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Cloud-based Unified Communications Crucial During Natural Disasters

August 14, 2015 by

When that big storm hits, it can be stressful for businesses to think about. Will the wind knock down the power lines? Will the company's headquarters lose power? How is that going to impact business? If corporations don't have the right communications systems, they could see a significant downturn in productivity until power is restored to the building. However, with hosted unified communications as a service, companies don't have to let the weather dampen their work.

Mobile Office Keeps Businesses Running In Any Situation

Cloud-based UC allows employees to conduct business from anywhere, even if heavy rains and strong winds keep them in their homes. They won't have to strictly rely on company desk phones and computers to access files and contact clients. Instead, they can use their own devices to provide the same service to an organization's customers, Toolbox for IT explained. With softphones and mobile convergence, workers aren't confined to the office. They can connect using their own laptops, smartphones, and tablets to get in touch with co-workers and consumers.

When Hurricane Sandy hit New York City in 2012, many companies had to suspend their services until the area was cleaned up. TheLadders was one of them, according to TechTarget. Its data center and virtual private networks were set up in New Jersey, but its on-premise UC solution was in Manhattan. They couldn't do any work until power was restored and the area cleaned up, which is detrimental to a business that spends a lot of time on customer service. After that situation, TheLadders switched its UC solutions to a cloud-based service provided by ThinkingPhones.

The UCaaS provider ensures that its system meets the needs of each of its clients no matter the situation outside. ThinkingPhones has a globally redundant network that guarantees uptime 99.999 percent of the time. Data won't be lost and communication will always be open. With its plethora of tools, from audio and video conferencing to softphone capabilities, the company's UC platform is able to provide consistent service when companies need it.

"It's only a matter of time, I'm sure, before something like that happens again," Nicholas Giordano, a tech support specialist at TheLadders, told TechTarget. "It's a good feeling to know we have that backup and redundancy."

UCaaS Offers Reliable, Continuous Communication

UC solutions can be beneficial in any situation. However, an on-premise system may be just as costly to a business as a traditional PBX platform if employees can't get to the office. While it's possible to build another off-site location for a backup system, that can be costly for businesses, TechTarget explained. On the other hand, cloud-based UC provides companies with reliable service that is rarely, if ever, down. Businesses will have the same accessibility and continuity during severe weather as they do during a regular day in the office, which is important when it comes to choosing a UC provider.

"[The goal] is not 'break glass in case of emergency.' We should be using the same equipment day in and day out," Jack Schnirman, the city manager of Long Beach, New York, told TechTarget. "If you incorporate it into your daily operations, you know it'll work well in an emergency because you know it works well on a daily basis."

With a UCaaS platform, corporations' employees will always be able to be reached by co-workers and customers. Because no barriers stand in the way of mobility with the cloud system, business can be conducted anywhere and anytime, even if that is during serious weather conditions.

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