Professional companies require business continuity to ensure long-term success. After a disaster, 40% of small businesses fail, and another quarter fail within one year, according to a report by Forbes. In addition to having a plan for employees, assets, and operations, communications are critical to maintaining operations and successfully navigating a disaster.
A resilient voice solution will ensure your company or client’s mission-critical voice applications remain operational during an outage. Voice resiliency plays a vital role in business continuity, disaster recovery, and a business phone system’s capacity to handle spikes in call volume. Communications platforms with voice resiliency offer several benefits and ensure your client or company can meet its calling demands.
What Is Voice Resiliency and How Does It Support Business Continuity?
Voice resiliency is a characteristic of business phone systems that allows them to continue operations when an outage impacts the network or service. A resilient voice network also provides dynamic scalability, ensuring your client or business has enough calling capacity to manage calls.
Cloud-based communication services, such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), offer inherent resiliency due to the cloud’s near-limitless scalability and elasticity.
- Scalability means your client or business will have the calling capacity to handle large volumes of calls due to a promotion or event like a product launch.
- The elasticity of the cloud allows the voice service to scale back down to fit the organization’s typical business needs when the large call volumes return to normal.
Ideally, a cloud-based voice platform will make these adjustments dynamically for a seamless transition. It also helps to find a communications provider that will not charge your client or company for the increase in call volume. A metered payment option offers the flexibility small businesses require, allowing the company to pay for only the calling time it uses in a billing period.
Why Do Businesses Need Resilient Voice Service?
Resilient voice service is vital to business operations because it ensures the delivery of incoming calls and allows remote users to maintain reliable communication. The following are reasons your client or business benefits from resilient phone service.
Your Business Has a Distributed Remote Workforce
When your business or client relies on a remote workforce, a resilient voice service will ensure the distributed employees can maintain seamless communication. With offices or remote workers throughout the nation or the world, a failed communication network in a region can prevent workers from conducting business.
A resilient VoIP or SIP trunk will have failover features that allow incoming and outgoing calls to be routed to another physical network if there is an outage. Without this level of redundancy, an outage in a certain region can impact your client or company’s remote workforce.
One solution may be to port the impacted voice service to another carrier, which can take weeks. The ideal solution is a carrier that can quickly reroute the calls to a new network.
You Require a Business Continuity or Disaster Recovery Plan
A business continuity or disaster recovery plan is vital to continue operations during and after an emergency that causes a network outage. It also offers continuity when employees cannot safely come to the office during an emergency.
For instance, during the COVID-19 pandemic, cities worldwide locked down, forcing businesses to take measures to switch from on-site office arrangements to remote work. According to a study in Global Trade, licenses for cloud-based calling solutions almost doubled from 2018 to 2022, driven by businesses switching to remote office environments. Companies had to quickly pivot to cloud-based communication solutions to maintain business operations.
Your client or company may want to prepare for the following interruptions with its business continuity plan:
- Natural disasters like hurricanes and blizzards
- Pandemics and other widespread illnesses
- Power outages
- Cyberattacks and network outages
- Terrorist threats
Preparing for the above situations will depend on the likelihood of an event in your location and its impact on operations. While the business may have standby power and a strategy to move to remote work, it will require a resilient communication solution. A cloud-based SIP or VoIP service will ensure that employees can use their mobile phone, IP phone, or software phone from anywhere with a stable internet connection.
Your Business Serves a Global Market or Userbase
Businesses with an on-site office environment or a distributed workforce often serve clients and users across the nation or the globe. Ensuring that clients’ and users’ incoming calls are received is essential to maintain productivity and profitability.
The carrier may drop incoming calls if the company’s carrier network is down in a part of the country. A resilient voice service with dynamic failover will reroute calls to a working network, ensuring the incoming calls are received. The company will not need to port its phone numbers to another carrier to restore calling.
Your Business Experiences High Call Volumes
A business that experiences high call volumes, such as a call center, can lose productivity and profit due to a network outage. A resilient phone service ensures the reception of incoming calls, even if there is a temporary network outage or live receptionists are working remotely.
A resilient voice network will reroute inbound calls during an outage to ensure reliable service. When your client or company uses a cloud-based voice solution, users can get reliable and consistent calling service anywhere with a stable internet connection. You can also implement remote call forwarding to ensure your business or client can forward inbound calls to a remote device.
A resilient voice service can also meet large call volumes, particularly when your client or business is dealing with an influx of calls greater than typical. Using a traditional carrier, a company must install new primary rate interface (PRI) lines to handle more than 23 simultaneous calls. However, a voice SIP dynamically increases the number of channels for simultaneous calls and is only limited by the company’s bandwidth.
What Types of Resiliency Can a Voice Service Can Offer?
Several features and components can improve voice resiliency. When you look for the following features in a phone service platform, your client or business can attain more reliable and resilient calling.
Cloud-Based Voice or SIP
Switching from an on-site PBX (private branch exchange) or business phone system to a cloud-based VoIP or SIP solution is the first step to ensuring your client or company has a resilient voice network. The business can often use its existing PBX, business phone system, or carrier with the cloud-based service. Cloud-based communication services use an app and a stable internet connection to work from various compatible devices like mobile phones and software phones.
A business using a cloud-based voice solution gains resiliency, allowing the business to respond quickly to emergencies and outages. The platform delivers consistent and reliable service for distributed workforces without depending on an on-site phone system or a single carrier for calling service.
Cloud-based voice SIP dynamically scales to meet your client or company’s call demands. Based on the current demand, it can increase the number of simultaneous channels on the company’s voice SIP and network availability for VoIP service.
A network requires redundancy to ensure resiliency. Physical failover is one way to make a network redundant, allowing incoming and outgoing calls to be routed to another physical network when the current network fails.
Without a physical failover feature, a business must find another carrier if there is a network outage. Switching to another carrier means porting phone numbers to the new carrier, which can take weeks. Instead, failover to another physical network provides a fast solution, taking less than 30 seconds to restore the company’s inbound voice service.
Uptime and Reliability
In addition to the worldwide availability and redundancy, a cloud-based voice service should also have 24/7 uptime and reliability of over 99.99%. According to a study in Pingdom, network downtime can cost a small business between $137 and $427 per minute. Choosing a cloud-based voice service that prioritizes reliability and uptime will ensure your client or business experiences minimal downtime.
Fast Number Porting
As mentioned above, when your client or business uses a traditional carrier, porting the number to a new carrier is often the only solution to a network outage. If you are porting from an existing carrier to a resilient VoIP or SIP solution, look for a provider that simplifies the process.
Quick and convenient porting options for existing business numbers can be part of your company or client’s disaster recovery solution. Choose a cloud-based provider that makes it easy to port the business phone numbers from a simple administrative web portal in as little time as possible.
DID and Dynamic Routing for Inbound Calls
Direct inward dialing (DID) is a phone solution that allows callers to automatically reach the intended recipient without speaking to an operator, using an interactive voice response (IVR) solution, or dialing an extension. While DIDs are convenient and fast for callers wishing to reach an intended recipient, they can also provide resiliency when combined with dynamic routing. A caller dialing a DID will be routed to the intended recipient to ensure incoming calls are received and to improve customer service.
Worldwide Network of Rate Centers
If your client or business requires voice communication for a distributed remote workforce or an international user base, a worldwide network of rate centers will ensure that calls are routed quickly and receive consistently high-quality service.
If the carrier only has rate centers in a local area, like a region or country, your client or company may be limited to a smaller selection of numbers to port, resulting in less recognizable phone numbers and area codes in locations outside of the local exchange carrier (LEC). It can impact your business or client’s remote workforce and users with long-distance charges for callers outside the local area.
A cloud-based communications platform should prioritize network security to ensure your business or client’s voice service is resilient. Choosing a cloud-based provider is often better than an on-site business phone system, providing enterprise-grade security that many small businesses may not have the resources or professionals available to match.
Often, you will integrate the voice solution into your business or client’s existing systems and software using an application programming interface (API), an intermediary between two pieces of software exposed to the public internet. APIs are vulnerable to cyberattacks, so security should be a priority. The provider will maintain a secure API using a version control system like GitHub, ensuring you are using the latest and most secure version of the software.
Cloud-based platforms can provide security features to prevent undesirable calls and users from accessing your phone system. Some security features include blocking or allowing certain destinations, toll fraud detection, and network monitoring to ensure your client or company’s communication is secure.
Remote Call Forwarding
Resilient voice service will provide remote call forwarding so that inbound callers reach their intended recipient, even if the recipient is outside of the office. Remote call forwarding works by rerouting the caller to a different device without the caller knowing. It can help prevent missed calls by forwarding them to an employee’s phone, whether it’s mobile or outside the office. Remote call forwarding is useful when an employee cannot come into the office and for answering calls after normal business hours.
Enhance Your Business Mission-Critical Voice Applications with a Resilient Voice Solution
No matter the industry, voice communication is essential to today’s business operations. Planning ahead for potential outages means having voice resiliency built into the communication system.
Flowroute ensures your business or client reliability for its mission-critical voice applications. Business calling is hosted on the resilient HyperNetwork™ to guarantee incoming call delivery. Flowroute provides 24/7 availability and 99.999% uptime to ensure callers can always reach the business. Your communications are protected with secure features like toll fraud detection and business continuity features like remote call forwarding. Get started with your resilient voice solution from Flowroute.