Disaster recovery plans and VoIP

Disaster recovery plans and VoIP

When the subject of disaster recovery plans is brought up, the conversation often focuses on keeping data intact and accessible during crises such as flash floods or massive cybersecurity breaches. However, there is another aspect of disaster recovery that must be addressed: voice communications.

Phones are vital for keeping in touch with the police, emergency responders, and employees who still have to be on the job in the middle of the catastrophe. If your VoIP system goes down, are you immediately cut off from everyone, or would you have backup voice communication lines?

Here are a few things you must consider so that you’re not stranded communications-wise when disaster strikes:

Hosted VoIP vs. SIP-based VoIP

If you’re wholly using internet connections for your VoIP, then you don’t have to think about disaster recovery too much. This is because your staff can make business calls anywhere there is an internet connection — the phone system software is hosted on the cloud, not in your local server.

However, if you’re using a Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) installation (i.e., you’re using a local server — a.k.a., a Private Branch Exchange or PBX) to allow IP phones to communicate over standard phone lines, then you’ll need a backup in case that server goes kaput. This can be a secondary on-site PBX, a cloud-based PBX system that mirrors your old one, or any other backup that lets you use VoIP despite the circumstances.

VoIP monitoring systems

When disaster strikes, how do you know when to put your disaster recovery plans into motion? If you do a lot of business over the phone, then just a few minutes of VoIP downtime is costly. Thankfully, VoIP comes with monitoring systems, whether for SIP installations or cloud-hosted ones. Apply these systems to recover your voice communications capabilities in the shortest amount of time possible.

Internet connectivity backup

VoIP phones need to be connected to the internet to work. This means that if you get cut off from your primary line, you’ll need to switch over to a secondary one. That auxiliary line may be from the same internet service provider, but that’s not a good idea. It’s wiser to have a backup connection from a different ISP because you’re more likely to have a working connection and avoid protracted downtime.

Automatic failover protection

Reliable VoIP service providers implement automatic failover protection. That is, if voice calls fail to connect and push through for any reason, the provider’s system will implement an alternate connection to make the call happen. However, if you don’t use hosted services, you’ll most likely have to come up with a backup plan of your own. If your staff is amenable, you can automatically forward calls to their personal devices, though not every employee will be up for that.

If you’re planning to set up a “bring your own device” (BYOD) policy, you can incorporate the voice communications aspect of disaster recovery into that policy. Or, you can simply set up corporate expense reimbursement procedures for the times you utilize personal mobile phones to make business calls.

Consult with a reliable VoIP services provider about disaster recovery. For comprehensive cloud-hosted VoIP services you can rely on, talk to SimplyClouds. Drop us a line to learn more about how well-prepared you’ll end up being once you have us as your partner.

Tags: disaster recovery, VoIP, PBX