Business Communications – Disaster Recovery Part 1


Floods, fires, freezing rain, tornadoes, blizzards – every month brings multiple stories of regional disasters in the United States.

In the face of a disaster, losing communications is an inconvenience. Losing your business communications infrastructure is an additional disaster. Cloud communications relieves some of the stress when disaster strikes. With Cloud, your communications infrastructure is dispersed and maintained in multiple locations across the continent, safe from regional disasters.

Stay Connected When Disaster Strikes

It is alarming to hear how frequently disasters are happening across the U.S. throughout the year. The solution to maintaining business continuity in the face of a disaster lies in planning ahead and being prepared to handle the situation.

In the highly unpredictable and competitive business world, one cannot afford to be without a disaster recovery/business continuity plan. Cloud offers a robust solution to maintain communications infrastructure in the face of a disaster. In fact, cloud-based infrastructure can easily be considered a key component of disaster planning.

Natural Disasters in the U.S.

Apart from being unpredictable by nature, disasters can arrive in multitude of forms. From man-made hazards like acts of vandalism, arson or terrorism, to technical issues like hard drive meltdowns and power failures. Typically more damaging are severe weather and natural calamities – flooding, fires, storms, or even epidemic illness.

It is all too common to hear of small to medium businesses and even well-known companies suffering massive losses because of a fire, storm or flooding.

  • In August 2015 the Okanogan Complex wildfire was caused by lightning strikes and forced the evacuations of thousands.
  • In October, North and South Carolina experienced historic rains leading to numerous rivers bursting their banks and flooding throughout in the region.
  • In December, a massive methane gas leak in Los Angeles County forced the evacuation of a small town, its schools and businesses.
  • In December, the flooding and tornadoes experienced by parts of the Midwest and South were quickly followed by a freeze and severe winter conditions.

In addition to the lives and individual property lost, many businesses in the region were so heavily impacted they might never recover.

Disaster Planning

If organizations have not made any preparations in advance, what would be a difficult recovery can become impossible. The U.S. Small Business Administration provides a starting point on creating a disaster plan at its Prepare My Business website. While some companies purchase, deploy and maintain redundant communications systems (PBXs, data centers, etc.), that option is simply not practical for most organizations due to the significant expense involved in building redundant infrastructure.

Enter the Cloud

Taking advantage of Cloud infrastructure means your communications system is safe from regional disasters. Redundancy is built into the system. If you can access the internet, you can access your business communications system – voice, mobile systems, messaging, presence, conferencing and even your call center solution.

Cloud infrastructure isn’t tied to a specific location. With internet access, the full capabilities of your communications system are available. Your people will be able to work from home or temporary offices without a loss of data, including complete phone records & reports. Your core communications and collaboration capabilities will be waiting for you, intact and ready to connect you to your customers and the world.

Part 2 of this post goes into more depth about the benefits of Cloud business communications in the event of a disaster – building recovery and business continuity into the system.

Learn more about the advantages of Business Cloud Services in our free white paper – The Case for Cloud Communications.