IAUG CONVERGE 2013: Business Continuity and DRaaS Essentials for Contact Centers

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We’re a few days into this year’s International Avaya Users Group (IAUG) CONVERGE 2013, and I’m blogging to share updates on what’s hot at the conference, which brings together IT industry professionals to connect, learn, and share ideas on current and future telecommunication trends.

One of the topics that is top of mind for everyone here is extreme weather, and how technology must sustain these attacks by Mother Nature. It’s no wonder, given the storms that have caused so much destruction in the past year—Hurricane Sandy in the fall, and the tornadoes in Oklahoma last month. Yesterday, I attended a session, “Surviving the Storm: Business Continuity in the Contact Center,” during which the Virginia Utility Protection Service (VUPS) shared how its thorough business continuity plan ensures that its technology remains up and running during critical communication periods.

According to presenters Deb Hofbauer and Yvonne Ba, Virginia excavators are required by law to contact the call center before excavating. In order to be sure they could reach the call center at all times, VUPS needed to set up a business continuity plan that provides uninterrupted uptime, prevents equipment damage, and optimizes agency availability and productivity. Hofbauer and Ba went on to discuss how VUPS and its continuity plan were put to the test in June 2012 during a violent windstorm—called a derecho—that left millions of people without power across six states and the District of Columbia. The good news was that the VUPS call center remained open and functional in the days following the storm, thanks to sound disaster recovery planning.

Of course, throughout the session, I thought about Windstream’s business continuity and DRaaS services. While businesses and organizations hope that they will never need to put their plans into action, this technology is the insurance necessary for an organization, like the VUPS call center, to ensure it can continue to provide its services during an emergency—whether it stems from a natural or man-made disaster.

The first step an organization needs to take when implementing a business continuity plan is to work with a service provider that understands the organization’s needs during an emergency. Windstream’s experts in business continuity and disaster recovery planning custom design solutions to meet customers’ unique business needs. Planning meetings between Windstream and the customer help to strategically map out the process and identify the technology that will provide uninterrupted service.

Recent years have shown an increase in unpredictable extreme weather and storms, and this year’s storm season has only just begun. As we continue into summer, when the risk for hurricanes and tornadoes remain high, business continuity plans and DRaaS will continue to be a hot topic for all.