How to Create a Redundant Phone System for Your Business

How to Create a Redundant Phone System for Your Business

In today’s business world, communication is everything. Your customers need to reach you and you need to be able to reach your employees. So if your phone system goes down, it can have a serious impact on your business. In fact, according to a 2016 report from the Ponemon Institute, downtime can cost a business up to $9,000 per minute.

When your network and connectivity are interrupted due to an outage, natural disaster or cyberattack, your business cannot operate optimally. And that means your customers may not be able to communicate with you, leading to lower customer satisfaction. By having a redundant phone system in place, you can rest assured that your business will stay connected, especially in the event of an emergency.

Voice redundancy is an important part of your company’s disaster preparedness plan and helps maintain business continuity.

Before seeing how to build a redundant telephone system, let’s look at how voice redundancy works.

What is voice redundancy?

Voice redundancy (also called geo-redundancy) is the process of designing a telephone system to remain operational even in the event of a disaster. A redundancy plan usually includes:

  • cloud-based technology
  • backup power sources and servers
  • teams and servers spread over several sites
  • fallback routing strategies
  • and various telephone lines.

For telephone systems, redundancy is often achieved by using VoIP technology. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone systems use the Internet to make and receive calls. This cloud communication infrastructure and technology gives you much-needed freedom and flexibility because you are not tied to a single location or device.

VoIP and redundancy go hand in hand, because if the connection from one server or location fails, you can easily switch to another without any downtime. With VoIP, this means forwarding incoming calls to another active location or group of employees.

Benefits of voice redundancy

Besides ensuring your business is running optimally at all times, what else can you do with a redundant phone system? Here are the main advantages:

  • High availability phone service with high uptime
  • Business Continuity
  • Access to failover options and features
  • Network reliability
  • Increased customer confidence and satisfaction

What should be kept in mind when integrating redundancy into your telephone system?

There are a few things to consider when planning a voice redundancy system:

  • The size of your business
  • Your business voice needs
  • Your budget and
  • Solutions available.

Let’s look at them in more detail:

1. Company size

The first thing to consider when building a redundant phone system is the size of your business. Voice redundancy for a small business will be different than for a large business. It is therefore important to assess the unique infrastructure of your business. Do you have teams (local, global, remote) spread across multiple locations? And will they be included in your social plan? What equipment and offices need to be protected? Etc.

2. Professional voice needs

Then determine your company’s voice needs. How many phone lines does your business need? What are your call peaks? What services should be available and accessible at all times? Do these teams need rescue teams? Do you need to be able to forward calls to different locations or devices? What devices and calling features do your teams need to ensure business continuity?

You want to make sure your IT infrastructure can support these goals. And, you’ll need a VoIP provider that offers failover capabilities.

3. Solutions available

Once you have identified what you need for your phone system, you can research the solution. There are a number of voice redundancy solutions available in the market. The best solution for your business will depend on your specific needs and requirements.

Consider everything from hardware to software. Look specifically for cloud providers that can support your communication needs and work well with your phone system. In some cases, that means upgrading your current systems with new software and integrations. In other cases, you may need to replace your entire setup. Speak with different providers to understand which best suits your needs.

When looking for a VoIP provider, find one that offers:

4.Budget

Next, consider your budget. The cost of implementing a redundant phone system depends on your needs and resources. It is, however, a significant investment in the continuity of your business, which is well worth it.

When you break it down, you’ll realize that it’s not always complicated or labor-intensive. For example, your business should already have backup equipment and servers. So you will need a cloud telephony service provider that supports redundancy. Most VoIP providers will offer voice redundancy within their service. It’s usually a more affordable option than building everything from scratch. Shop around to find the right solution for your business.

5. Configure geo-redundancy

Finally, we come to the implementation of voice redundancy within your business telephone system. The first step is to include backup initiatives in your disaster recovery plan.

Start with your network and its elements. Work with your IT teams to set up backup power, servers, routers, switches, access points, and more.

If you use cloud communication tools such as a CRM or VoIP service, check with your provider how they maintain continuity. In most cases, cloud services come with their own geo-redundancy. For example, if their primary server goes down, they have backup servers allowing users to get back to work with little to no business downtime.

On top of that, they can even offer failover features and capabilities that you can customize and configure. For example, you can use failover forwarding to automatically send calls to another line, location, or device, in case the primary receiver can’t answer them. So if your main office is inaccessible, you can forward calls to a satellite team or your smartphone.

Protect the business phone system by planning ahead

Redundancy is essential when it comes to building a reliable, high-availability phone system. By taking the time to understand your communication needs and your budget, you can put in place a telephone solution designed explicitly for your teams.

If you are considering building a redundant phone system for your business, contact a telecommunications consultant to discuss your options!

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