Communication is the lifeblood of organisations and even more so during this time of reduced physical contact. Specifically, communication services such as voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) are lifelines to clients and vendors. Also, all South Africans have experienced the dreaded load shedding which could be crippling to customer relations efforts. However, companies who are considering the cost savings and advantages of VoIP need not be concerned about outages due to the Internet or power being down. The built-in failover offered by VoIP providers will keep phone calls going in the event of an outage.
VoIP telephony has become increasingly popular among businesses since it was introduced in 1995, mostly due to its cost saving features and the flexibility it provides. VoIP is one of the fastest growing Internet-based services, because it is easy to set up, use, expand, and it saves costs if compared to a traditional telephone service. Because VoIP phone calls depend on an Internet connection as opposed to a plain old telephone service (POTS), a possible disadvantage in switching to VoIP is potential Internet failures. Thus, if businesses are using VoIP, they will need to ensure an uninterrupted telephone service and plan ahead to counteract Internet down time. The following three strategies will assist in keeping VoIP telephone services operational if an Internet connection fails.
Choose a System with Built-In Redundancy and Call Continuity
Companies that use or plan to use VoIP systems, should inquire from providers if they offer automatic real time-call forwarding to designated mobile phone numbers. This is referred to as service fails call continuity and system redundancy features. Mobile-ready VoIP enables businesses and their employees to access the VoIP by means of a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet regardless of whether an Internet connection is working or not.
Many VoIP providers can build failover options into a company’s system by automatically switching phone calls to a different device or phone number. This way, the majority of inbound calls can still be answered. With a hosted PBX, companies can opt to have a failover for every individual extension on their phone system. Hosted PBXs maintain a company’s main menu and voicemails so if a business loses its power or Internet connection, inbound callers will still hear phone greetings and can access the menu options. The Hosted PBX server can also automatically route a call to an employee’s mobile device.
Many mobile-ready VoIP systems have call features that are available on both VoIP handsets and calls that are forwarded to a mobile device. These features include caller ID, call forwarding, a second call waiting feature and the option to transfer calls to another person. Many systems also incorporate disaster routing where the call is automatically routed to one of up to three other systems specified by the user.