Five tips to the perfect telephony plan

Teamphone believes that unless UK businesses create more effective business continuity plans for phone services they run the risk of serious communications failure should an emergency situation (such as a power cut, flood, fire or terrorist attack) occur.

The company believes that the telecoms infrastructures of major British companies are too reliant on systems and resources based at single office locations. The implication is that if these offices are forced to close, communications could become difficult, if not impossible.

Teamphone offers the following five tips to organisations looking to develop robust business continuity plans for corporate telephony:

Tip 1: Ensure that telephone resources are location-independent. If you operate a traditional telephone system or telephone-based contact centre system from a single location, then ensure that these resources can be rapidly replicated at an alternative site, together with the business intelligence that determines how incoming customer calls are routed to Service Advisors.

Tip 2: Ensure that calls to individuals’ office phones can be instantly diverted to home numbers or mobiles. Alternatively, give employees location-independent phone numbers. Providing location-independent numbers provides the added benefit that calls can be answered on whatever device users have to hand (desk phones, mobiles, PDAs or VoIP-enabled laptops) when working away from their main offices.

Tip 3: Ensure that corporate phone users can change their phone preferences (e.g. where calls are directed, their ‘presence’ settings, voice mail messages etc.) wherever they are, using any web-enabled device.

Tip 4: Think ‘service’ not ‘number’. When using hosted telephony services, ensure that service providers offer business continuity support on a team basis (i.e. in an emergency situation, they can take incoming calls that would normally be delivered to ‘sales’ or ‘support’ teams and deliver them to those same team members at their new work locations).

Tip 5: Ensure that your hosted telephony service allows key personnel to log onto company voice networks anywhere, on any phone. Whenever possible, Teamphone recommends that such a capability is built into Telephony Best Practices and used on a day-to-day basis so that employees don’t need to learn new procedures if an emergency arises