Why the pandemic changed business continuity forever

The pandemic has changed many aspects of our personal and professional lives. In many cases, it is the technology we use that drives these changes.

Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), for example, has enabled employees around the world to stay in touch with their colleagues and customers.

The initial shock of office closures led to the widespread adoption of UCaaS platforms overnight so that businesses could continue to operate. They are now in the process of adopting IT strategies for the medium and long term. That means implementing robust business continuity plans to avoid messes like those in 2020.

Communication must play a vital role in a business continuity strategy to ensure that organizations can continue to function smoothly in the event of a disruption.

However, despite its importance, communications can often be underestimated when it comes to disaster recovery planning – according to net2phone Chief Technology Officer Geoffrey Skelton.

“Every company has been forced to assess their business continuity options due to the pandemic,” he explained. “They needed to embrace remote work and support work flows remotely.

“However, the things that businesses think about are the key things to support customers and manage revenue streams – so things like servers, customer databases, LANs, security, authentication and things like that.

“But a business continuity plan shouldn’t just be about systems; it should be for the people. When you start thinking about people, you have to start thinking about the phone system and the collaboration platform.”

Skelton pointed to the critical role UCaaS played in keeping people connected early in the pandemic as an example of where it excels.

Many businesses were still using local telephone exchanges in March 2020 when lockdowns were imposed around the world. In many cases, employees have switched to using personal devices to keep in touch with colleagues and customers.

While this may have gotten the job done to some extent, Skelton said it did not allow the business to present its brand identity effectively.

“The central office is one element of the overall, unifying communication management structure,” he explained.

“Being part of this PBX means being part of the company’s communication patterns, internally and externally. Public telephone and toll-free numbers arrive at the PBX to support customers and they become part of the company’s communication model.

“Moving to UCaaS and a hosted PBX removes the physical face of the PBX and allows the company to maintain its identity wherever its employees call.”

Current transition

Many businesses, especially SMBs, made a rapid transition to cloud-based models at the start of the pandemic. Despite this trend, Skelton said this transition is far from over.

Even businesses already in the cloud are discovering new ones benefits of UCaaS and discovering new tools to improve their internal and external communication.

net2phone encourages organizations to consider business continuity when considering their UCaaS strategy.

The company provides organizations with multiple field calling platforms, such as desk phones, Web RTC, web-based dialers and a mobile application.

Its platform also supports groups of ringsso the call can be automatically transferred to another department member if someone is not available.

The abundance of options means that a company can maintain its identity even in times when trying like a pandemic.

“The key thing is maintaining the company’s communication model,” Skelton said.

“We all have mobile phones and the ability to make calls at any time, but you want that call to be made with the identity of the business.

“UCaaS allows you to continue participating as a member of the organization.”

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