Technology Advice for Small Businesses

Five steps to ensure VoIP service continuity

Telecommunications systems are extremely valuable, especially for businesses focused on sales and customer service. One day without these services can prove fatal for any business, which is why a well-crafted disaster recovery plan that protects Voice over IP (VoIP) networks is crucial. If your business relies on VoIP phone systems, here’s what you can do to minimize downtime.

Invest in VoIP monitoring services
Before implementing any disaster recovery solutions, it’s a good idea to install third-party VoIP monitoring services to check on the status of your phone systems. This identifies whether there are any network issues disrupting your phone systems, so you can resolve them quickly.

Choose your VoIP provider wisely
When evaluating VoIP systems, you must verify your provider’s service-level agreements. Ask them about their security and availability guarantees, and how they’re able to achieve them.

Whomever you partner with, be sure they’re hosting your VoIP systems in facilities that are safe from local disasters and use advanced network security services to protect your calls.

Have a backup broadband line
Because VoIP solutions are dependent on the internet, you should have a backup or alternate internet service in case one network goes down.

Ideally, one internet service provider (ISP) will be dedicated to your VoIP service, while another supports your main computer network. Once you’ve installed both networks, you can then program them to automatically transfer services to each other should one network fail.

In other words, if your main phone network goes down, you can simply switch your VoIP solution to the other network so you can keep working.

Of course, subscribing to two separate ISPs will increase your internet expenses, but the cost to maintain both is far less than the cost of significant downtime.

Route calls to mobile devices
The beauty of hosted VoIP is you can choose where to receive your calls with call forwarding — a feature that automatically reroutes incoming calls to other company-registered devices. This means if your main office ever went down due to a local disaster or network outage, your employees can keep working from their mobile devices as if nothing happened.

To benefit from this feature, make sure to register all employee mobile devices to your VoIP system and configure which devices calls will be routed to.

Also, don’t forget to set policies for remote working. For example, you should have rules that forbid staff from connecting to public WiFi networks, as this can put them at risk of VoIP eavesdropping.

Test your plan
There’s little value in a VoIP continuity plan if it isn’t tested on a regular basis. Test your VoIP service and check whether contact details are up to date, call forwarding features are routing calls to the right devices, and your backup internet service works. Ultimately, your goal is to find flaws in your VoIP recovery strategy and make necessary adjustments to avoid them from occurring in the future.

If managing VoIP is too time-consuming and complex, call our professionals today. We design, implement, and test a powerful, disaster-proof VoIP phone system to ensure your communications are always online.