Chief executive officer Richardson M. Roberts remembers a time 10 years ago when PMT Services Inc.'s telemarketing operation had to shut down because a rainstorm had shorted out the phone lines.

"Not only was I competing for business in a marketplace which was difficult to identify and pursue," Mr. Roberts recalled, "but I had to consider whether or not 'acts of God' would continue to be things that we would be matched up against."

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