By: Robert Galop

August 30th, 2016

Last month, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that hurricane season is upon us. The U.S. is on course to experience more hurricanes in the Atlantic than we've had the previous three years.

What does this mean for the east coast of the U.S.? It's time to start preparing.

According to the report, "outlooks are based on monitoring, analysis and prediction of key climate patterns that influence the hurricane season, such as La Nina and El Nino, and ocean temperature patterns that last for decades at a time."

Strangely, this scenario got me thinking about the need for redundancy when it comes to critical communications services for business.

Similar to NOAA, you've got the ability to monitor, analyze, and predict a number of patterns and experiences to help your business' voice infrastructure clear of disaster.

Granted, your contact center isn't nearly as complex (or dangerous) as hurricane season. It is, nonetheless, subject to failure and fraught with the potential for outages. Like hurricane season, you may not be able to fully avoid these instances but you can make a plan for what to do when they show up on your doorstep.

From a major storm shutting down your Biloxi call center to Bob's backhoe service severing a strand of fiber outside your building, outages are unplanned and costly.

Put simply, it pays to prepare and to have a contingency plan. Without NOAA's predictions each year, thousands would be caught unaware of the potential damage headed their way. Unfortunately, this is how many businesses and enterprises continue to manage their voice networks.

It's never about completely avoiding what's coming. It's about best preparing for it. Much like residents of the east coast this summer, with a little foresight and planning, you can manage disaster before it ever happens.

Creating a Redundant Communication System While Lowering Business Costs

From geographic diversity to deploying teleworker capabilities to ensuring redundant connectivity with your service provider, a little planning can go a long way towards averting disaster.

Should the unthinkable happen and your primary provider go down, you'll need a way to get back in the game as quickly as possible. If done right, this would happen in a few clicks of your mouse and would keep your overall cost of doing business low.

Here's how you can protect yourself and your network from unforeseen outages:

  1. Find an alternate provider who lets you connect via SIP (leveraging your existing internet connectivity), has low usage rates, and can provide you with a small minimum usage guarantee (ahem, IntelePeer, ahem).

  2. Include this alternate provider in the primary route plan (say, with a small percentage allocation). This ensures the service is working while helping you meet any minimum usage guarantees. It also keeps your overall cost at, or near, net-neutral.

  3. Build appropriate routing plans in the National 800 SMS database. This will help if your primary or alternate service provider goes down. Also, make sure you have established procedures in place to quickly invoke the plan anytime disaster strikes.

If you love (or have an unbreakable contract with) your current provider, make sure you're protected by adding IntelePeer as an alternate provider. Of course, for best results, IntelePeer would be your primary provider, but we'll leave that up to you.

Trying to board up your windows and place sandbags as the storm is upon you is a losing strategy. Flying by the seat of your pants to ensure (business) survival is not a position you want to be in.