When things work well and our lives are not interrupted we go about our days just fine. However, when there are interruptions, especially major interruptions, it's much harder for us to function.
Imagine waking up and hearing on the radio that in the next state a large business complex was quarantined. What if this business complex housed one or two or three of your largest customers?
This might sound far fetched, but between natural disasters, health pandemics and a failing economy, ensuring you can communicate and operate as effectively as possible during "interruptions" is so important.
Communication with your customers, employees and partners is critical and this is where online technologies can help.
Let's consider a "simple thing" like file sharing. If all your files are on a central server and not able to be shared online, what will your employees do if they can't get into work and need access to their critical files. On the telecommunication side, Cbeyond reminds us that features such as:
• Call Forwarding - point your main business lines to home or mobile phones as needed.
• Remote e-mail access - manage, send and receive email from any Internet connected computer.
• Secure Fileshare - upload your important files and retrieve them from any Internet connected computer.
• Remote User VPN (virtual private network) - access your company’s network remotely as if you are sitting at your desk.
• Fax to Email - receive paperless faxes . You can also forward your existing fax lines to a fax to email account in order to never miss a fax.
• Conference Calling - set-up virtual meetings with our reservation-less conference calling service.
• Web-Conferencing - share your desktop with a distributed audience in real-time.
Those are some key elements to consider in your "communication interruption plan" - at least that's what I'm calling it.
Having a traditional PBX is ok, but a managed telephone service, such as provided by M5 Networks, advanced phone system such as Microsoft Response Point or virtual telephone system from Gotvmail (now Grasshopper), Ring Central, OneBox or others VirtualPBX is important.
Ramon Ray is the editor and tech evangelist for Smallbiztechnology.com