Hurricane Sandy, Katrina and storms often bring with them tremendous financial, personal, business and other losses. People die. People lose their businesses. Hurricane Sandy, which hit NY, teaches businesses owners, yet again, the important of preparing for disasters.
One thing that was made very clear during hurricane Sandy, was that those business owners with traditional copper wire telephone systems, were suffering a lot. In fact even many telephone based door opening systems did not work – I know this first hand.
Hosted telephone provider 8×8 shared an example of how one of their new customers upgraded his phone system before Sandy hit and his phone system kept working through and after the storm.
Business continuity in a natural disaster is a pressing issue. That’s what Tom deBettencourt thought a few weeks ago as he learned of Hurricane Sandy approaching his Rockville, Md.-based PCR Educator business, which provides cloud communications for schools. Tom foresaw that the strength of this storm could affect his business’s communications and that his 13 employees might not being able to work from the office.
These considerations pushed deBettencourt to revisit his idea of switching from cumbersome, maintenance-heavy on-premises PBXs to cloud communications. His priority in choosing a new service provider: softphones. That’s when he called8×8, a San Jose-based provider of cloud communications services to SMBs.
It took only a day to convert the services, set up passwords and forwarding, and download 8×8’s Virtual Office on desktops and mobile devices. Less than a week before the storm, PCR Educator was live and ready to weather the storm. Just as deBettencourt predicted, his employees weren’t able to make it to the office. Instead, they worked from home through the worst of Sandy, using their iPhones and Android phones and tablets to stay connected to their customers and one other through the Virtual Office app. The two 8×8 data centers on both coasts kept data secure with total redundancy that allows transferring 100 percent of data from one location to the other in case of disaster on either coast.
Through the storm and all, the company hasn’t missed a beat.
Of providers of hosted phone systems you might want to consider including RingCentral and M5 Networks.
PS – You can “laugh” when the next storm comes and help others…but then again – hopefully your building infrastructure will be ok and other things beyond the phone system.
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