A business' ability to recover and continue trading throughout and following a disruptive event, be it a major natural disaster or something more mundane such as an internet outage, is a hot topic in New Zealand, and for good reason.
As many Christchurch, Wellington and Kaikoura business owners will confirm, having a thorough plan in place for the recovery and continuity of your voice communications is understandably important.
“When planning a disaster recovery or business continuity strategy, a clear understanding of the potential impact and ideal outcomes needs to be considered,” says Andy Brown, Atlas Gentech's central and south general manager.
“For many organisations, the ability to continue to communicate with various stakeholders is vital.
For him, having lived through the Christchurch earthquakes, the importance of disaster recovery cannot be overstated.
“There's a common misconception that cloud telephony adds risk to a business' strategy, but I find that the opposite is true,” Brown says.
Atlas Gentech has provided telephony solutions in the New Zealand market for over twenty years, and recently have partnered with Ericsson-LG to launch their own cloud telephony solution, the first solution for Atlas Gentech's Cloud Factory brand.
Cloud Factory's telephony solution is provided to the New Zealand market through selected partners, giving businesses a local trusted support team, while still being backed by Atlas Gentech and Ericsson-LG nationwide.
New Zealand is one of the fastest adopters of UFB in the world (over 250% increase in 2015), which uniquely positions it to embrace a cloud-based unified communications strategy.
Brown says one of the challenges facing cloud telephony is articulating the advantages it can provide now and into the future.
He states that along with futureproofing, flexibility and cost benefits, disaster recovery is definitely a strength of a quality cloud solution.
Advantages of a cloud-based disaster recovery telephony solution
In the event of natural disasters like the Kaikoura or Christchurch earthquakes or Edgecumbe floods, businesses are able to ensure voice communication's continuity.
“Having a cloud-hosted telephone service means businesses are equipped with many disaster recovery options an on-premise solution is unable to offer,” Brown says.
Benefits of Cloud Factory for Disaster Recovery:
Automatic Call Re-routing:
Each phone on Cloud Factory's solution is monitored from Call Manager software, re-routing calls automatically to a pre-specified DR number, should a phone show as offline.
Disaster recovery numbers can be a mobile number, landline or 0800 numbers.
If desired, a business can amend these settings themselves from any internet connected browser, at any time.
Many Cloud Factory customers are opting for a 3G/4G failover backup router that will activate and support internet traffic should the main internet connection fail.
Some businesses, especially kiosk or transient stall type businesses actually use 3G/4G as their main data connection, bringing incredible flexibility to their voice requirements.
Mobile Phone Integration:
Cloud Factory offers users a mobile app giving a ‘desk phone' experience on a mobile phone.
They also offer an extremely popular solution known as either ‘twinning' or ‘mobile extension'.
Twinning gives users the ability for their mobile phone to ring simultaneously with their desk phone or PC softphone, meaning even when out of the office DDI-bound calls can still be answered, this also means the mobile voicemail box can be the users only voice mailbox – a big win for those who struggle with even a single mailbox.
As the ‘brains' of the cloud solution are kept in the cloud there is no box on the wall that is responsible for the recorded auto-attendant message or voice mails.
This means if the businesses internet or power fails, the end user experience will not change, the answer message will continue as per normal.
Physical Phone Redeployment:
Cloud is often discussed as a technology solution that provides flexibility to its users.
In the event of an emergency, a user can literally take their phone off their desk and connect it to a new temporary office, a 4G router or even take it home and use your home-based internet connection.
Fast Recovery: Should a business' premise be deemed as unsafe to re-enter, or completely destroyed, the Cloud Factory engineers can have a fully programmed system setup and deployed usually within 24 hours.
Locally Hosted, Local Support, Internationally Backed:
Brown says the Cloud Factory Telephony solution is built for business, and quality was the mandate for the design and build.
The Cloud Factory Call Manager platform is hosted on carrier-grade servers in New Zealand and utilises arguably the highest quality connectivity available in New Zealand.
“We have had zero unplanned outages on our Cloud Factory Solution this year, and we have no intention of that statistic changing,” says Brown.
It's reassuring knowing that 24/7 support on hand throughout New Zealand and a very responsive international support team is also available.
“Our Cloud Factory solution is by no means a ‘John from IT is clever and built this himself' type product, it is a truly global platform with the expected international support which should bring real peace of mind to our customers in New Zealand,” says Brown.
“We also have a large team of highly trained in-house engineers available to assist should the need arise.
Atlas Gentech provides 24/7 support to dealers and has physical centres in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch.
No Software or Licensing Concerns:
A cloud-based solution also ensures the software is updated automatically on a regular basis with minimal effort and no cost or concern to the end user.
Some on-premise solutions become either unusable or unchangeable'should licensing lapse.
The Atlas Gentech team is proud of their Cloud Factory telephony solution, stating that their approach from the beginning has been to build a very high-quality cloud voice platform.
Businesses can effortlessly keep in contact with their customers come hell or high water, maintaining the trust in that relationship.
“One of our resellers recently deployed a Cloud Factory solution into a primary school in Canterbury - the principal understood the value Cloud brought should there ever be another disaster.
“Even if power or internet failed at the school, an updated message to parents could be easily sent out on the auto-attendant, and calls could be answered on pre-programmed mobile numbers,” says Brown.
The base Cloud Factory Telephony solution gives users a ‘turnkey' package with an IP Deskphone, PBX functionality including voicemail to email and mobile twinning, competitive calling rates, and a business-grade telephony service manageable via an online portal.
Businesses can upgrade the solution to fit their requirements, with contact centre, web conferencing and complex multi-site functionality available if needed.
If you are an ICT business that wants to build your own cloud voice business, get in touch with Cloud Factory to see how their ‘channel-only' and ‘channel-owned' delivery model can work best for you. Click here for more information.