Disaster Recovery CUSO vs. Disaster Recovery Company

Written by Kirk Drake - P3 - Plan, Prepare, Protect - No Comments

If you are interested in learning about the difference between how a CUSO delivers Disaster Recovery vs. a normal company you have come to the right place.

Quite often I am asked, especially by folks outside of the Credit Union industry, what is a CUSO? A CUSO, or credit union service organization, is a special type of entity that is owned and operated by Credit Unions. Credit Unions are not-for-profit financial institutions that unlike banks return all of their profits back to their customers or members.

The primary rules for what the NCUA, National Credit Union Administration, says creates a CUSO is a credit union investing in an entity. With the credit union investment comes a string – 51% of the business must be focused on credit unions. There a good and bad things that come with this classification.

First the Good

  • Our owners are some of our best consumers of our products.
  • Our owners have a vested interest in our service levels and quality of products.
  • Our owners, being financial institutions, have much lower cost of capital and are willing to continuously invest in the business.
  • Our owners take the long-term view and are not creating a company with the goal of exiting or taking advantage of an opportunity in the market. Instead they are focused on building a long-term sustainable business that provides their organization the tools they need to compete and be successful.
  • Our owners have high expectations of service and security, beyond what a normal market player provides.Disaster Recovery Testing

Now the Bad

  • Our solutions need to be credit union focused – if you aren’t a credit union it doesn’t mean that you don’t share the same values and expectations of credit unions – in which case we are good fit. If you don’t believe in collaboration, listening, value driven business decisions and are just looking to make a quick buck – we probably won’t match your expectations.
  • A national regulator, the NCUA, can come in and examine us through our investors. They can’t tell us what to do but they can put pressure on our investors indirectly (this has never happened in 7 years though…)
  • Credit Unions are not the fastest adopters of new technology. This means we are probably on the leading edge – but not bleeding edge.
  • Sometimes we just don’t behave like normal mercenary, venture capital backed businesses. (we tend to like this…but it really confuses some people!)

So, How does this affect your Disaster Recovery Services?

  • The solution is built to last and will be around for years to come
  • We won’t have lots of ownership changes and changes in direction
  • We have a consistent vision and mission
  • Since our investors are sometimes are users – failure in a Disaster is not an option.
  • Our profits are almost always invested back in the business
  • We are NOT building the business to sell it.

Ultimately, we believe all of these and additional reasons give us a great leg up on our competition. Especially for those companies that value service and security above the cheapest possible solution.

Do you have questions about how buying services from a CUSO might affect your organization? Would you like to learn more about hour we measure service success and how it might impact your business? If so – please fill out some quick information!

About Kirk Drake

Kirk Drake Kirk Drake is founder and CEO of Ongoing Operations, LLC, a rapidly growing CUSO that provides complete business continuity and technology solutions. With its recent acquisition of Cloudworks, Ongoing Operations has expanded its market niche and become the leader in hosted solutions for credit unions and their providers. Kirk is a well-known and respected industry leader with over 15 years of experience designing and implementing advanced IT Systems and Disaster Recovery Solutions. Prior to founding Ongoing Operations, he served as Chief Technology Officer for NIH Federal Credit Union, a $400 million financial institution. During his time at NIH, Kirk spearheaded critical system conversions and led many projects to strategically advance the credit union, allowing it to better serve its members. Kirk is also an expert in designing collaborative solutions and developing innovative technology platforms. During Kirk’s tenure at Ongoing Operations, the CUSO has grown to one of the top twenty CUSOs in the nation and successfully recovered numerous clients in actual disaster situations.

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