Nearly everyone in business has heard of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and what it can do for the organization. Saving money, enhancing productivity, and paving the way for robust features that help companies sell are just a few of the benefits afforded by this great technology. One area that more leaders should consider is how VoIP can play a vital role in disaster recovery (DR).
The Real Cost of Downtime
Downtime is a serious expense, costing companies millions of dollars a year. A crisis can often be a fatal blow to a business, especially if no recovery plan is in place. Loss of revenue and negative reputational impact added to the actual expenses of repairing the problem or restoring systems may be too costly for small and medium businesses to endure. All too often, the doors close during a crisis and remain closed for good.
Problems with Legacy Systems
Old phone systems rely on old phone wires. These wires are susceptible to weather outages, deterioration of the wiring, vehicle/pole accidents and more. When the line is down, a service visit or other type of manual work by a technician is required—which can be a substantial charge.
What happens when a potential customer calls, only to get a message that the line has been disconnected or otherwise appears out of service? The customer moves on to the next business and a revenue opportunity is lost.
How VoIP Supports Disaster Recovery
Automatic Backup Services
Since VoIP relies on the Internet, it has a number of advantages over landlines. First, data center servers that support this type of telecommunications tool are built with redundancy. If the main server should fail, the backup equipment automatically performs a “failover” and swoops in to maintain operations. Most hosting providers distribute their equipment over different geographical areas. If one region is suffering a weather emergency that could disrupt the functionality in its center, the redundant location is ready to rescue the system.
In many cases when a crisis occurs, the company’s facility is completely inaccessible. In this scenario, even if the phones are working, the employees are not able to take calls. VoIP alleviates this situation since these systems can be configured to forward calls elsewhere for handling, or may receive calls via computers at other locations such as alternate workplaces. This allows customers to obtain support as usual without knowing there’s an issue. Sales and service continue as normal and disruption to revenue is minimal.
DR plans help a company restore operations more quickly and efficiently. VoIP is a natural fit in a comprehensive DR strategy and can save time, money, and frustration in a crisis. For more information on integrating VoIP into the company’s DR plan, contact BlackPoint IT Services today.