How to Make VoIP a Part of Your Disaster Preparedness Plan
Disaster preparedness is an essential part of protecting your business against the worst. Gartner estimates businesses lose $5,600 for every minute of downtime, depending on the industry and the nature of the downtime. This could mean a major corporation loses $300,000 every single hour.
VoIP is the core of how you communicate. Failure to protect your VoIP system against any form of downtime will ultimately mean a loss of client trust, a drop in productivity, and lost revenue.
Is Disaster Management Such a Big Deal for Businesses?
Sure, natural disasters happen every so often. Sometimes you’ll experience a power outage. But is it really such a big deal?
Perhaps the biggest problem of all is that between 40% and 60% of businesses never resume operations again. This statistic rises to 90% if the business doesn’t resume at least limited operations within five days after the event.
The scary thing is 20% of companies dedicate zero time to a disaster preparedness plan.
VoIP is the core of your communications system. Without a communications system, you can’t run your business, so it must form part of your disaster preparedness plan.
Unlike a basic telephone line, though, VoIP has a variety of protections to keep your business running
Operate with Real-Time VoIP Monitoring
Few businesses can have their communications systems staffed 24/7. Yet customers expect businesses to always be available in some form. VoIP allows you to customize your answering machine messages, so you can always keep your customers, and potential customers, informed.
Another way you can maintain a 24/7 business, even when you’re not there, is to choose a VoIP provider that comes with real-time VoIP monitoring.
As we will discuss later, VoIP providers often have automatic failovers and contingency plans to deal with outages. They will also monitor your VoIP systems, so problems are detected before they cause real damage.
Early detection allows you to pick up the suspicious activity and address it.
Look into a Second Internet Connection
VoIP has the advantage of only needing your Internet connection to function. This is why so many businesses have switched to VoIP.
However, a broken Internet connection is the most common cause of VoIP downtime. Obviously, you need to make sure you work with an Internet Service Provider (ISP) who’s reliable.
In the meantime, it might be worth investing in a second Internet connection from a different ISP. If one of your connections drop, you can switch to your other connection, meaning only minutes of downtime.
But what if you don’t want to invest in a second connection?
It’s true this added connection will go unused most of the time. To solve this problem, consider investing in SD-WAN technology. SD-WAN will allow you to unify multiple Internet connections into a single system.
You will get an even better connection because this technology uses smart technology to automatically reroute traffic to the best connection. That way you can improve the call quality of your VoIP system and prevent jumping and fade-outs.
SD-WAN technology is extremely flexible. You can alter the settings to prioritize different workflows.
Invest in a VOIP Service with Mobile App
VoIP is so attractive to businesses because you can use the same number on multiple devices. Furthermore, you can control your VoIP system’s central dashboard from a mobile device.
With around 70% of the world’s global workforce now operating remotely at least once per week, it makes sense to begin encouraging your staff to maximize VoIP’s potential by going mobile.
Investing into vendors providing mobile app that will allow your staff to switch to mobile devices using data connections should you experience downtime in the office. This is something you will never get with a basic telephone line.
Collaborate with Your VoIP Provider
Reputable VoIP providers offer some form of disaster recovery. However, you need to remember that not all disaster recovery add-ons will be as effective as you need. It’s important for you to ask the right questions so you know you can recover essential data in the event of a disaster.
Ability to Retrieve Essential Data – Does your VoIP provider back up everything from call data to system settings? If so, you need to know quickly that you can retrieve this information so you can get back up and running.
Uptime Promise – How quickly does your VoIP provider guarantee they will be back up and running in the event of a natural disaster?
Geographic Disparity – Does your VoIP provider have multiple, geographically separate data centers holding your data? This ensures that even in the worst-case scenario you are not out of commission for long.
Prepare a Business Continuity Plan
VoIP disaster preparedness must also take into account a business continuity plan. The beauty of working with a reputable VoIP provider is they can handle most of the work if your business experiences a disaster.
However, you also need to work with them to develop a business continuity plan.
For example, maybe during a disaster, your VoIP provider will send voice traffic to a separate answering service explaining to customers what’s happened to your business.
You may also want to have client calls redirected to a separate location, so you can continue to run your business no matter what.
VoIP technology makes setting up failover protection easy. VoIP providers can help you establish routing policies, so the moment a call cannot be completed these contingency plans automatically come into force.
Conclusion: VoIP Should Be a Part of Your Disaster Preparedness Plan
VoIP is so beneficial because of the flexibility that comes with it. Today, it’s the leading communication system for businesses.
However, you need to make sure you choose a VoIP provider that backs you up when something happens. You should be able to work with your VoIP provider, so you have the key protections that will not only keep your business running but ensures a minimal amount of downtime.
Do you have a disaster preparedness plan for your VoIP system yet?