Hurricane Sandy was No Match for 8x8's Dual Coast Data Centers
November 12, 2012
By Allison Boccamazzo
, TMCnet Web Editor
If there has been any one thing stressed after Hurricane Sandy swept through the East Coast, it’s the vital importance of a secure and dependable disaster recovery (DR) plan. Many traditional landline phones went down in affected areas, leaving businesses with the stark afterthought of how important it is to take action and invest in cloud-based communication services – specifically, those offered by industry leader 8x8 (News - Alert), Inc.
It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that companies are turning to 8x8’s esteemed Virtual Office cloud communications services for fully redundant and geographically diverse, state-of-the-art data centers. With data centers located on each U.S. coast, there’s never a possibility of interrupted communications, as 8x8’s unique technology allows the entire call flow process to move between data centers, depending on the condition, in less than 30 seconds.
The key is that everything, including all PBX (News - Alert) services, configurations, and functions and data such as voicemails, are mirrored between the data centers, supporting a completely functional communication center in the unfortunate case of a disaster affecting either one of them. So while the East Coast was struggling two weeks ago, 8x8’s west coast data center was still going strong.
Additionally, each data center is capable of handling the company’s entire customer load.
Boasting built-in redundancy and automatic failover, 8x8’s services also offer rapid service deployment, mobility and portability, which are all critical aspects for any business or organization dealing with DR or looking to establish a reliable DR plan. By using 8x8’s Virtual Office, you can make and receive calls seamlessly from any remote location – using anything from a mobile app on a Wi-Fi or 3G/4G network to a computer with a standard Web browser.
One company, ICS Software, Ltd, turned to 8x8 to protect its family-owned business based in Oceanside, New York.
"Although our office did not suffer any physical damage from the hurricane, the power to our building was down and, as a result, our normal communications systems were down. We had no idea how long it would be before they were restored,” explained Ken Katz, president of ICS.
"Rather than wait for our internal systems to be back online, we decided to sign up with 8x8's business phone service so that our employees could immediately begin working from home using soft phones. This capability will serve us well not just in this crisis but beyond, as we'll not only be able to quickly recover from future business disruptions, we'll also have a lot more features and flexibility than we had with our previous phone system.”
As Hurricane Sandy continues to open the eyes of businesses to both the vulnerability and limitations associated with premises-based communications systems, they’re starting to gladly adopt the cloud to avoid being tied down to one physical location.
Another company, Manhattan-based Water Quality Insurance Syndicate (WQIS), the largest underwriter of pollution liability insurance for marine vessels in the U.S., said that if they had been using 8x8 before Sandy struck, “we would not have been tied to one physical location. Our employees would have been able to simply plug their desk phone into their home Internet connection or use a PC soft phone to conduct business just as if they were in the office.”
“We didn’t want our business to suffer as a result of storm damage that could disable our PBX equipment,” added Tom deBettencourt, CEO at Rockville, Maryland-based Preferred Computing Resources (PCR (News - Alert) Educator), a leader in the school information systems and databases market. “We are now not tied to any one device with our 8x8 service, not even desk phones, as we are all using PC’s and iPhones for our business communications. We’ve also been able to add valuable features, like after hour emergency ring groups, to improve customer responsiveness.”
To learn more about 8x8’s esteemed Virtual Office for disaster recovery, click here. To learn more about all of 8x8’s offerings, visit www.8x8.com.
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Edited by Braden Becker