Thursday, 23 December 2010

Business Continuity and remote workers – Is the snow hurting your business

As the UK begins to be covered in a blanket of snow, stretching from Scotland to the South West of England many firms find that they face the prospect of having only a handful of staff (if any at all) turn into work. This state of affairs being brought about because of travel chaos reigning supreme as trains, cars, trucks and airports grind to a standstill all because of a supposed lack of planning by the local and national authorities.

The cost for all this inconvenience is estimated to be in the region of £1 billion per day depending upon which analyst you happen to be listening to at the time. What is true however is that the cost to the economy and wellbeing of people is staggering.

In these times of extreme economic hardship; with increasing business taxes, general costs and rising input prices, businesses need to be able to "Be Available" to take calls from customers or potential customers as soon as the calls come in. At the very least to be able to call them back shortly thereafter to avoid losing money and business, as once the call has been missed it is very hard to get it back.

On this point though it is believed by business experts that many staff will try to make up for the lost time by working harder and longer but this to my mind is little comfort where you are a B2B business and calls come in during the normal working day.

With improvements in internet communications and 3G technology providing high-speed data access, remote working for staff has become a viable backup when weather conditions turn inclement (or for that matter during any other crises hit i.e. pandemics, power failure, fire etc.).

Most companies today are able to offer a degree of remote access to systems such as email, CRM and other business software and with the advances being made in 'cloud computing' this is set to increase, however where most business fall short is in their telecommunications. Although they may provide for systems access, they provide little or no connection to their telecommunications systems. After all the telephone is still the main communications conduit into or out of any business.

Another article worth reading is by Eloquent Technologies

If during an emergency or other adverse set of conditions, you cannot take that call from your customers or potential customers you will be missing the possibility of potential gains and security of your future business.

Businesses today need to consider phone systems in a much broader sense such as call handling, connecting remote workers to the main offices and from a business continuity standpoint –'What if'. Choosing the right systems can go a long way to achieving all these requirements and tick all the right boxes.

For further information call 0800 877 8820 and speak to a PRO-iPBX member of staff