So how do you plan for Business Continuity around your phone systems?
The world of telephony is changing. Subtly over the past several years, there have been some changes as the convergence of voice and data continues. But the idea of keeping the pulse of your business alive, the phones, is critical. What I have discovered is that people think about the data first and voice a distant second. The other point phones and taken for granted, and as result, most do not even know what questions to ask. The purpose here is not to give answers but help you start thinking and asking better questions. A check-off guide is included at the end.
The decision starts with a premised-based system or a hosted type of model. There are many variances within these two segments. However, most PBXs can be classified one way or the other. The way DR is handled with Hosted Based systems IS NOT the same as premised based.
How do you identify a premised-based system? It is fairly simple. If the PBX is located in your building it is premised based. Your carrier will connect is direct to that PBX. They have a responsibility to deliver dial tone to that PBX only. Meaning if that PBX is not there to receive that call the person originating the call will get a fast busy. For the customer to not get fast busy that PBX will need to stay up. This means it may need extra protection and extra features to protect you in case of a bad event.
It is a model that leverages the internet and VoIP. The idea is that control is the call control is out of the building, usually at the Carrier Network Operations Center (NOC). Hosted models have become more popular as VoIP has become a stable and effective business model. When considering a DR plan, it adds another dimension beyond an alternative to a premised-based PBX.
Below is a simple check sheet that will help organize some of your thoughts around DR. It is meant as a starting point and is far from an exhaustive list. A comprehensive DR plan will spell out the clear hourly costs associated with downtime, a business impact analysis, and possibly an action guide that is to be followed by each employee.
|Do you have a power backup?||Needs UPS||Not Need|
|Do you have dual systems for failover?||Needs 2 PBXs||Yes|
|Are they geographically diverse?||2 Locations||Some do. Some don’t.|
|Can you forward or direct calls if necessary?||Maybe||Yes|
|Do you need to be on-premises to forward or redirect calls?||Maybe||No|
|Will inbound calls always be answered?||If PBX stays up||Yes|
|Will you handle outbound calls?||If PBX stays up||Yes, with extra data access|
|Will you handle a prolonged scenario?||Maybe||Yes|
|Are voicemails needed to be accessible?||Maybe||Yes|
|Can employees work comfortably from home||Maybe||Yes|
We can set up a no-cost or obligation assessment of your current system and help you determine what solution options are best for your organization. Our CleanVoice VoIP solution will give you all the Tools and features you need to enhance your business and stay connected, even during a disaster. Reach out today!