Planning for Disaster

By Patty Anderson with Carin Shulusky

The world is a very dangerous place, and it seems to be getting more dangerous every year. While the national news is filled with large national disasters, many local (but equally destructive) events never make the news. Every call center owner and manager should ask the question, “How well would my operation survive a major disaster?”

Although you may never be able to prepare for all possibilities, smart business owners are taking steps to put in place a disaster preparedness plan. Relying on insurance is not enough. Insurance may help rebuild, but how do you keep your business operating if you lose everything?  Insurance can’t replace lost data or find a location to keep your business functioning. The first step for a smart business is to have a plan. The plan should include data storage and a strategy on how to use the stored data if you can’t return to your place of business.

More and more vendors are taking an active role in making sure their users are prepared. In addition to helping customers build a disaster preparedness plan that will get them up and running quickly after a disaster, vendors are increasingly offering off-site, secure data storage options. Another option available for VoIP users is the use of a VoIP loop, with a second node hosting an additional system with cluster servers installed. This copies all your data to both systems in real time. If a disaster takes out your main system, the second location would continue without a hiccup. This is true redundancy of your system.

Whatever system you choose, the first step is to develop a plan. It is much easier to prepare a plan before disaster strikes than when you’re standing in the middle of destruction. Whatever plan you choose to protect your business, it will be a great comfort to know you can continue to operate your business regardless of what comes.

Patty Anderson is director of sales and marketing at Telescan.

[From Connection Magazine June 2007]