For once, when we talk about lines going down, in the case of Paddington Station and the Great Western Railways on this occasion we do not mean telephone lines.
On Wednesday 17th several hundred metres of overhead power lines apparently came adrift, causing a cancellation of all services into London Paddington station. For many 10,000s of travellers heading into the city from the west, including Slough, Maidenhead, Reading, Newbury etc, the result was a major problem. Just from a mobile telecoms perspective, Vodafone, O2 and Three are headquartered along that very route.
Then the following Wednesday 24th London Euston also experienced a signal failure which once again seriously affected routes in and out, having a major impact on business and, of course, social travellers.
From a business perspective, what can we learn from these incidents and how can we ensure we maintain business continuity (BC) when major events threaten to impact our ability to access our workplace or even do our job?
Businesses are increasingly taking a ‘whole company’ view and also exploring how individual key staff members can be kept connected when circumstances conspire to offer otherwise.
The real key in our opinion rests in the phrase ‘work is a thing that you do as opposed to a place that you go’ and so many of the very best BC solutions lie in mobility and remote working.
Some popular options include:-
- Video Conferencing. We are all familiar with FaceTime and these days businesses can also benefit from similar solutions. These are available not only via Microsoft options (Skype for Business/Office 365) but also via many communications specialist options such as Webex, Avaya Equinox and many more.
- Connecting your mobile device to the company telephone system via a dedicated mobile app – e.g. UCS mobile for Ericsson-LG, One X or Equinox for Avaya and the mobile app available on our Gamma Horizon Hosted offering. These are fabulous in that they also offer additional Unified Communication features such as:- availability (presence), instant messages and an ability to group call or group message from your smartphone device – very cool!
- Providing users with work connectivity (company funded business broadband) and perhaps even a company telephone handset at home, connected via a secure VPN.
- Or perhaps a softphone on users’ laptops, with a suitable headset, turning a laptop into a business telephone when connected to home or external (secure) WiFi. Again Ericsson-LG offer their UCS product, Avaya offer Equinox and Gamma Horizon their softphone app.
- Finally, once you have the above in place it’s very easy to enable your phone system to automatically re-route incoming calls to your remote colleagues without the need for reception or your primary call handler having to take calls and field messages on their behalf. Simple, professional and efficient.
So, the next time the lines go down (train that is), or your team are suffering from the wrong signals (ha ha), why not be ahead of the curve and have them already enabled for business as usual, taking stress out of their day and helping them to deliver your cracking customer experience to colleagues and clients alike.
If you’d like to know what options might be available for your business why not drop us a line (bad pun I know) at [email protected] or your smile as you dial 01509 278278 and have a chat with our sales guys ‘n’ gals.