Disaster Recovery With VoIP Phone Systems

With any phone system, whether it is premise based such as ISDN or or hosted, such as VoIP, ensuring you know what to do in the event the worst should happen is vital.

For premise based phone systems this typically means a service agreement with an engineering company which can quickly be on site if your hardware fails. A huge danger with premise based phone systems is that if a line is severed in the builder, or worse on the public street, or the exchange is damaged (calls outs in winter months for business rise by 33%). If your system fails in this manner, you could be facing days if not weeks of downtime.

With hosted VoIP phone systems the dangers of premised based systems are not there, but as with any system, nothing is 100% fail safe. The main issue that can face VoIP customers is the internet failing. So how can you mitigate this issue, and what do you do if the internet does go down?

Don’t leave it to chance:

VoIP can be part of any businesses communications recovery plan. But what happens if the internet goes down? First and foremost, we need to look at why the internet goes down. the core reason for this is:

Issue with the ISP (internet service provider)

Line damage (typically due to bad weather).

If the issue is ISP specific, then a great option is to have two internet connections in your building with two different carriers. The three UK carriers are BT, Talk Talk Business and Virgin. This means that if BT has a fault, Talk Talk and Virgin would not necessarily have the same problem.

In the instance that what line drops, it’s an easy job to take the ADSL / DSL out of one router and plug it into the other.

When considering a VoIP implementation, businesses tend to discuss cost savings, unifying communications and the best way measure productivity. One thing that does not get discussed enough is how you can use VoIP to ensure continuous communications in the event of disaster.

Mitigating disasters on a PSTN network is very difficult and very expensive. Typically, this means  trunk lines and phone systems  to help redirect calls from one location to another. But in a short space of time, there is no way on a PSTN network to get the lines back up quickly

VoIP works acts just like any other IP-based application. Email as an example: No matter where the user us they do not need not worry about the geographic location of the mail server. The same is the case for IP VoIP telephony, no matter where you are, you can plug in and go.

Covergence, interoperability  are key when disaster planning

Converging voice and data onto one network and ensuring that all your devices work together is key to communications continuity. This was hammered home by Cisco and other key business who got together to discuss best practices for continued communication during a catastrophe. A seminar on keeping telecoms up and running in the event of a disaster. polled 1,000 IT managers found that 96% of organizations aren’t confident that they could communicate in a disaster.

@40805 The key, according to Clinch, is establishing interoperability, not only through unified communications — VoIP, messaging, presence and other technologies — but also by creating infrastructures that allow communication devices such as radios to interoperate with each other.

Using industry standards and protocols, many businesses can harmonise their operations and share applications over networks. VoIP is a vital part of the puzzle, and to use IP communication tools businesses don’t need to replace equipment which is already there and translate it to the world of internet protocol

The best method for businesses to harness VoIP phone systems for disaster recover is to have two broadband lines, each with different carriers, then pay holding fees with VoIP suppliers that in the event of disaster, they provision lines for you within SLA timescales.

For businesses in Warrington, Saffwood Communications is happy to offer a free consultation services which looks at the current phone system setup and will identify areas where VoIP can help the businesses improve. As a specialist supplier of hosted phone systems in Warrington, we have a national reach and national customer base.


Saffwood Communications is a Hosted Telephony provider to businesses. We specialise in SIP and VoIP. Our aim is to support businesses using outdated systems such as PSTN multiline and ISDN to move onto modern, robust telephony platforms. We support business of any size and are fanatical about customer care

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