System crashes, network outages, floods and fires are infrequent events. Yet every business needs to mitigate the risk of a debilitating disruption to their operations. Given the potential for lost revenue, loss of customer goodwill, lost data and service degradation, why is call center business continuity planning such a low priority? Why doesn’t everyone “just do it”?
Traditional technology infrastructures for contact center business continuity/disaster recovery (BC/DR) were expensive. Tie lines to alternate sites, redundant hardware and software, and network backup services come at a high cost for such a remote change of engagement. The complexity and cost of backup facilities, staffing and other resources add to the cost and fortify the “no action” stance.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephony has re-written the economic equation. It makes BC/DR affordable – especially when it rides the coattails of a VoIP-based enterprise and call center telephony plan, delivering value in normal operations, not just disasters.
Unlike traditional telephony solutions that were located on the company premises, VoIP servers can be centralized in “hubs” and support multiple remote sites. These centralized hubs can be located anywhere, including hardened data centers instead of standard office buildings. One hub can be configured to support your entire operation – even if it is very large. By adding redundancy using a second hub with the capability to go live if the primary hub crashes, you have the technology infrastructure to support BC/DR.
Hosted service for telephony infrastructure and contact center applications is an attractive option for many operations. Most locate their servers in redundant, hardened sites. They deliver a highly reliable solution, and their BC/DR plan becomes yours.
As you explore options for your call center BC/DR, you’ll need to assess the impact of a disruption on your business. You’ll need to find a balance between:
- Cost of BC/DR provisions vs. the cost of disruption
- Power of your brand and customer loyalty vs. the ease of defection
- 100% recovery vs. partial recovery
- Customer-facing functions vs. back-office functions
- Providing full service vs. taking the call to explain the disruption (even with no access to applications that provide service) vs. providing messages or self-service only