As a hosted service provider, we invest quite a bit of time into disaster recovery. Mapping out what can go wrong, what can fail and how to protect against that failure. Ultimately, good disaster recovery planning really means good disaster preparation. Layers of redundancy are needed. Multiple POPs, multiple carriers and vendors, redundant services from those carriers and vendors. Redundant power and cooling systems, redundant network design, redundant server and application design. We even have layered and redundant monitoring systems and we develop redundant and overlapping teams and engineers. Just as inContact has prepared the network and platform for a variety of conditions and events, it is equally important for inContact users to have a disaster preparation plan that prepares them for the unexpected. Fortunately, inContact is able to help. I want to discuss methods for inContact customers to harden their operation.
1) Redundant physical and network services.
a. Backup power and cooling
b. Multiple internet service providers
c. Redundant or on site spares for critical network components
d. Redundant telecom services, multiple T1s, local lines, cell phone, VOIP, etc
e. Multiple sites
2) Using inContact to enhance your disaster preparation plans
a. Developing an AT Home Agent plan can allow you to better deal with issues associated with service outages in a corporate office.
b. Developing a plan to create a mobile agent. We had a customer whose offices were in the path of a hurricane. Using laptops, the customer was able to ‘relocate’ to a hotel that was out of the path of the hurricane and then set up his call center using the phones and Internet services at the hotel.
c. If you already have diverse office locations, develop a plan that allows you to make use of the other office(s), in the event of fire, weather or man made disasters that can cause the loss of a site.
d. Using inContact scripting features such as CallBack to handle calls even if your agents are not available. For example, you could check to see if there are any agents logged on and if not provide the caller with the option to be called back. This can be complemented with the use of alerting emails to key personnel to make them aware of this condition.
e. Other alerting mechanisms can be built in to scripts to alert key persons in the event of problems such as insufficient port numbers or high queue times. This can be augmented by using inTouch monitors, not just at the supervisor’s desk, but in the IT and Tech support areas as well to keep them aware and alert to the call center conditions.
3) Cross training of staff
4) Develop monitoring tools that display the health of key systems and services
5) Documentation of:
a. Network design
c. TF and Local DIDs,
d. Key personnel and their escalation path
e. Vendors and service providers
f. Telecom circuits
g. Building and facilities
h. Local fire, police and hospital
6) Periodic review of plans, documentation and policies
At inContact, we recognize that we are an integral part of your business and that good preparation requires efforts on the part of inContact and its customers. If you have questions, or would like to discuss ideas on how to use inContact to enhance your current disaster preparation plans, please contact us. We will be happy to help you tailor inContact to your specific needs.