Lessons in Contingency

Last week’s BT Broadband outage – caused by a power cut at one of its partners’ Docklands based data centre – highlights two key vulnerabilities associated with today’s internet-based services.

First, on a general level the incident raises questions over the resilience of the UK’s internet architecture. And, secondly, for businesses it emphasises the importance of ensuring the contingency of all internet-based services, including IP telephony.

Despite consumers’ increasing propensity towards online self-service – not least in the banking sector, which was particularly affected by this outage – the fact remains that 72% of people still prefer customer contact via the telephone**. And with businesses of all sizes migrating to IP Telephony for its cost savings, increased operational flexibility and agility, this latest incident points clearly towards the need for ensuring resilience and contingency within the provider’s architecture.

So what lessons in contingency can the industry learn?

First and foremost, organisations should think about having a guaranteed alternative means of connecting to the services they want; this should ideally be a combination of digital and analogue technology for full business continuity.

It’s of particular importance to ask your telephony (and broadband / internet) provider what resilience they offer; simply having two internet or Ethernet connections may not be sufficient if the service they’re supporting is business critical.

Here at Sesui, we are proud of our contingency support services, which include multiple hosting centres throughout the UK; with backup websites and web services available for our clients to switch over to in the event of an outage. We also provide all clients access to a preinstalled mobile app which allows the mobile network to be used rather than the local Internet network. Finally, using our DBMS technology, we offer the ability to log in through a standard telephone line to manage the telephony system and operate as usual.

As we move steadily forward in today’s digital age, innovation comes in many shapes and sizes. However, one thing is clear: the old way of doing things still has a role to play. In the modern world, there remains a place for digital and analogue telephony – the true innovation lies in combining the two for complete architecture resilience and business continuity.

** CallCentre.co.uk survey of multichannel communications, 2016

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