Olympics - business lessons learned

James Passingham
Founder
Foehn
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 So as the Olympics head towards the finish line, businesses can begin to reflect on how they handled the buzz. Was it just one mass panic or did you have measures and technology in place to ‘keep calm and carry on’ so your business could run as usual?

If it felt (or currently feels) like the former then it might be an idea to consider ways to deal with business communications. One of the key lessons that businesses can learn from is the need to think about disaster recovery and business continuity. Here are a few suggestions that should help make life easier.

Plan

Get yourselves a contingency plan! This could be:

  • thinking about an effective hosted telephony system that can help you manage calls for remote workers or for those that can’t get into the office. Plus with hosted telephony, your communication system carries on as normal as it’s managed via a fully redundant and secure data centre
  • using Interactive Voice Response (IVR) which redirects people to telephone information or automatic voice response to relay messages “we can’t get into the office because of the snow please directs calls to John on xxx” to keep business consistent and people informed.

Location, relocation

If your office is like a shop floor, could you really just up and leave and expect things to still run smoothly? It may seem drastic but it’s relatively easy to take your business to a temporary or virtual office space out of town like http://www.lentabusinesscentres.co.uk/ and head away from the crowds. It allows you to minimise the risk of staff shortages and any disruptions to the supply chain, meaning you can work as normal.

Stay available

For telephone business continuity, consider having two private branch exchanges (PBX) which manages calls within your company. Keep them at separate sites and each with its own connection to maintain service availability. Should one site go down, your inbound and outbound calls can automatically be rerouted to the second site in an instant and without any prohibitive call forwarding charges. To save you money, you could even have your second PBX off-site at a co-location centre. For 100% availability you could combine inbound call handling to redirect calls with SIP trunking to carry and terminate your inbound and outbound voice calls.

Stick your head in the cloud

The Olympics has shown us how the sheer amount of people in one place can cause security threats and guarantee that everyone needs to be on high alert to reduce the risk of disruption and other potential threats. ,

So why not do things online? Going to the cloud eliminates all those physical issues and worries caused by problems with physical buildings as it takes information away from your office.

A cloud-based hosted telephony VoIP system ensures the information transfer still takes place, even if staff can’t make it into the office. All businesses need to do is look for the right cloud service providers.

If you’ve been caught out this time, don’t worry it’s not too late to plan for the future. The steps above are relatively easy and pain free and can be implemented straight away. They may not provide all of the answers but will help keep your business ahead of the game if anything were to go wrong.

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