It’s one of the most common questions that customers ask a telecommunications provider:
Is VoIP disaster proof?
The short answer is that VoIP is just like any other application that you run over your network. In other words, it requires a fully-functioning network to operate.
By itself, VoIP is not inherently disaster-proof; the only difference is that with VoIP, you run voice data over the internet, as opposed to using the Publicly Switched Telephone Network (PSTN).
With the right supporting services in place, VoIP can be completely disaster-proof—and much more reliable than traditional landline services.
What Makes A VoIP System "Disaster Proof"
Here are some of the supporting components that VoIP requires in order to be considered disaster proof:
One way that businesses run into trouble with VoIP is they fail to have diverse communications lines in place. So the internet may go down, for instance, and with it their voice service—forcing them to wait for a repair. This can lead to lengthy periods of downtime, and a variety of negative consequences (like angry customers and lost productivity). Downtime can also be very expensive.
Businesses are strongly encouraged to support VoIP with multiple connections, so that if one communications line goes down, seamless failover can occur and ensure service remains up and running.
The easiest and most cost-effective way to obtain diverse connectivity is to work with a communications provider that has partnerships in place with multiple carriers and providers.
Businesses should be wary of working with VoIP providers that can’t offer a detailed monitoring and alerts system. VoIP, after all, is subject to internet failures and issues do arise. A provider that offers built-in monitoring is ultimately offering peace of mind with a back-up plan for business continuity.
The most common VoIP issues, it should be noted, tend to arise from problems like bandwidth overload. On a global scale, businesses should support VoIP with software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) for real-time visibility and control.
Network administrators should also look for a system that will allow them to set predefined call quality parameters. This way, managers can retain control over the entire disaster recovery process—from deciding what alerts should be triggered to how notifications are sent to triggering backup connectivity and communications systems.
The more control that network administrators have over their VoIP systems, the better.
When a major storm rolls in, it can knock out service to other critical communications services like voicemail and fax.
Therefore, it’s important to invest in a VoIP solution that will provide access to ancillary communications services. By storing these services in the cloud, and away from the business, a company can establish geo-redundancy and continue to communicate until local service is restored.
You will find, as you browse VoIP services, that not all providers put as much emphasis into disaster recovery. So, take our advice; don’t wait for a disaster to learn that you need strong backup communications services. Disasters can arise at any time, leading to lengthy and costly outages. It’s far more cost-effective to plan ahead than to wait for a problem.