On New Year’s Day guards at a prison in Brazil were surprised to see a cat strolling through the gates. What was surprising was not the cat itself but the fact that its body appeared to be wrapped in tape. On closer inspection, the tape was found to contain a mobile phone, charger and accessories together with a saw and some drills.
Whether the cat was helping one of the prisoners to escape or whether it had heard about jailbirds and was going to investigate and report back we don’t know. But it does highlight the extent to which some people may go to keep in touch with the world.
In fact, the telephone is now such an integral part of our lives that it is only when it fails that we realise how much we rely on telephone contact. Tell someone that they won’t be able to carry out a task at work because the phone lines are down and within minutes their hand stretches out to the phone to carry out an alternate task. Even with the availability of internet booking and mailing services we still spend a high proportion of our time on the phone. And from the minute the phone lines go down a business is in danger of losing existing and potential trade.
This is why one of the “must have” elements of any business continuity plan is the need to operate an alternate telephony system. Just knowing that clients will be able to keep in touch via a diverted telephone line removes one major worry from those facing a crisis. But telephone continuity services can do so much more. Using a virtual continuity service means that phones can be diverted and re-diverted as personnel become available, messages can be uploaded via voice or text and call handling protocols can be changed in an instant. Add in caller recognition and you can use the service as a means of operating a roll call, or alternatively can upload different messages for callers based on their phone number.
Every business is different and there is therefore no one prescriptive answer for a telephone continuity service but with a pick and mix selection all available via a virtual service, businesses which take the time to design a telephone disaster recovery service will find that it can make a huge difference in a crisis. Using a cat as a phone carrier may not be the answer but when catastrophe strikes, having a telephone back-up solution means you can keep in touch.