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Improve Disaster Recovery with Virtual PBX

Monday, February 16, 2015 - 13:00
Disaster Recovery

Your business voice system is your primary and first point of contact for most customers, there is really no ideal time for that system to be down. So mitigate the problem with virtual PBX.

Just the other day I overheard the company president of a prospective customer discussing their current VoIP phone and internet service with their accountant. He was dissatisfied with the current cost of service relative to the number of outages they had been experiencing over the past few months.

Construction in the building and surrounding area – as well as various weather related and equipment issues – had caused several 1-6 hour voice and internet outages for their company recently. And lacking a business continuity plan for their voice system, they were at the mercy of their provider to get back up and running. Sound familiar? If so, it’s worth looking into revising your business continuity and disaster recovery plan for your primary voice system.

There’s never a good time for down-time

What are your organization’s options if your business voice system goes down and goes down hard? You can't just sit around and wait for it to come back online.

Without some sort of backup system in place, your company runs the risk of losing new and existing customers and vendors. They may lose faith and trust in your company if they are unable to contact you. One solution to this quandary is to implement a virtual PBX. These kinds of systems reside in the cloud, and provide redundancy and failover capabilities – so that you can communicate with your customers and suppliers – and stay in business.

The likelihood of experiencing a disaster – 50/50 or higher!

According to an article from Continuity Central, it is estimated that 80% of businesses that experience a major disaster go out of business within 18 months after the disaster. Are those odds your company is comfortable with?  Most likely, I’m guessing the answer is ‘no’.

I can speak from personal experience that wind, ice, snow, and other weather-related damage can and does occur to telecommunications equipment on a semi-regular basis. Power outages occur more frequently than you might think as well. Even with a good UPS, your onsite PBX can still sustain significant and possibly irrecoverable damage in these kinds of outages. These scenarios show the value of retaining a cloud-based/virtual PBX setup.

Each disaster = big costs

You might be asking yourself, “How much can a little downtime here and there actually cost the company?” Well, here is formula that can assist in making that determination:

Revenue Risk

As an example, a company with Annual Revenues of $100,000,000 that operates 2080 hours a year could lose around $1442 per hour your company experiences an outage. For any company, that number can be pretty significant. Moreover – the longer the outage – the greater the cost.  And keep in mind, not all hours are created equal, so midday outages can hurt a lot more than one at 1 a.m.

How strong is your telecommunications recovery plan?

If your company is like many across the globe, there are many holes in the failover and recovery plan for the company’s voice system. It’s vital that a thorough analysis of your PBX voice system business continuity plan be conducted, and a failover system be implemented that can guard against any of the following:

  1. A LAN or WAN issue
  2. Carrier outage
  3. Equipment failure
  4. Power loss
  5. Natural disaster
  6. Downtime for an upgrade or maintenance

A solid voice disaster recovery system will be flexible and cost-conscious and should be easy to install and control.

Implementing a Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery Voice Plan is Easier Than You Think

If the idea of asking management for the approval to set-up a disaster recovery system for your voice PBX leaves you quaking in your boots, rest assured that there are very straightforward options available to companies of all sizes. When researching hosted VoIP for business continuity, consider a solution that provides a comprehensive suite of services.

West Unified Communications has a solution called MaxxSecure which provides complete redundancy. DRS removes the costs and complexities that often come with implementing a voice disaster recovery infrastructure, by giving customers an integrated suite of cloud-based call control and unified communications tools.

No matter what type of backup system you decide to go with for your PBX system, make sure your organization puts some sort of failover system in place. The costs are too great to overlook this important piece of your business continuity and disaster recovery plan!

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