Thursday, November 12, 2009

TelePacific Takes Business Continuity Seriously

TelePacific Communications, a competitive telecommunications carrier serving customers in California and Nevada, is taking a comprehensive approach to disaster planning and the need for business continuity that follows disasters natural and man-made.

Their Business Continuity Services are focused on maintaining your ability to use voice and data services in the event you lose a trunk line or even your entire facility. But how just how can you do that?

Let’s take a look at telephone first. Most medium and large size businesses, and some smaller businesses that are heavy users of telephone communications, are using digital trunk lines. T1 PRI and SIP Trunks provide one to two dozen outside lines for management by an in-house PBX system. That trunk line offers a considerable cost savings over multiple individual phone lines, but does represent a single point failure risk. With that in mind, you can backup your primary trunk line with a few individual analog POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) lines. The key is to have the phone system programmed to automatically switch over to the backup lines when the trunk goes down. Another approach offered by TelePacific is to have your incoming calls automatically forwarded to the backup lines.

Even smaller businesses using IP PBX systems or Analog Telephone Adaptors may keep one analog telephone line in service as an emergency backup. The idea is that a fault that takes out your digital data line may not affect the analog lines. In many cases, that’s true. But what happens if a construction accident cuts all the underground lines in an area or the ground opens up in an earthquake and breaks every wire in the area?

If all your telecom connections are out, you may have also lost power. In that case, TelePacific has the ability to forward your incoming calls to a number at another business location. You could also choose to have your most important numbers, such as your main phone line and FAX number, forward to a mobile phone or even a residence. If there are too many incoming calls for you to answer immediately, the overflow can be answered by voicemail at the carrier’s facility. You then have the option to listen to and return those calls from another location when time permits.

Data lines, such as Dedicated Internet Access, are subject to the same disasters that befall telephone lines. T1 lines are the most popular connections for business users. If all you have is a single T1 line and it goes down, your connection is broken until it is fixed. But bonded T1 lines can be set up so that if you lose one, the secondary or other T1 lines will keep running. Your bandwidth will be temporarily reduced, but you’ll still have broadband connectivity.

Of course, if all lines are cut you will lose data service coming in and going out of your business location. If you have a second business location you can set up a private IP VPN arrangement so that all traffic can be routed to the secondary location. If you have only a single facility or all of your offices are located so closely together that they might all lose power or communications in the same event, you probably want to think about using a colocation service. A carrier colocation facility is probably more robust than your onside data center. The facilities are built with extensive physical security, fire and flood control, and both battery and generator backup. They also have multiple incoming and outgoing trunk lines going in different geographical directions.

TelePacific offers colocation facilities as do other providers around the country. You can house your application servers there and have an email backup server in case your primary email server fails. Remote data storage is a necessity these days since the most important business documents are now electronic documents.

Do you feel a bit uncomfortable with your ability to conduct business in the event of a fire, flood, tornado, earthquake or other unforeseen disaster? If not, it’s worth your time and peace of mind to talk with an expert consultant who can recommend the most cost effective ways to ensure your business continuity. Find out now what TelePacific and other competitive carriers can do to ensure your voice and data reliability with a toll free call or online inquiry about business continuity options.

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