How to Derisk if Your Phone Solution Goes Down

Communication tools and resources are critical for business continuity. This blog explains how to make sure your business communications system remains up and running if there’s an unexpected interruption. 

July 28, 2021

Nothing slows down a productive workplace like unexpected interruptions or long network outages. These disruptions can result in downtime that causes significant ripple effects across all departments, affecting response to business-critical requirements and customer needs. Outages can also impede workplace productivity and raise employee frustration levels.

While Microsoft Teams (Teams) is reliable, failures and outages can still occur and impact your business communication solution if you don’t have the right protective measures in place. Though the outages themselves are unpredictable, you should be prepared with added layers of protection to ensure that your company’s business communication solutions can resume as soon as possible.

How to Protect Your Business Phone Systems

Being proactive and preparing for an outage can get your systems back online quickly in case of a disruption. Intrado helps you stay prepared by providing network redundancies and failovers to protect your business communication solutions against interruptions.

When establishing a backup plan for your business, redundancy is important. It can mean a few things, from adding network devices or equipment for routing options to connecting with another provider in case of a widespread network outage. Redundancy assures you that you won’t have to endure an extended outage if the network fails.

This capability is also known as disaster recovery and is one of Intrado’s core offerings. OnSIP, now part of Intrado, lists several specific ways you can create failovers and redundancies during an emergency or disruption.  For example, consider setting up priority routing, using backup connections, multiple ISPs, and other channels to route call traffic to alternative lines, and ensure your calling won’t be interrupted for long if the network goes out.

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Take action to protect your business calls.

 

Set Up Priority Routing

Using the right router can go a long way in saving you the headache of dealing with VoIP traffic issues. Even with an ideal and reliable router, you’ll still experience downtime when there’s an outage. To better manage traffic during an outage, set up priority routing. Priority routing is one of the more effective methods to establish an automatic backup plan for calling.

Priority routes—also called failover routes—allow calls to come through a pre-planned route even if the system is experiencing issues. Failover routes are separate from your VoIP system and will enable you to send calls to a cell phone or landline number if the usual destination is unavailable. Intrado’s failover solution, OnSIP, can help you prioritize VoIP traffic in the event of an outage.

Use a Backup Internet Service Provider

In addition to priority routing, find a way to stay connected should your Internet service falter. You’ll need to manage against possible power outages or construction mishaps that cut the fiber line. Consider getting a backup Internet service provider (ISP) to ensure you have a secondary connection if your primary ISP experiences an outage.

This level of redundancy may sound excessive, but it’s actually common for businesses to have two ISPs: one for VoIP calling and another for computer connections. When Internet service for VoIP goes out, for example, you can temporarily transfer your service over to the other ISP. Divvying up your applications and services this way gives you an additional layer of flexibility when you need it most.

Create a Backup Connection

Another approach to protect your business communication solutions is to create primary and secondary Internet connections. Similar to working with two ISPs to handle different Internet-driven capabilities, you can have a single ISP give you two connections: one designated for VoIP phones and the other for computer use.

If you plug both connections into the same router, you can automatically switch from one to the other when one provider goes down. Creating a backup connection can be an even more straightforward approach to ensure that you always have at least one reliable connection at any given time.

Automatically Forward Calls

If you rely heavily on Teams’ calling features to connect with colleagues, clients, or customers, missing calls can be disastrous. The ability to reroute calls can help mitigate downtime. Another helpful tool is call forwarding. If VoIP calling is not available for any reason, such as an outage or network failure, you can create a setting to automatically forward calls to another number. This is something you should do before an outage to confirm your calling is protected if the network fails, so take the time to set up external phone numbers in advance. Automatic call forwarding helps mitigate disruption to operations and customers (even if there is an outage) since call traffic will go from the original destination to the other on its own.

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Take proactive steps to keep business calling active when there’s an outage.

 

Send Calls to Another Location

Rather than sending calls to a specific device, you can reroute all call traffic to another office or contact center location so that inbound and outbound calling capabilities remain in service. For instance, if your business has multiple offices, you can leverage your larger footprint to handle call traffic when there’s an interruption. If one contact center is down, for example, your carrier can transfer calls to another center or office that is online and not impacted by the outage.

Rerouting call traffic is also made simpler with Flowroute, Intrado’s SIP trunking solution. With Flowroute’s solution, you get access to the Flowroute HyperNetwork. The HyperNetwork helps you maximize call quality and reliability by bringing together telecommunications and IP networks to create one optimal network. If you are a Flowroute customer and incur an outage or service problem, Flowroute can reroute the call to an alternate carrier that is not experiencing an issue.

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Intrado offers multiple cloud calling solutions for businesses.

 

Intrado’s Cloud Calling Solutions

Facing the impact of an outage is never ideal, but with the right provider, you can feel confident that you’ll have reliable ways to maintain business communication. Intrado makes it a priority to protect your business communication solutions and help you stay connected even when there are disruptions. With Intrado, you can enable PSTN connection with Teams to make calls using Operator Connect and Direct Routing. Both Operator Connect and Direct Routing are Microsoft solutions, and Intrado can support configuration for either option as a Gold-Certified Microsoft partner. In addition, Intrado offers several tools and solutions to power your business needs.

OnSIP Hosted PBX

Intrado makes it a priority to keep your business communication solutions active even when you find yourself dealing with unpredictable circumstances like network interruptions or outages. OnSIP is Intrado’s hosted PBX solution that makes it easy to enable calling features like softphone apps, extension dialing, BHRs, wait queues, conference bridges, and video conferencing. Therefore, if you’re an OnSIP subscriber, you’ll have a failover solution built into your VoIP experience. This protection gives you continued access to a hosted PBX that supports voice and video calls via desktop and mobile apps.

Global Calling With Hoot Connect

Sometimes network connectivity isn’t the issue. Instead, your problem may have more to do with securing reliable business communication solutions when other tools aren’t available in a given area. For example, Intrado offers Hoot Connect for Microsoft Teams, a calling solution for Teams that integrates with the Microsoft Phone System. Hoot Connect for Microsoft Teams is a cost-effective alternative to Microsoft Calling Plans when you need commercial flexibility or service in areas that Microsoft doesn’t yet cover.

Flowroute SIP Trunking

Intrado’s solutions and support team can help you send calls to another location in the event of an outage or disruption so that you don’t have to handle it on your own. Flowroute’s HyperNetwork can fulfill carrier-grade demands with the programmability, automation, and on-demand scale of cloud computing.

Network disruptions are unpredictable, but businesses can continue operations and protect customer trust by taking appropriate precautions. Intrado’s hosted solutions and deep technical expertise help businesses safeguard their communication solutions in the face of future unknowns.