Business continuity, sometimes referred to as disaster recovery, is all about making sure that your business can continue to function even when ‘disasters’ happen. One of the most critical of functions a business needs to safeguard during such times is their ability to communicate – with customers, suppliers and employees.
Hosted VoIP was engineered to protect your business during such times. And don’t think of disasters as just epic events like fires and floods. Disasters come in all shapes and sizes – from a loss of power in your building to a few inches of snow that keep employees away from the office – and a hosted solution has an answer regardless of the situation.
Develop a Plan
While the very nature of a hosted VoIP solution allows your business to keep functioning when things go wrong, make sure you plan and get things set up BEFORE disaster strikes. Consider some ‘what-if’ scenarios based upon your business concerns and requirements then talk to your provider about what will work best for your situation. While a business continuity solution for a police station will look different than for a travel agent – the key to taking advantage of your hosted VoIP system is planning.
Business Continuity Feature
A good hosted platform will have ‘Call forwarding Not Reachable’ available for individual extensions in case the endpoint device goes unregistered (e.g. power or Internet outage.) A user can define another telephone number – cell, home, landline, etc. – that will ring if their device goes offline. This is a simple, yet powerful feature that is recommended to be set up.
Other Features to Stay in Touch
Some of the following you may not think of as being part of your business continuity plans, but they help your business stay connected at all times.
- Voicemail to Email – a powerful feature you can leave on always. While your office may not be accessible perhaps, callers’ messages to your voice mailbox will be delivered to your email inbox. If you can get email – and many get email on their mobile devices now.
- Auto Attendant – be sure to manage your greeting to communicate important information to during a disaster – callers will appreciate the status/information.
- MyPortal – be sure you are familiar with the online access available for your user account where you can manage many voicemail, call forwarding and mobility options during an event.
- Sim Ring – turn on Simultaneous Ring to your mobile or other phone number so you’ll receive calls when your device is unavailable. This can be configured and turned on/off in MyPortal.
Phone Portability **
A Hosted VoIP solution makes it easy to move your phone to a different location. Big snowstorm coming? Take your phone and plug it into your home network – you’ll likely need a power cord – but your phone can work from anywhere just like it’s sitting on your office desk. Best of all, callers won’t know the difference.
** Note – moving phones away from the intended location will impact 911 dialing in that the wrong address will be delivered to the emergency call center. Please make sure to coordinate any moves with your Hosted VoIP Provider.