- Just Cant Get Through to You
- Disaster Recovery Planning for 800 Calls
- Disaster Recovery Planning for Local Calls
- Disaster Recovery Planning for Web-Enabled Services
Disaster Recovery Planning for 800 Calls
Each of these critical services has a readily available solution. In the case of 800 numbers, the name of the AT&T service for "rehoming" such services is command routing. Other companies have different numbers but the concept is the same.
Let’s say that your organization experiences a fire. Even if your building is gone, all of the logic that switches your calls is still intact—in the telco’s central office (known as a CO). Recognizing this fact, for more than 20 years the carriers have offered the ability to reroute calls to another working location. If an organization like yours were to call its 800 service provider right now, chances are that the switching process would take only minutes. We recommend asking immediately for a supervisor, and making it clear that a disaster has occurred. You should also have an alternate number for a branch office, home office, or disaster recovery center in your hand when you call. (That means figuring out in advance what that number is going to be, and putting it in your plan—even if that plan is only having the number in your Blackberry!) The supervisor should be able to have your 800 numbers redirected almost immediately, perhaps even while you’re still on the phone.
Ah, if only the recovery process were always that easy. What happens if you try to call your provider and you get the same "All circuits are busy now" recording that your customers are getting? That can happen. In a widespread disaster, the network will block many calls; for instance, as users jump off the landline network to wireless phones (thereby saturating the wireless network). Or perhaps the telephone company has experienced its own disaster simultaneously with yours. Hurricane Katrina brings this possibility clearly to mind. This is the reason why a disaster recovery plan for telecommunications needs to address multiple contingencies, ranging from a cut cable in your building to the loss of a city due to a hurricane or earthquake. In fact, I’ll address precisely these kinds of disasters in parts 2 and 3 of this series. For this article, however, let’s keep it simple and just focus on a few concepts as well as steps you can take right now at little or no cost.
One of these immediate steps is setting up a service called Remote Access to Call Forwarding (RACF).