Hosted PBX Systems Can Augment Continuity Efforts

    Companies Should Consider Incorporating Hosted PBX Solutions Into Disaster Recovery Plans

    Businesses around the world recognize the need for disaster recovery, as failing to ensure that mission-critical applications, information and other resources can be brought back online in the wake of an unplanned service outage will reduce a company's chance of survival. Fortunately, organizations today have an abundance of technologies to choose from to augment disaster recovery strategies, with the most disruptive and notable being the cloud.

    During the past several years, cloud solutions have helped enterprises support remote workforces, enable anytime collaboration and embrace ongoing technical trends like bring your own device (BYOD) and other programs. Yet since the cloud's inception, the idea of backup and recovery has always been intertwined with the hosted services, as managing critical assets off-site generally means those solutions will have a better chance of withstanding an event that impacts a firm's physical office where crucial services were traditionally maintained.

    More recently, companies have implemented hosted PBX solutions to augment disaster recovery endeavors, as these platforms mean communications in general are more resilient. A Portland Daily Sun report by Trevor Jones, director of marketing and product development at Maine-based GWI, highlighted how organizations used to have to configure phone systems and develop complex rerouting arrangements to ensure employees could still collaborate with colleagues and customers in the wake of a disaster. By using hosted PBX platforms, however, these complex processes are no longer required to be incorporated into the disaster recovery plan.

    Rather than trying to incorporate old phone systems into a next-generation disaster recovery program that already use some cloud services, mobile strategies and other initiatives, organizations should consider updating to a hosted PBX solution that will make restoring communications in the wake of an emergency a less time-consuming and troublesome project.

    The Resilient Cloud

    The cloud is often recognized for being much more resilient than conventional technologies. This is largely because service providers have taken into account a much broader range of risks than most companies. Therefore, implementing a hosted PBX system can improve an organization's ability to maintain operations in the face of danger.

    Jones noted that hosted PBX phones operate on virtually all high-speed Internet connections, which means individuals can essentially pick up their workstation and continue functioning in an alternative location. If a hurricane, severe thunderstorm or other natural phenomenon is heading toward a business, for example, executives can have employees work from home and still connect to the network without impairing operations in any way. This is especially important in today's fast-paced business world where customers will simply move onto another organization if their current brand is unavailable or unresponsive.

    Additionally, Jones highlighted how cloud data centers are generally equipped with advanced backup power systems, which means that phone services will essentially be available for use, regardless of external influence. In other words, core phone system features will likely remain online at all times, allowing employees to maintain communications with colleagues, customers and partners. This capability means that reputations may be managed more effectively, which is critical in today's competitive business world.

    A separate No Jitter report highlighted similar benefits of incorporating hosted PBX solutions into a disaster recovery plan, noting that simply allowing employees to use personal mobile devices during a power outage, which is an option, will not necessarily allow outside parties to reach the company. If a customer wants to speak with a contact center representative, for example, calling up a specific worker's smartphone will not necessarily yield the same results, especially if the agent needs to transfer the call to a colleague.

    During the past few years, the proliferation of a broad range of cloud solutions has given organizations of all sizes new opportunities to augment business continuity endeavors. As businesses look to support new methods of communication, executives should consider adopting hosted PBX solutions that can strengthen operations on multiple levels, including during times when all other collaborative efforts are compromised, such as during a hurricane or other natural disaster.

    By planning ahead and implementing a cloud phone system, large enterprises and small companies can improve their odds of withstanding and surviving an unplanned outage without necessarily impairing operations or long-term efficiency.

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