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Picture this. You arrive at work early one morning, ready to close some deals. Your company’s latest sales promo just went live and you anticipate lots of prospects expressing interest.
But when you get to the office, you find that the power is out. You pick up the phone to call the power company and you hear nothing. No dial tone, nothing. No one else in the office has a dial tone either.
You use your mobile phone to get online and check the local news. And that’s when you find out that the emergency vehicles you passed on your way to work were heading toward an accident site where a construction worker ran a backhoe into a power pole, knocking it over. Now the power and the phone service are out over a 5-block radius and the utility companies are saying things won’t be fixed until tomorrow…at the earliest.
Prospects can’t reach you; they’re getting a busy signal. Your employees are all standing around; they can’t do any work. And you’re suddenly faced with a scary question: Will your business survive this outage? And if so, how much will it cost you?
Phones are the lifeblood of your business. They’re your primary method of communicating with customers, partners, suppliers and among employees.
Most businesses are still using 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.
We picture these disruptions as villains all conspiring to bring down your business. The Legion of Downtime can strike any time – it’s not a matter of if, but when.
And when they do strike, you face 4 key issues:
Your office location can become inaccessible
Your workers can lack access to network services necessary to run your business
You can’t talk to your customers and your customers can’t call your business
You are unable to conduct business and generate money or support your customers and partners
It all comes down to one simple fact: when people can’t get you on the phone, big opportunities are lost.
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), 40% of small businesses go out of business when faced with an unplanned disruption.1 All it takes is a few inches of flood water, a car to crash into a power pole, 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. Would your business fall into that 40%?
Let’s say your business does survive. Great, but how much does it cost you? According to the Disaster Recovery Preparedness Council, 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 million2.
1. Protecting Your Businessess, FEMA.gov
2. The State of Global Disaster Recovery Preparedness, Disaster Recovery Preparedness Benchmark, 2014
Use this handy calculator to find out how much you could lose when the Legion of Downtime strikes your business:
The key to surviving an attack by the Legion of Downtime 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, regardless of which downtime villain strikes.
And the key to maintaining a working phone system is to move your phone system and service to the cloud.
When we talk about a cloud-based phone system, we mean a service where the calling platform and features are hosted by a service provider in their data center—as opposed to a PBX server that lives in a closet or server room in your office. With a cloud-based system, your 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.
It’s simple to set up and manage the system because you don’t have to worry about server equipment.
Phones are plug-and-play and can be easily moved from place to place. They only require an Internet connection to work.
It saves you a lot of up-front money—you pay per user/per month and the only equipment you purchase are the desk phones.
Systems may die, panic may ensue, but with proper planning, it won’t paralyze your business. You won’t lose clients or your data. Even if operations aren’t at 100 percent, your business can still function. But if you don’t prepare, you’re a sitting duck.Jeff Chambers, Director of IT at WONGDOODY.
When choosing a cloud voice service provider, you want to make sure they have the features and resiliency to handle the Legion of Downtime. Intermedia’s Cloud PBX is one such option.
Intermedia’s cloud voice service provides “Double Coverage” to protect your business in 2 ways.
Intermedia’s Voice Cloud network delivers 99.999% (five nines) uptime for our voice services that is supported with a financially backed Service Level Agreement. This level of reliability—which calculates to less than 26 seconds of unplanned downtime per month—is possible because our architects and engineers have applied their deep expertise to seven key technological components:
The real-time nature of voice makes high availability a huge challenge. The words need to come to your ear in the order they’re said. Knowing Intermedia has failover nodes on both coasts with automatic transitions provides huge peace of mind for us.Jeff Chambers, Director of IT at WONGDOODY
Intermedia's voice service includes a suite of business continuity features to allow your business to continue to make and receive calls even in the event of a local outage or more severe emergency:
Intermedia helps ensure our business customers always stay connected to their customers, their partners, and anybody else they do business with, or just need to talk to. This is especially important in times of uncertain events.
Highly available network
System automation and high availability of features
Automatic call re-routing
24/7 live and online support
Customer service isn't just about working with a provider that addresses your needs. It's about knowing a provider is actively protecting your business from the costs of downtime.David Tran, IT Project Manager at Maker Studios.
Intermedia has done both for us in spades. In addition to having one central account person, we know that in the event of any natural disaster, our phone lines will stay operational. Intermedia has business-class voice figured out, end to end.
Intermedia's Office in the Cloud™ offers a suite of cloud IT services that are fully integrated, secure and mobile. They're all managed through our central HostPilot® control panel. Services include email, phones, file sync and share, single sign-on, security, mobility, archiving and more.
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About Cloud PBX
Extend rich, reliable calling features that let you sound like a big business—and operate like one. With Cloud PBX from Intermedia, you can preserve capital and slash operational costs. We offer a 99.999% uptime SLA. We'll even help you work with the phone company so you can keep your existing phone numbers.
Learn more about Cloud PBX >