Adding telecommunications to your disaster recovery strategy

The recent spate of cyber attacks and global data breaches has propelled disaster recovery planning strategies to the forefront of companies’ security agendas.

When it comes to planning for disaster recovery (DR) scenarios, communications systems are often at the bottom of the list. In the past, they were hard-wired and left few options for DR.

Here, James Robertson, CEO of OptiNet Systems, outlines how newer technology provides plenty of options to consider to ensure continuity of customer interaction during a disaster. Here are some of his suggestions on ways to include communications in your DR strategy:

A hosted system can be the most effective, because it is completely separate from your physical location. The service can be configured to redirect extensions to a cell phone if the handset goes offline. If your building or network becomes unavailable, incoming calls will be completely unaffected. Hosted technology can provide great flexibility for a business, particularly those with multiple locations or a large remote workforce. It is a very cost-effective way to gain access to technology with greater options for redundancy and disaster recovery than many small organizations would normally have access to.

Some telephone systems can now be completely virtual. Most organizations already have this technology to support the rest of their IT, and so your phone system can simply be incorporated into it. This removes your dependence on proprietary phone system hardware, and take advantage of the scalability, redundancy, and portability of virtual machines. As with a hosted solution, you can configure extensions to push to a cell phone if the handset is lost. So if your virtual environment has an offsite location to fail over to, you can simply include the virtual machines for your phone system into this strategy.

SIP replaces the use of a PRI or analog telephone lines. It has significantly more flexibility than older technology, and increases your phone system’s resiliency. Since it is internet-based, it can be accessed from anywhere as long as it’s configured to recognize the location. Combined with a virtual infrastructure you can make your system portable, allowing you to start up in an alternate location without having to pay for a second PRI there.

There are many other ways your phone system can be protected from a disaster, and the Optinet team would be happy to talk to you about them! OptiNet Systems is a provider of Unified Communications, Structured Cabling and CCTV/Access control systems in the Metro Vancouver area. If you are looking to replace your communications, cabling or security infrastructure, please connect with them!

James Robertson, MBA
CEO, OptiNet Systems 

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