Written by Pete Morano on February 12, 2013
Categories: Blog Posts

Much of the Northeast is in recovery mode this week after snowstorm Nemo dumped up to 40 inches of snow in parts of the region over the weekend. For many, electricity, roads and transportation remain problematic.

According to a recent article in USA Today, utility crews have restored power to most of the 650,000 customers in eight states who lost electricity at the height of the storm, but more than 100,000 customers still remain without power.

CRN reported on Friday that a number of channel partners that are located in the Northeast were scrambling to prepare for the blizzard before the weekend, especially after many had lost power in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy just a few short months ago.

The massive amounts of flooding that many providers experienced in October after the superstorm cut power from servers and caused outages that blacked out customers’ communications for weeks. Even large providers like ShoreTel experienced flooding and power loss that brought down communication capabilities for customers that weren’t even located in the Northeast region.

A business’ lifeline is its communications. Every enterprise should take the time to ensure that it has a disaster recovery plan in place, and that its provider is prepared to keep communications up and running.

Businesses and providers should never need to scramble to prepare for disaster. There should be no reason to experience network downtime, even in critical situations. Organizations that aren’t prepared for disasters often lose communication capabilities which in turn risks sales opportunities, revenue and valuable client contact.

Here are three key factors to consider about your business communications before catastrophe strikes:

The Core Network Infrastructure

Providers that rely on Time-Division Multiplexing (TDM) trunks for communication set businesses up for trouble in the wake of a disaster. TDM trunks are physically tied to a local switch, so when flooding or major power outages occur that knock out the circuit, businesses can’t access their communications.

TDM trunks become a single point of failure because numbers tied to a TDM trunk are unable to easily move to another switch. Hosted VoIP providers use the power of IP circuits or the Internet to deliver voice services and run with IP-based core network infrastructures that allow for numbers to be instantly moved to a backup switch to process calls and maintain network uptime.

The Point of Access

By choosing cloud-based VoIP services, businesses can ensure that employees are able to continue business correspondence and access communications in a number of different ways. When a circuit goes down, users with Hosted VoIP can reach their business line with a unified communications application by enabling a Wi-Fi hotspot or using a cellular voice or data network. If you can access any form of wireline or wireless network, you can get to your business communications with inbound and outbound business identity dialing. Features like Unreachable Destination can also ensure businesses can continue to communicate even when the IP access circuit is out of operation by enabling users to set an alternate phone number to which calls can be routed.

The Location of the Cloud

Though its services are virtual, the cloud is tied to a physical location along with the information stored there. Businesses can avoid a breakdown in communications by simply choosing a provider that has a geographically dispersed network infrastructure with switches in more than one location. Geo-redundancy insulates businesses from having to experience the effects of a core network crash and prevents disruption in business communications. In the event of a switch outage, another location can serve as backup and preserve uptime.

Put your business communications in the cloud with geo-redundancy so that if disaster strikes, your business stays up and running. 

Photo Credit: Flickr
By: Victoria Fields