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VoIP Business Communications Systems Disaster Recovery: How Does It Work?

There are many significant and game-changing benefits of a VoIP business communication system. Among the benefits are total mobility, scalability, flexibility, and, significant up-front and ongoing cost savings. However, as a business owner or decision-maker you know there is one crucial benefit that stands above and apart from the rest: disaster recovery.

How Does VoIP Disaster Recovery Work?

VoIP phone systems use a broadband internet connection transferring both audio and video (for videoconferencing). If the internet connection goes offline for any reason — such as natural disasters like hurricanes and floods — then an automatic failover process kicks in and switches to a secondary connection, which ensures ongoing connectivity and supports various communication methods (voice, video, text, etc.). When the internet connection is restored, it switches back to the primary connection.

Also, during a power outage due to a catastrophic event (or any other reason), calls can be forwarded from digital phones (i.e., phones designed specifically and exclusively to work with VoIP systems) to any other operational phone, including cell phones and landlines. Forwarding is canceled once power returns.

The Role of Backup Power Systems in Disaster Recovery

What if you want to continue using one or some of your digital phones during a power outage? No problem! Connect your computer(s) and digital phone(s) to a backup power supply, which handles the load until power is restored. Just keep a couple of things in mind:

  • This element of your business continuity plan only works if your Internet Service Provider is unaffected by the power outage.
  • As with all kinds of backup generators, a backup power system with VoIP has a limited capacity, and so it is wise to minimize usage until normal operations are restored (at which time the backup power supply’s battery will recharge). Typically, business leaders choose to maintain connectivity to critical assets and emergency contact personnel (e.g., members of the disaster recovery team).

The Importance of Multiple Data Centers

What happens when a power outage affects your VoIP vendor? If the vendor has a single data center (and it is an affected area), then you won’t be able to use your VoIP system until power is restored.

However, there is a safe and reliable way to avoid this gap in your business continuity plan. The answer is to choose a VoIP vendor with multiple data centers. At Carolina Digital Phone, we have not one, not two, but THREE carrier-class data centers located in downtown Greensboro, NC, Research Triangle Park, NC (known as North Carolina’s MCNC.ORG), and in the Equinix Data Center in Dallas, Texas.

This geographically-dispersed data center strategy virtually guarantees that our system will always remain operational 24/7/365. This is regardless of the threat (e.g., hurricane, flood, etc.) that may be happening locally, or even across North Carolina or the U.S. Southeast.

The Final Word

In today’s business landscape “going off the grid” — even for a few minutes, let alone a few hours or even a few days — can lead to significant financial losses. Not only can internal communication, collaboration, and productivity grind to a halt, but it can lead to severe and lasting reputation damage; especially for smaller businesses. Indeed, few things irk customers more than when they try and call a business and get a message along the lines of “your call cannot be completed as dialed.”

When you make your VoIP business communication system part of our disaster recovery plan, you will have peace of mind knowing that even if you are effective by disruptive events, you will enjoy continued operation and be “open for business”!

Learn more about our tools, technologies, and policies for supporting your disaster recovery plan! Contact us today at (336) 544-4000. 

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