Cloud-based Communication Systems During Natural Disasters

Amanda Wheeler, Magna5 Product Manager

Last Friday, as Hurricane Irma was barreling through the Atlantic and headed to Florida, I received a call from a Magna5 customer located on the southern coast of Florida. She owns a wealth management firm that is based in Florida, but serves customers across the United States – and the company uses our UCC product. She was in a panic, understandably so.

In addition to being worried about the safety of herself and that of her family and friends, she was concerned about how she would run her business in the event Irma’s path caused damages to their office building. Knocking out power and service for a local office is one thing, but when it affects a company’s connectivity to locations across the country not affected by a natural disaster – that adds an additional layer to the stress level for the business owner.

In a shaky voice, she described how Hurricane Harvey caused her son in Houston to lose close to everything – and now she was facing the same thing in Florida. Her business was at risk. One of her biggest concerns was being able to service her customers. Our customer was concerned about her customers, and I knew that I would be able to provide her reassurance that her business would still be able to connect, no matter what the storm did to their building.

Because her company’s phone system is cloud based, their phone service would remain in working order in the event of long-term power or Internet outages.

After I said that, her response didn’t come quickly. I think her relief gave her a moment of pause as she realized that in the face of such a powerful storm; the last thing she would have to worry about was her business communications. Then, she thanked me, and said when she hung up, she’d be going right back to preparing her home and her family for the storm.

Benefits of Disaster Recovery and a Cloud-based Phone System

As a Product Manager for Magna5, I know that we provide disaster recovery services to our customers, and I know that cloud-based communications are a huge benefit when facing disasters. But conversations such as this one give me a real-life perspective on how beneficial cloud-based communication plans can be to businesses in allowing them to connect … anytime, anywhere.

Having a business continuity plan should be a top priority for your business. It may not be a catastrophic hurricane that poses a threat to your business; it could be a fire, or a simple power outage. Down time for businesses equates to lost revenue, and potentially lost customers.

Beyond the benefits of cloud-based phone systems, when it comes to disaster recovery, taking a proactive planning approach is essential, and a complete solution requires choices.

Magna5 provisions circuits and/or IP Addresses from multiple carriers to provide true network diversity for a customer. If one path, facility, or entire network experiences a failure, there is a completely separate network available for the fail over. This can all be designed, provisioned and billed as one solution from Magna5.

The increase in various threats that include hackers, cyber-terrorists, natural and man-made disasters, have all played their part in bringing increased awareness to all businesses, government agencies, higher education and wholesale partners on the importance of business continuity planning.

What is your business continuity plan?

Helpful Information for Magna5 Customers:

The Ready Campaign is a national public service campaign designed to educate and empower the American people to prepare for, respond to and mitigate emergencies, including natural and man-made disasters. The goal of the campaign is to promote preparedness through public involvement. This link provides helpful guidelines in building your company’s Business Continuity Plan.

If you’re considering switching your data and communications to the Cloud or if you need help with data backup and disaster recovery, contact Magna5 today!