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Internet Resiliency: Should Your Business Have a Backup Plan?

Posted November 7, 2016

Today, many businesses simply can’t afford even a slowdown of their Internet connection, much less an outright outage. So, having the right service for your business from the right provider at the right price is paramount. Businesses located in buildings served by fiber, sit in the driver’s seat because they have all the best options. Yet even the most resilient, business-class Internet connections can fall victim to spikes in network traffic, or a natural disaster, or a cut fiber line. Increasingly, businesses are adopting services that keep their network optimized and their internet connection on—continually—so they can stay connected to customers, partners, and remote locations.

Internet Resiliency: Should Your Business Have a Backup Plan?

First, do you have the best service option for your business today? Have you looked at your options? Big bandwidth, amazing prices, and additional services like VoIP and Wi-Fi are things to consider. Should your business also have a backup Internet connection? What happens if you lose your Internet connection for a few hours? Maybe employees can use their mobile devices to respond to email and make calls, and you can carry on. If your business is dependent on applications and data hosted in the cloud or housed in one of your locations, however, you might have to send employees home because they can’t get their job done without Internet access. You could lose significant sales, revenue, and customer trust.

What’s Your Backup Plan?

You probably seldom notice it: the spare tire in your trunk. If you are lucky, you’ve never needed it. But the moment you experience a flat, you realize the immense value of that spare tire.

Like the spare tire, Internet resiliency services are there if you need them, even though you may not give them much thought. Here’s a quick overview of these services and why adoption among businesses is increasingly common.

Proactive Monitoring

A proactive monitoring service will check the status of your Internet connection. When you are considering such a service, make sure that it provides all of the following features:

  • Monitors your public IP addresses 24/7/365.
  • Notifies you automatically if an issue is detected. Email or text notifications ensure that you’ll learn about issues even if you are away from the office.
  • Allows multiple people to be notified.
  • Immediately creates a trouble ticket. That way the provider’s support team can start work immediately to resolve the issue.
  • Gives you control of whether (and when) you wish to be notified.

Providers such as MegaPath have started including Proactive Monitoring with selected Internet access services.

As a side note, a Hosted Voice over IP phone system like MegaPath Hosted Voice has built-in resiliency of its own. That’s because in case of power or Internet connectivity issues, users can make and receive calls at their business number using other devices such as a smartphone, home phone, or softphone running on a laptop or tablet.

Circuit Redundancy

Most companies spend 80 to 90 percent of their overhead on human capital, and people need Internet access to do their jobs. When you look at a redundant circuit as the price of worker productivity insurance, it becomes an asset rather than one more overhead expense. Access resellers like MegaPath can find the right mix of affordability and speed for each location. And we can make sure that your access circuits use different providers and/or technologies, to ensure true redundancy. Paired with load balancing and failover (see below), a redundant circuit becomes your lifeline—your spare tire, if you will.

Load Balancing & Failover

Sometimes, you experience a slowdown that can affect network traffic. Real-time applications such as VoIP are particularly vulnerable. Load Balancing and Failover works with a redundant circuit, balancing your network traffic between two circuits and failing over to one circuit should another fail. Typically the redundant circuit comes across a different technology type and from a different provider. Load Balancing and Failover adds value to your second circuit, because it enables you to actively use both circuits. The service increases both performance and uptime of your Internet connectivity. It ensures a resilient, continuous connection so you can access your data, support your applications, process your transactions, and serve your customers in the event of a slowdown or outage. Load Balancing and Managed Failover ensures continuity of business-critical applications and operations.

Is it Worth It?

The finance department may not jump for joy at the prospect of spending money on a secondary circuit or the resiliency services discussed in this post, especially if the last outage has faded from everyone’s memory. But it’s important to consider the costs related to a prolonged outage, such as lost productivity and lost revenue. These services can help you make your business more resilient, keep your people working and productive, keep sales flowing, and help you maintain the loyalty of your existing customers. And ultimately, protecting your business reputation is one of the best investments in your future.

 

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