3PV – Third Party Verification, Inc. Weathers the 2004 Hurricane Season

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PV® – Third Party Verification, the leader in speech enabled verification solutions, today reported that their disaster preparedness plans have successfully protected the company during this year’s hurricane season, during which three major storms hit central Florida in August/September 2004.

According to 3PV’s CEO, David Brinkman, responding to the hurricane threat began long before the storm arrived – it began when the company selected its facility in 1999. “We are a company that takes enormous pride in delivering outstanding service levels and excellent customer care to every client. We do not accept downtime – and we incorporated that philosophy into our disaster recovery plan.”

Step one was finding the right facility. Because 3PV specializes in speech enabled third party verification, maintaining system uptime was the top requirement. 3PV had a lengthy wish list for its new headquarters: a facility with full building power generator so it could operate for prolonged periods of time even if utilities were down, in-ground phone lines, fiber through SONET rings to provide system redundancy and the ability to deploy multiple carriers, ensuring failover. “It was a tall order, but we found everything we were looking for in our current facility at East Central Parkway in Altamonte Springs.”

For 3PV, the first one was the worst. Hurricane Charley was a Category 4 hurricane packing winds in excess of 130 miles an hour when it came ashore on Florida’s West Coast, before making a beeline for the Orlando area. Charley was a rare 40-year storm - the last hurricane of this magnitude to hit central Florida was Hurricane Donna in 1960.

3PV began the process of battening down the hatches on Thursday, August 12th, when the entire state of Florida was placed under a state of emergency. Team members at 3PV reviewed their disaster preparedness plans and discussed how they would work together to ensure system uptime during the worst of the storm.

“We knew that we had already fought and won half the battle because of our location,” said Brinkman. “I had total confidence in our technology and the facility. I also knew we have talented, dedicated and expert staff who were ready to do whatever it took to keep the system up and running. When I heard the forecast and the broadcasts about Charley when it made landfall at Port Charlotte, I knew we had done everything we could. I only hoped it was enough.”

Essential staff stayed until 2PM Friday securing the facility. Charley hit hard in the early evening hours. The 3PV facility was right in Charley’s path -- the eye of the storm passed within 10 miles of the building, bringing heavy rains and sustained winds in excess of 100 miles per hour.

On Saturday, he drove past hundreds of downed trees and through a regional power outage only to find the 3PV office up and running, complete with air conditioning. “All in all, 3PV performed flawlessly. We did lose one of our Internet providers but because of automatic failover to another provider, we didn’t lose a single call. The building infrastructure, the disaster recovery planning and the team effort allowed business as usual during the height of the hurricane.”

Brinkman and his team identified some room for improvement after Charley. “The only real operating difficulty we experienced was with our employees. Many employees, including some of our live agents, were not able to arrive at the office due to impassable roads, downed trees, and other effects of the storm aftermath. We realized that in the future, we would need to transfer the entire load from our in-house live agents to partners in the days immediately after the storm. We also recruited a “SWAT” team of in-house technologists who would be available to stay in the facility during a storm to ensure the technology performs seamlessly.”

Within three weeks of Charley, 3PV was able to put the improved recovery plan into action for Frances, then for Jeanne; only Ivan spared central Florida. And once again, the plans proved so effective that not a single call was lost during any of the storms.

“I can safely say we have a highly effective, real-world disaster recovery plan for this facility,” said Brinkman with a smile, “and I hope we never have to put into action again.”

3PV – Third Party Verification, Inc.

3PV provides third party verification (TPV) solutions using natural language speech recognition. 3PV blends advanced automated services with traditional live agent functions, resulting in completion rates that average over 98%. The company offers a full range of verification solutions and call recording.

All 3PV verification solutions meet or exceed FCC, FTC and state requirements for carrier, utility and commercial services. 3PV’s state-of-the-art carrier-grade facility ensures service uptime, security and reliability. Visit http://www.3PV.com for more information.

3PV, Martina and FastTrak are registered trademarks of 3PV - Third Party Verification, Inc. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.

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