Why a Cloud Phone System Is Sleep-at-Night Insurance
When weather forecasters began issuing warnings about Hurricane Joaquin in early October, businesses from the Caribbean through the Northeastern United States braced for the worst. The storm represented the nightmare that every small business owner dreads: A natural disaster that brings operations to a grinding halt. And while many were spared, others up and down the Atlantic Seaboard were severely affected.
Such events can be devastating to small businesses. Phone lines can be down for days, and flooding can damage data stored on local servers. A break – even a short one – in operations can be fatal. In fact, almost 40 percent of small businesses never reopen their doors following a natural disaster, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
In such situations, a cloud phone system can make a big difference, enabling a small business to keep operating even while its headquarters is shuttered. That’s because business continuity is baked into the system
First off, it’s the cloud phone system vendor – not your IT staff – that’s responsible for communications continuity. The vendor manages and maintains servers and sets up in advance disaster recovery plans to reduce the risk of downtime of your system. For example, ShoreTel maintains two types of disaster recovery plans: one to cover loss of connectivity, the other to address an inability to get to the office.
In addition, the system’s distributed, virtualized architecture and N+1 redundancy means that if ever a failure were to occur, you’d experience no disruption of service and no dropped calls. In fact, the ShoreTel Connect CLOUD service guarantees Service Level Agreements and 99.999% availability.
Remote access is another advantage offered by the cloud VoIP model. Even if their usual workplace is closed and the local network is down, employees can still make and receive business calls using their own smartphones. With the ability to log into the phone system from any mobile or cloud phone, even call centers can be temporarily relocated to remote or satellite offices.
When a phone system goes down, callers hear a fast busy signal and assume you’ve got troubles. This isn’t the message a vibrant business wants to send, even for a few hours. A cloud system allows administrators to easily manage communications options from any location. They can route calls to other offices or to remote workers, and they can easily change outgoing messages to keep customers informed.
When enmeshed in the nightmare of a disaster scenario, business owners already have plenty on their plates. Cloud phone systems mean they have one less thing to worry about. ShoreTel’s IT professionals can manage your phone system while your team focuses on site-recovery efforts.
A disaster temporarily closing one of your offices doesn’t have to mean a halt to your business. A cloud phone system enables companies to continue serving customers without missing a beat. It’s true peace of mind that will help you sleep better.