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Does Your Disaster Recovery Plan Include VoIP?

Posted by Natalie DeCario on August 20, 2014 at 10:19 AM
Natalie DeCario

There's a reason why accidents are called accidents, and not "deliberates". You don't plan to have an accident; they happen at the whims of fate or when the stars align just right (or wrong). And since you can't plan an accident, then you have to settle for planning for what to do when a disaster strikes your business. Maybe it's a natural disaster, or maybe it's a failure of the infrastructure (burst pipes, electrical fire), but whatever it is, a prudent business has a recovery plan set up to best lessen the impact of the disaster and get back up and running in the shortest time and with minimal fuss.

But in this grand plan, have you considered the value of VoIP in expediting recovery? If not, consider changing that, and the first step is to read on and see how this awesome communications technology can make life easier in the aftermath of a setback.

Does Your Disaster Recovery Plan Include VoIP?
(VoIP can point the way towards a faster recovery from disaster.)

A Quick VoIP Overview
For those not familair with it, VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, and offers telephone communications delivered over the Internet. It's also called broadband phone service, IP telephony, or voice over broadband.  It's an excellent unified communication package, which combines phone calls, faxes, e-mail, voicemail, and Web and video conferences.

Versatility Offers Flexibility
One of the biggest selling points of VoIP is that it's a system that brings together many functions, combining Internet, voice, e-mail, and more into a single useful entity, and it's that versatility makes VoIP a key element in disaster recovery.

For instance, say you had to leave your building in the face of an impending disaster. You can access your VoIP system via a remote Web connection and reconfigure your staff at a different, safer location, thereby minimizing disruption due to downtime.

Another VoIP feature that helps expedite disaster recovery is the ability to unplug VoIP phones from the old location and plug them in at a different location, provided you have access to a high-speed Internet connection. This is a valuable thing at your disposal if, once again, you need to evacuate your building (though presumably with some degree of warning; perhaps in the wake of an advancing tornado or hurricane).

The one big takeaway from this is that uninterrupted communications is the key to expeditious disaster recovery. With communications established, you can use VoIP to keep everyone in contact, continue conducting business with customers, and accessing/restoring your data which is backed up off-site, preferably on a cloud server.

You DO have your data backed up off-site, right?

People Don't Plan To Fail, They Fail To Plan
A successful disaster recovery is characterized by minimal disruption of operations. If use of your building is suddenly denied to you due to a disaster or other harmful incident, you need to have a coherent, realistic disaster recovery plan on hand, crucial data backed up, and an alternate site where operations can continue until the crisis is over. Bear in mind that there are some disasters that hit so suddenly that you really have no chance to put an elaborate plan into play. It's wise if you have that alternate site already chosen, preferably equipped with that high-speed Internet connection, and VoIP phones.

Incidentally, if your business doesn't use a VoIP system yet, you should reconsider that. VoIP is growing, while in turn, analog is dying. Food for thought.

There's no way that your business can be 100% disaster-proof, but bringing VoIP into your DR plan will certainly help lessen the blow.

Byline: John Terra has been a freelance writer since 1985. He writes for MediaShower.com, covering a wide range of technical topics.

If you're looking for more assisiance on developing a disaster recovery plan, please contact us today to talk with one of our VoIP Consultants!

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Tags: Entrepreneurship

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