Just like skinning a cat, there are many ways to build High Availability into your telephone system.
Obviously, you’re going to build in redundancies, and manage load balancing, because you can’t trust just one piece of equipment. But you’ll probably trust two pieces of equipment. At least long enough to reconfigure the master one as the slave to the slave which is now the master. And so on. And so on. In a loop of failures and reconfigurations.
Hard drives crash. Power supplies die. Lines go down. WANs dip in and out of existence. And when that happens, unless you have spent many many many thousands of dollars on a system too robust to notice, your phone lines will go down. Even some of the top rated solutions take 30 seconds to reorganize routing and responsibility if a node in your platform dies.
That means calls get missed. And we all know that when a business doesn’t answer the phone, the caller moves on to the next closest competitor in their Google search results. Don’t give your rivals the chance.
Set up priority routing.
Priority or failover routes, get calls through even if your whole system is a wreck. It’s like putting one of those road construction sign guys at the entrance to your phone system. When your phone system fails, this sign guy snaps into action.
He instantly throws up a detour sign, redirecting all incoming traffic over a pre-planned route. And calls get through as if the failure never happened.
Failover routes can be a cellphone or landline number independent of your VoIP system. They’re usually set up on your carrier account manager. And they’re the best way to ensure availability of your business phone connection no matter what.
There are two measures the manufacturers of you phone platform components knows that make failover routes important.
- Mean time between failure tells you how long you can expect equipment to perform before it craps out on you.
- Mean time to repair lets you know how long you can expect each piece to be out for repair.
The fact that manufacturers can tell you these numbers is reason enough to be prepared to work without the equipment that’s known to fail, no matter how much redundancy you build in to your phone connection.
Failure is not an option.
Failover routes bypass phone system failure without interruption, like a business communications insurance policy that doesn’t cost a thing. If it’s not an option your provider provides, it’s time to switch to a partner that does.