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Telecoms protection is a blind spot in Business Continuity Planning.

Even in this world of email, online transactions and instant messaging, voice communication underpins every aspect of business – from receiving customer orders to chasing unpaid bills. Yet companies are failing to consider the value of their telephony system within their Business Continuity planning process.

Telecoms protection is almost a blind spot in the planning of many businesses - as was highlighted by the 2005 Annual Business Continuity Survey - and with only 2% of businesses considering telecommunication protection in their strategies, a blind reliance on telephones will no longer suffice. Yet, addressing this problem is not a formidable task; launching its business continuity solutions BCM/BCMLITE, GemaTech offers an instantaneous and seamless recovery of incoming telephone calls should a disaster strike.

Graham Chick, Chief Executive, GemaTech, explains, “In an increasingly edgy economy, no organisation can afford a glitch in service – whatever the cause. “Business as Usual” is essential if customers are to retain faith in an organisation’s ability to deliver, on time and to contract; without continual access to a telephone, businesses are unlikely to survive.”

GemaTech provides a robust and resilient solution that offers continual communication; if a problem occurs with the telephone connection, calls are automatically directed from the sanctity of the local exchange, at which point powerful rerouting software is used to forward calls on an individual DDI basis to individuals in any location.

Chick continues, “The lack of focus on telecoms is perhaps understandable – the phone service is highly reliable; indeed the carriers’ exchanges are, by Ofcom Regulation, 99.999% reliable. But not so the connection between the local exchange and the customer’s premises running underneath the pavement these cables are now fighting for space with a multiplicity of other services, and increasingly prone to accidental fracture. Furthermore, with every component of the telephony system dependent upon power, an outage will not only bring down the IT systems but the telephony network too.”

While the carriers can only offer call recovery to the caller for the more expensive non-geographic numbers, gematech provides businesses with a totally unique but cost effective business continuity solution that delivers a seamless transfer of geographic DDI numbers to a range of pre-programmed, event dependent locations, from home to branch offices to mobiles.

In any situation, it is essential that the personalisation associated with DDI numbers is not lost if customer confidence and quality of service is to be retained. While it is often expedient to transfer multiple DDI numbers from incoming callers to replacement members of staff or out-sourced call handing facilities following an invocation, an organisation can keep the personalisation by playing one of up to a hundred recorded messages and flagging up the name associated with the DDI to all appointed recipients of the re-routed calls.

Chick concludes, “The phone’s reliability has become its Achilles heel. It is an invaluable yet invisible business tool and, as a result, few businesses even take the time to consider the implications of lost voice communications. And yet the cost to business is severe. Several thousands of pounds and a loss of customer reputation later, a business continuity strategy and solution for the telephony network is suddenly top priority, so why pay for it twice?”