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How to Untangle: Mission-Critical Business Continuity

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In today’s competitive environment, high productivity and customer service are the life blood of business success. Communication systems are at the heart of this success.

When the system fails, nobody communicates. Information stops flowing. Individual productivity plummets. Customer service tanks and reputations are at risk.

So what causes a communications system to fail? Most likely it was too complicated to set up properly, or it was too difficult to manage, or it had a single point of failure and lacked sufficient redundancy to overcome the problem.

If you’re thinking about upgrading or replacing your communications infrastructure, make business continuity a top priority:

  • The system architecture should deliver “five-nines” availability.
  • The platform should not create an all-or-nothing proposition, that is, if computing services such as email and IM go down, the phones should continue to work.
  • The system should be easy to deploy, manage and use, so if you do encounter a problem or need to make changes, you shouldn’t have to wait for a high-priced consultant to arrive on the scene.

When evaluating a system for business continuity, here are some key questions to ask:

  • Is the solution a single, integrated system that can be fully distributed across the entire enterprise?
  • Does the distributed architecture eliminate a single point of failure?
  • Does the system offer N+1 redundancy to ensure availability?
  • Is the phone system a switch-based hardware platform, so in the event of a WAN failure, calls can continue to be placed and received on the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN)?
  • Can the system be integrated into existing CRM solutions, trouble ticketing solutions and other backend databases without introducing maintenance headaches?
  • Is system functionality centrally managed, making it easy for one person to manage communications across the enterprise, even in remote locations?
  • Can moves, adds, and changes (MACs) be easily implemented by staff, completely eliminating the long delays and high costs of relying on consultants?
  • Is the system easy to use, ensuring that employees can quickly benefit from the new productivity tools?

If you’d like to learn more about how ShoreTel can help untangle mission-critical business continuity please contact your local ShoreTel reseller.