How do I avoid phone system interruptions and survive unexpected downtime events?

Infrastructure

Infrastructure

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Phones are the main lifelines for many businesses, and in many ways phones are the primary method of communicating with customers, partners, and suppliers and among employees.

Most businesses still rely on premises-based PBX systems or service from the phone company. And while that seems like it would be reliable and resilient, unexpected events like natural disasters and human accidents can take your phone system down for hours, days, even weeks. This results in big opportunities lost for businesses because people can’t get a hold of you.

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), 40% of small businesses go out of business when faced with an unplanned disruption. All it takes is a few inches of flood water, a car to crash into a power pole, or a gas leak in your building or a neighboring site, and your business could experience a phone system outage that could last days or even weeks.

Let’s say the business does survive, but how much did the downtime cost? The Disaster Recovery Preparedness Council found that 38.3% of businesses lost up to $20,000 due to losing critical IT services (like phones) or data in 2014, with 10% losing up to $100,000 and 19.6% losing more than $50,000 to over $5 million.

Protect your business with a Cloud PBX system

The key to avoiding interruptions and surviving unexpected downtime events is to maintain a working communications system. If your phones are up, you can still contact customers and preserve vital relationships while your business gets back up and running.

And the key to maintaining a working phone system is to move your phone system and service to the cloud.

When talking about a cloud-based phone system, we are referring to a service where the calling platform and features are hosted by a service provider in their data center—as opposed to an on-premise based PBX server that lives in a closet or server room in your office.

With a cloud-based system, users connect to the system by plugging their phones into the internet, instead of making calls over the traditional public switched telephone network (PSTN) that’s run by the phone company. This allows businesses, in times of downtime/ interruptions, to re-route calls to a mobile phone or other phones reducing the impact of the disruption.

Not all hosted PBX providers are created equal

When choosing a cloud voice service provider, you want to make sure they have the features and resiliency to handle the unexpected events that cause interruptions and downtime.

When looking at providers, consider the following:

  • What is the network reliability? You want your provider’s network will be available even when your business’s network isn’t available.
  • Do they provide automatic re-routing? In case of unexpected downtime, you will need a reliable provider that can provide automatic re-routing to a cell phone or other mobile devices.
  • Do they provide plug-and-play phone relocation? The ability to move phones quickly to other locations could mean the difference between a business surviving or failing.
  • Is there a mobile softphone contingency? This allows businesses to make calls from mobile phones as if they were in the office.
  • Is an automated attendant available?  Having a hosted automated attendant answer and route phone calls is vital when businesses face downtime.

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