of sorts to provide disaster-resistant communications for large businesses from Maine to Virginia. The new continuity planning team, known as Bell Atlantic® CommGuard®, will unite a group of select companies, led by Bell Atlantic's Enterprise Business Services organization, to provide comprehensive continuity planning services.

"Providing disaster recovery is no longer enough for a business when disaster strikes," said Bruce Gordon, president of Bell Atlantic Enterprise Business Services Group. "Today, every company needs a plan for its communications that includes redundancy, survivability and recovery."

"It's the new 'due diligence', " added Michael Braham, director of Bell Atlantic CommGuard. "If you are using technology to do business faster, cheaper, and smarter -- then you have to be prepared for the possibility that it could all go away at any moment because of some unforeseen emergency.

"If a company's doors are closed for just a few days, there is a 60 percent probability that it will be out of business within five years," Braham said. "Bell Atlantic's CommGuard planning will make sure you can keep your doors open for business, no matter what."

The CommGuard team will join proven preparedness experts such as Comdisco and Lucent Technologies with Bell Atlantic data, wireless and network specialists. Bell Atlantic will act as the single point of contact for customers, giving them streamlined access to the most robust continuity planning available.

Bell Atlantic CommGuard solutions will include disaster recovery and contingency planning exercises for mainframe and desktop computer operations. Customers will get assistance in planning for personnel, communication, emergency procedures and security that will be needed in the event of a disaster.

The range of services provided by Bell Atlantic CommGuard will include:

  • Network service
  • Data protection
  • Risk assessment
  • Software planning tool
  • Hot sites
  • Messaging and alerting
  • Wireless services
  • Power supplies
  • Managed security
Continuity planning is becoming increasingly important in today's technologically advanced world. And with the Year 2000 (Y2K) rapidly approaching, businesses are scrambling to ensure that they will be able to stay open if critical systems fail.

"The CommGuard team is not designed to fix Y2K problems, but we will be able to offer our customers a variety of solutions to protect them in case some systems don't survive the date change," said Braham. "Using the CommGuard approach is a prudent business practice that reaches well beyond the turning of the next century."

To get companies started in the continuity planning process, Bell Atlantic's CommGuard team will offer a menu-driven software process for determining vulnerabilities and beginning a comprehensive plan. Once Bell Atlantic's disaster specialists identify the areas to protect, the CommGuard team will be able to provide a customized continuity planning solution that incorporates products and services from Bell Atlantic and any of its industry partners.

Bell Atlantic Enterprise Business Services offers an extensive suite of communications solutions for large businesses. Whether for voice, data, images or video, Bell Atlantic's wide range of solutions represents a tailored approach for customers. To learn more about the communications solutions available from Bell Atlantic, visit, or call 1-800-846-1200, ext. 1157.

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and information industry. With more than 42 million telephone access lines and 8.6 million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic companies are premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data services, market leaders in wireless services and the world's largest publishers of directory information. Bell Atlantic companies are also among the world's largest investors in high-growth global communications markets, with operations and investments in 23 countries.