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FAQ's

Is DSM in an area of risk (i.e flood area etc)?

One of the biggest questions we get asked is whether the DSM site is close to or on a flood plain;  It’s not.  The association is perhaps understandable as Peterborough and the surrounding areas (from Deeping to the North and Whittlesey to the South – are all either below or very close to sea level).  Clearly there is little point having a recovery partner whose site or access route is liable to become accessible only by boat!  DSM is 37m above sea level and all access routes sufficiently high enough not be affected by flooding.

market deeping flood

Another question often asked is regard neighbouring business’s; Could an incident, at another business, prevent access to the facility?   Most recovery centres are entwined within industrial estates which can pose a multitude of risks – it only needs a chemical spillage or a gas main to leak and the whole area will be shut down.  DSM resides in a rural location, many miles away from any major industry (and no mains gas either).   It does however reside next to a leisure airfield whereby small light aircraft depart and land on occasion.  With the runway being 300m away and in a direction away from the DSM building, the risk is assessed as more of a benefit – client access by helicopter being just one!   CEO Mike Richardson whom holds a pilot’s licence makes comment  “we occasionally get the question of what would happen if a light aircraft were to hit our building, well the fact is that none ever have and the Hangar has been here for nigh on 60 years, plus as a pilot myself with the knowledge of the vast amount of flat land around the area, if I were to have a problem whilst flying above the Sibson site, I’d know where I’d rather head for – and it’s not a big black hangar building”.  Mike goes on to add “the number of blue chip clients that subscribe to our services is testament that they too see this as an irrelevance in terms of risk”.  Please note: Tour of the DSM site by air can be arranged – should any potential client wish to take the [non] risk of crashing into the hangar building!

One final question which doesn’t often get asked but which ought to be is that of parking;  What actually is available?  Many providers are very coy and some downright untruthful when answering this question.  Those that reside on ‘out-of-town’ industrial estates very often have limited parking and very rarely is there any alternative other than by the road side.  Having to park at the other end of an industrial estate is clearly not ideal – especially on dark winter nights!  The DSM facility is on a three acre site and can genuinely accommodate at least 500 vehicles.

How many fully configured positions do you have?

We currently have 673 fully configured positions across 7 suites, ranging from 28 to 174 seats with options, to combine  thus achieving  configurations of 108, 253, 275, and 528 seats.  Our spacious suites are setup and ready to use complete with PC, Telephone handset and monitor. Some suites also have dual monitors.  Further seating and bespoke configurations can be accommodated.

How resilient is DSM’s Facility?

Power:  DSM is not dependent on mains electricity. The entire facility is protected by dual generators with electronic stability control and automatic start/stop on power fail/resumption. Fuel reserves allow for continuous full load operation for in excess of six weeks.  All critical equipment, to include every desktop position, is further protected by a dual centralised UPS system with modula redundancy.

Gas: DSM is not dependant on mains gas. Three 2000 litre tanks of Liquid Propane Gas (LPG) provide for approximately six weeks of continuous heating.

Water:  DSM is not dependant on mains water. DSM stores 200,000 litres of water  which is topped up from rain water taken from the roof of the facility.

Sewerage:  DSM has its own sewerage tanks and therefore is not dependant on mains sewers.

Data/Telecoms:  DSM is not dependant on a single communication source.  Twin, separately routed auto failover fibre circuits ensure data and telecoms continue to operate 27x7x365. In addition DSM has alternate fibre circuits from a separate provider plus high speed microwave links.

DSM is the most resilient supplier of business continuity services in the UK

How secure is the site?

The facility is enclosed within a steel perimeter fence with 24×7 on-site personnel.  Additionally access is restricted, through electronic means, to authorised persons only. Internally, all areas have electronic proximity card access control that allows or denies access as contracted. IP based CCTV monitoring is deployed internally and externally with automatic alarms as appropriate.

Once an individual has been security checked and ‘signed in’ further entry/exit is at the individual’s discretion (by use of the proximity card) and limited only by terms of business ie: contracted hours of access. Proximity card’s remain with each individual until continuous occupation of the facility is no longer required ie: Invocation or Test is complete.

Both client and individual can relax in the knowledge that the site is fully secure with the building and car parking enclosed inside a CCTV monitored, steel fenced, perimeter zone. The parking areas can comfortably accommodate 500 vehicles and can also accept HGV’s and PSV’s (buses) without any turning circle issues.

How many dedicated parking bays do you have available for BC clients?

DSM has in excess of 1.5 acres of area designated for parking.  This equates to  500+ vehicles.   All access/parking is suitable for HGV and PSV.  Helicopter arrivals can be made direct into DSM’s secure compound.

Do all of your positions have phone lines?

Yes, every position can have an external  enabled phone line if required ie: make outgoing calls and receive incoming calls.   Note – all desktops have a handset that will allow internal calls by default.

Does the facility have good transport links?

Yes,  there are a number of major connecting  ‘A’ routes;   A1M 1miles A47 1.5 miles, A605 1 miles, A14 7 miles. Peterborough is 15 minutes by car and sits on the East Coast main train line;  London Kings Cross railway station is 55 minutes away. Helicopter arrivals can be made direct into DSM’s secure compound and Fixed wing accessibility is within 500m.

DSM works with transport partners to arrange coaches and taxi solutions as and when required.

What is your client to seat ratio?

DSM operates and manages, very carefully,  its exclusion zone policy;  We will not assign close proximity clients into the same suite. With 673 positions and 7 suites (one of the largest facilities in the UK) it is very unlikely that DSM will ever be in a situation of not being able to accommodate an invoking client. DSM is happy to discuss its actual client to seat ratio.

Are all of your suites ready to go?

Yes, all of our 7 suites (673 positions) are fully operational and ready for immediate use.  Additional positions and suites can be made available if required.

Can you provide testimonials?

Yes of course, these can be arranged;  We have many longstanding clients from a range of business sectors. Privacy and anonymity is an important part of our service to our clients –  we therefore do not publish any of our client details.

Have you ever had a genuine invocation?

Yes, the facility has been used on a number of occasions. We also promote regular testing to ensure that everything goes smoothly when/if disaster does strike.  We don’t advertise client tests or invocations as client anonymity/privacy is an integral part of our service.

How ‘Green’ is the DSM Facility?

DSM’s premises were born from a blank canvas.  The building was originally a World War 2 aircraft hangar which since 1946 through 2002 had only been used for warehousing.  As a result the interior was completely empty which allowed for the installation of the infrastructure to be specifically tailored, not just for that required for Business Continuity services, but also the environmental aspect – it’s Greenness.

Founder and CEO Mike Richardson says “Power is perhaps the ‘greenest’ of the design. Considerable thought went into every aspect of the electrical systems,  the end result being minimal power consumption which when averaged across the number of positions comes out at below 700va per position, something that other providers simply cannot achieve;  most struggle, due to inherited/archaic electrical installations/distribution and/or poor design, to get much below 1.2kva per position – some even advertise this as being an acceptable norm – shocking”.

What things should we be considering (or asking) when looking at a BC facility?

Telecoms

How many incoming external active phone lines do they have?  What resilience do they have on their exchange/switch/PBX?  If it were to fail  what would happen?  There ought to be at least two separate exchanges/switches/PBX’s – with failover capability and enough external active phone lines to match the number of positions.  Ideally there should be multiple telecom circuits – not just one – and over differing medium (fibre, copper, microwave) and using seperate suppliers.  Ask to power off the exchange and then try and make an external call – does it work – will they even let you?

UTILITIES

Gas/Water/Sewerage:  Most often forgotten about but absolutely essential for continuity of service. The majority of BC providers will be dependent on these in some way;  Ask:  If the disaster were to take out a gas main, water main or a sewer main what effect would that have – how long could they continue to operate?  If the heating is gas fired, then in winter a gas main failure could mean plummeting internal temperatures within a very short space of time;  No water or a sewer pipe issue means no toilet flushing – not pleasant.  Both of the latter are immediate problems rendering the facility non-operational.

EXTERNAL (Essential services)

Car Parking

Is there enough?  Remember, if you’ve got reason to be there, it’s likely others will too.  If the facility says it has 200 seats it should have 200 parking places or at least there should be somewhere close by where vehicles can be safely parked.  Remember to add their staff into the equation.

OTHER

Security

Can anyone just come and go? Ideally the whole site should be secure (not just the building) with no unauthorised access in or out.  Check where the generators (and fuel storage) and incoming coms cables reside –  are they open for sabotage?  Is the site CCTV monitored?  Is there 24hour security?

BC Provider Pedigree

Ask what customers they have lost over the past 5 years;  Customer’s come and go – that is all part and parcel of business however the reason can sometimes be quite telling.  Contact the relevant customer and ask.  Conversely ask if any customers have gone and since come back – again quite telling – especially from where they have been!

Can we have a no-obligation look around?

Absolutely, just give us a call or use our contact form to arrange a suitable time.