TROY, Mich. – Being prepared for disaster is one thing, having everything work the way it's supposed to is another. In a bit of a fluke event, Fiserv's Galaxy credit union data processing subsidiary was down for about a day because a back-up generator, that ironically had recently been tested, did not power up. "Galaxy has a very strong disaster recovery plan. They have a generator and if it had worked properly, they wouldn't have seen a hiccup," said Tom Neill, president of Fiserv's Credit Union and Industry Products Group. Neill said Galaxy tests the generator multiple times a month and had actually tested it that morning. The generator needed a new part, and because of the delays at the Detroit airport, Galaxy couldn't get the part until about 3:00 pm. on Friday, August 15. The blackout started around 4:00 p.m. the day before. "So from the customer's perspective we were down all day Friday. We spent the weekend catching everybody up and getting data circuits up and running," said Neill. While the generator issue has been fixed, Neill said they learned another important lesson – the importance of having a backup file of customers' e-mail addresses. "When the whole building went down, our ability to broadcast an e-mail to our customers was on our server at Galaxy, so we couldn't do a broadcast e-mail," said Neill. Neill said Fiserv's home office has back-up client contact data such as phone numbers and addresses, but not e-mail addresses which is often the fastest and most effective method to get a message out to customers. "We're now going to replicate that somewhere else. It was one of those things you don't uncover until you're in the middle of one of these situations," said Neill. "We did declare a disaster with Sungard. We loaded everything up with them and that worked fine," said Neill. He said the most regrettable aspect of the failure was credit unions having to manually enter transactions for the down period, which can be very time consuming. At another Fiserv credit union data processing subsidiary, the newly acquired Credit Union Industry Group (formerly EDS' credit union division), there was also a generator problem, yet a different kind of problem. A CUIG data center based in Auburn Hills, Michigan didn't even have a generator. "The big surprise there is EDS has three buildings. Two are big office data center facilities and we are in a third smaller building that we learned was not protected by a generator. That brought that group down," said Neill. About 30 credit unions on the CUBE online system are processed out of that center. Neill said Fiserv will quickly fix the problem and will relocate that data center out of the EDS building into a nearby facility that will have adequate back-up systems. [email protected]

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