Think about the essential elements that are required to ensure business continuity: a physical location to work from, a consistently available power supply, the basic technology components to enable you to process financial transactions, and business required communications in the form of email and telephony.
In the event of the occurrence of a physical disaster, it's relatively straightforward - though extremely stressful - to physically relocate people and assets to an alternate location. However, it's a lot more difficult to ensure that your business telephone calls are correctly and automatically rerouted to the new or temporary location. Or is it?
IP telephony is easy to deploy and manage, saves money immediately and is not 'tied' to a physical location.
If you're still using a Telkom PBX solution in your business, you probably get cold shivers at the mere thought of having to relocate your office without disrupting telephonic communications. How confident are you that a simple call to Telkom would set in motion an efficient process to relocate or replace your physical PBX within hours - or even days? Are you sweating at this thought yet?
The ramifications of interrupted telephony communications that could potentially endure for weeks or months do not bear thinking about - business continuity would be severely compromised at best.
IP telephony, on the other hand, is 'location independent'. As long as you have an internet connection, it's pretty much irrelevant where you or your employees are physically located. Because IP (Internet Protocol) telephony is a cloud-hosted solution, you can make and receive calls wherever you are. In fact, your smartphone can function as your IP telephony device.
You may be thinking, "Yes, I've heard about this IP telephony thing, but does it really work?" Well, at IronTree, we have an IP telephony system in place with over 20 individual extensions and we make and receive over 10 000 calls every month.
Here's how IP telephony has benefited us:
Our IP telephony system is 100% redundant. Our primary connection is enabled through an Air 2 Fibre line-of-sight Wi-Fi broadband connection, but we are instantly able to 'fail over' to a Telkom ADSL connection or, in the worst case, utilise a cellular modem to ensure that we can continue to maintain telephonic communications.
Because we have a large UPS and generator, even large scale power outages - or 'load shedding' occurrences - don't affect our business communications. As long as we have continued internet connectivity via our Air 2 Fibre Wi-Fi facility, we're able to continue business as usual.
IP telephony has enabled us to easily integrate a cloud-based ticketing system to our telephone system. This means, for example, that a voice message left by a customer can automatically create a 'ticket' and email selected agents and managers to ensure that all customer requests are fulfilled.
The IP telephony system includes integrated detailed call reports that are great for management and don't have to be specified as an added cost option that's only available on selected devices.
We switched from a Telkom-based PBX system to our IP telephony solution over three years ago. In the past three years, our business has doubled in size, yet our telephone bill is still 30% less than what we were being billed by Telkom three years ago!
If you're serious about business continuity planning, IP telephony should feature prominently in your business planning.
IronTree will be releasing our free business continuity application with incident response functionality early in 2015, and we'll be adding an Air 2 Fibre IP telephony solution to our cloud-hosted product range.
Watch this space for more business continuity themed blogs. In the meantime, download our free guides and checklists to assist you in your business planning and optimisation here.