Telecom Business Continuity and Disaster Planning

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A Brief Continuity Planning Checklist

Every Business Needs a Plan B. Some Just Need It More Than Others

"Your persevering desire to satisfy our unique requirements, and your never-ending attention to detail has contributed to making me a well-pleased customer of Teleconvergence. Because of your enduring efforts, the public safety needs of Tillamook County will be satisfied for some years to come.

Mark Schackart, Administrator,
Tillamook County Emergency Communications District [911]

Teleconvergence Contingency Telecommunications Planning 

IT is traditionally responsible for preparing for contingencies or emergencies involving power, networks, file backup, physical access to facilities, etc. Teleconvergence’s Contingency Telecommunications Planning is different in two respects.  First, it addresses not just “normal” or “adverse” conditions, but includes plans for operating under extraordinary circumstances as well. Second, it is pointedly focused on telecommunications continuity, although the form that takes may be dramatically different than day-to-day operations.

Under certain circumstances, clients can also turn such contingency capabilities into revenue generating possibilities, as noted in Turning a Business Contingency Plan Into a Business Opportunity, elsewhere in this section.

What is an intelligent contingency business continuity plan? Since no one would deliberately create an unintelligent one, any intelligent business continuity plan must have at least two components: a Plan A, which represents resumption of normal operations, and a Plan B, which assumes normal operations have been interrupted and cannot be resumed, if only because NO plan works as planned forever.

Many experienced businesspersons also realize (1) that they can't plan for everything and (2) that they can’t plan for what they haven’t thought of, and so they also create a Plan C solely to maintain critical operations, because whatever affects Plan A might just affect Plan B, too.

If you haven't already planned for all this, you might want to consider going over whatever plans you have with us. Sometimes, what business owners have in place is adequate, sometimes it's not.  Sometimes, it's relatively easy to create a robust contingencvy plan. Sometimes it's not.  Wouldn't you realy find out sooner rather than later which situation you're in?

Continuity/Emergency Planning Services

Teleconvergence offers two related primary continuity/emergency planning services.

Telecommunications Continuity Planning deals with contingency planning for interruptions in telecommunications services.

 Business/Natural Disaster Continuity Planning and Preparedness entails the ability to strategically deploy telecommunications and related technologies to deal with potential as well as unforeseeable and extraordinary emergencies.

Not all disaster and emergency scenarios are the same, although all inevitably prevent the client from operating normally. Simple scenarios involve malfunctions in a client’s system or network. Other scenarios interrupt operations by making the client's premises dangerous or uninhabitable (e. g. gas leak, fire, terrorism). Still others prevent access to the client’s premises (e. g., flooding, ice storm, road closures) so that no one can get to the phones. In either event, what do you do? How to you keep operating?

Teleconvergence's services help clients plan ahead for such contingencies, greatly minimizing possible risk, and certainly costing far less money than it will if they are not anticipated. Not thinking it through beforehand, it seems to us, inevitably puts you at great if not almost unlimited, risk.

Planning like this doesn't take place in a vacuum.  It requires awareness of business priorities, operating needs, staffing conditions, budgets, and, of course, technological alternatives, but only if consistent with the foregoing.  Technology is not the main consideration, but only a tool to meet business requirements.

If you agree, and you're interested in our approach, please read the other two articles in this section.