Evaluating Business Continuity Management Software

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Case Studies
Posted on: September 23, 2022
EMC Insurance Logo

Building a Culture of Resilience at EMC Insurance

EMC Insurance Companies is in the top 60 property/casualty organizations in the United States and is one of the largest in Iowa, based on net written premiums. Founded in 1911, EMC is financially solid, built on more than 110 years of serving policyholders and independent insurance agents. EMC’s mission is to improve lives by providing trusted financial protection for its policyholders, profitable partnerships with its agency partners, an inspiring culture for team members, and service to their communities. Today, EMC has more than 2,400 employees in 40 states across the country.

EMC understands that it cannot deliver on its mission without true operational resilience. Resilience is now one of EMC’s five values as they commit to driving results with energy and passion – regardless of circumstance. EMC takes pride in acting on its core values and actively strives to maintain a culture of resilience across the organization. By working with Fusion Risk Management, EMC has quickly registered success as it strengthens its resiliency.

Fusion’s solutions empower organizations to make data-driven decisions with a holistic, agile approach to resilience and deliver on their mission through any business disruption. Today’s risk and resilience teams understand that they need real-time data to inform their operational resilience journey, but many are challenged by siloed systems and limited resources. The evolving risk landscape makes it critical for businesses to identify and respond to incidents in minutes – not days. Fusion is committed to helping clients move from reactive to proactive resiliency.

By partnering with Fusion, EMC has been able to transform its business continuity program and break down siloed systems to create a complete, real-time view of risk and resiliency, empowering the EMC team and giving them the confidence to develop and adapt their continuity program as the business grows.

The Journey from Business Continuity to Operational Resilience

Randy Ratekin spent two decades building a solid career in business continuity, serving the insurance and financial services industries. He is now EMC’s Enterprise Continuity and Risk Manager, responsible for maintaining and updating EMC’s business continuity program and infrastructure.

Issue Management UI Illustration

EMC’s previous continuity program used a homegrown system that was being sunset. The company needed a continuity solution that was intuitive for the end user, was easy for the administrator to make changes within, and provided the flexibility for the company to adapt as it grew and matured its continuity program into a robust operational resilience program.

While EMC was evaluating continuity solutions, Ratekin encouraged his software selection committee to look at the solutions from the perspective of: “Can you see yourself or your team members using the software?” From there, the team recognized that they needed a solution that enabled easy changes to screens, fields, reports, and dashboards and would also allow them to adapt the system as the EMC continuity program matured.

With each demo and each question answered by the Fusion team, EMC could see how the Fusion Framework® System™ would be able to take EMC’s continuity program to the next level.

Training for Success

EMC also needed a solution that would efficiently and effectively collect business impact analysis (BIA) data for its business processes and continue to follow industry standards.

Early on, the EMC team realized that they needed to reboot the continuity program, document their business processes, and start sharing the vision of what the continuity program would look like across the company. After implementing the Fusion Framework BIAs, the continuity and risk team introduced the software to its business process owners and approvers through group and one-on-one training sessions. The end users quickly learned how to use the field level help text as well as the Guidance for Success which is there to help the user understand what information needs to be entered.

Using Fusion’s Expert BIA processes enabled the users at EMC to become more familiar with the software tool and the impact of the business process to the company. While reviewing the BIAs, business process owners were asked to validate the maximum allowable downtime calculated by the system and, if necessary, were walked through the impact matrix again to clarify their responses.

Partnering for True Operational Resilience

Sprout of a tree sprouting on its trunk after cutting for lumber production.As Fusion’s team collaborated closely with EMC to revamp its business continuity program, the team quickly discovered areas for improvement. Two departments were working independently on their process impact assessments, attempting to determine which departments and/or business processes to start their inquiries. Leveraging information collected in the Fusion Framework, they were able to break down these silos and identify specific impact types of the business process owners selected within their BIAs. This data provided the initial information for the two departments to complete their BIA impact assessments, and Fusion’s Expert BIA gave EMC a better idea of the level of criticality each business process had on the company than they were previously able to attain. With engagement across the organization, they achieved operational efficiencies and built a strong data foundation to ensure EMC remains agile and can respond to any disruption.

Fusion has also helped Ratekin and his team grow professionally. By participating in virtual Fusion-hosted weekly Community Exchange sessions for customers, the team is now in contact with other continuity professionals who have the opportunity to learn from each other, share best practices, and aid in many areas of professional development.

Randy Ratekin added: “Fusion provides a platform where the user community can ask questions of each other and receive feedback, learn how to operate within the Fusion Framework System, and gain critical insights into how others are operating their continuity programs. With Fusion, I can execute my vision of transforming EMC’s continuity program into an even stronger resilience program.”