It’s easier than ever to include your UC system in your DR plan and considering how tightly integrated it is into many businesses now, it should be. In the past, phone systems were hard-wired and left few options for DR. However, with newer technology there are plenty of options to consider so you can make sure interactions with your customers are still possible during a disaster. Here are 3 ways you can include communications in your DR strategy:
A cloud voice system is separate from your physical location and won’t likely be affected by a local disaster. Each extension can remain available on a mobile app, or you can take your handset anywhere with an internet connection and it will still work. If your main office goes offline your branch office and remote users will be completely unaffected. Your customers won’t even know anything is happening. You just need to have a plan and educate your employees on it. It is prudent, however, to make sure your cloud provider has their own DR plan.
UC is really now just another application in your environment. Most organizations already have virtualization technology to support the rest of their IT, so your phone system can simply be incorporated into it. Virtualization removes your dependence on proprietary phone system hardware, and takes advantage of the scalability, redundancy, and portability of virtual machines. In this case you must make sure your virtual infrastructure is part of your DR plan, but as long as it remains available so will your phone system. Make sure you consider your dial-tone – if you’re using a PRI you’ll need one in the backup location. If you use SIP, make sure it’s configured to recognize the backup location.
SIP replaces the use of a PRI or analog telephone lines for dial tone for an on-premise system. It has significantly more flexibility than older technology and increases your phone system’s resiliency. Since it is internet-based, it can be accessed from anywhere if it is configured to recognize the location. Combined with a virtual infrastructure you can make your system portable, allowing you to start up in an alternate location without having to pay for a second PRI there.