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October 12, 2006

Continuity Planning 10

A Continuing
Educational Series

How the DPCF Extends the Reach of the Disaster/ Business Continuity Planning Community

By Rich Tehrani & Max Schroeder

October 2006, Volume 9/ Number 10

 

The DPCF was launched one year ago at IT Expo West 2005. During the past year, the DPCF has evolved into a much larger group and continues to provide educational information on the need and value of business continuity planning. Recently, the question of how the DPCF fits into the overall disaster planning community has arisen and needs to be addressed.

The disaster planning industry has been in existence for decades and is very mature. There is even an industry conference dedicated solely to the disaster planning and recovery industry. In researching this area, you will find everything from hot meals that can be stored for months or years to entire mobile recovery teams. You can contract for and position mobile office and workspace trailers plus facilities for storing a replacement inventory. The industry players can handle the requirements of the largest enterprises in the world from planning to full deployment in the event of a major disaster. So what�s missing and how does the DPCF fill the gap?






One key observation is that most small enterprises and SMBs are under the false impression that it will be an expensive project that may never be needed. Another myth is that �our offices are in Casper Wyoming and it is highly unlikely that a hurricane like Katrina will hit us.� Statistically, most business interruptions last less than 72 hours and are the result of more common occurrences like local floods and ice storms. Lastly, most enterprises, of any size, do not fully understand the impact that IP telephony has had on business continuity planning and implementation. For example, many enterprises already have a substantial number of employees working from home offices due to the tremendous advantages presented by internet telephony solutions and broadband access. These employees are already deployed members of the �business continuity team.� They are already online and may be deployed over a wide geographic area. Therefore, the number one goal today remains the same as when the DPCF was launched. The goal is to educate businesses on how Internet telephony and converged technologies have totally changed the way businesses can implement a continuity plan. And what better entities to lead this challenge than TMC, publisher of Internet Telephony magazine, the IP communications authority since 1998, and the Enterprise Communications (News - Alert) Association, a national trade association addressing the communications requirements of both enterprises and SMBs nationwide.

We have all seen the TV ads from auto repair companies using the line �pay me now or pay me later� (lose/lose scenario). Deploying VoIP presents the opposite scenario of �save now plus get free insurance coverage� (win/win scenario). IP Communications drives short-term benefits by improving an organization�s day to day business processes and operations. Companies also get the added bonus of reducing ongoing operating costs as compared to maintaining a traditional TDM phone system. Another inherent advantage is that an IPC infrastructure is designed to be implemented as a geographically dispersed architecture, thus eliminating single points of failure. This should be a major consideration of TDM-based call centers. Migrating to an IP contact/call center solution both enhances the customer experience today and reaps tremendous benefits if misfortune strikes.

Hopefully the point has been made that the DPCF is not attempting to create any conflict or competition within the established disaster planning community. In fact, our position is 180 degrees in the opposite direction. Many of our members have been part of this community for an extensive period of time and contribute substantial knowledge and experience to the DPCF project. Our goal is simply to expand the knowledge base by including new partners that have a depth of experience and knowledge in the Internet telephony and converged solutions industries. By combining our strengths, we can provide even better guidance to companies looking for solutions to their disaster planning programs.

Many Internet Telephony subscribers will be reading this issue in San Diego in, or in close proximity to, the San Diego Convention Center while attending the IT Expo West 2006. I strongly encourage you to take part in the Disaster Planning Seminar and Workshop scheduled for 1:00 � 4:00 on Thursday, October 12. Please bring your questions or, if possible, a brief description of your company�s disaster planning concerns. Experts from our member companies will be participating in the workshop and will address your concerns in a live discussion. If you cannot be in attendance or would like to send us your list in advance, please forward your information to maxschroeder@tmcnet.com and one or more of our member companies will respond to your concerns.

A reminder to please visit www.tmcnet.com/339.1 to view additional information provided by DPCF members, TMC, and the ECA.

Max Schroeder is a board member of the ECA, media relations committee chairman, and liaison to TMC. He is also the Sr. Vice President of FaxCore, Inc.

Rich Tehrani is the President and Group Editor-in-Chief at TMC and is Conference Chairman of Internet Telephony Conference & EXPO.

If your organization has an interest in participating in the TMC/ECA Disaster Preparedness Communications Forum, please contact maxschroeder@tmcnet.com or rtehrani@tmcnet.com.

If you are interested in purchasing reprints of this article (in either print or PDF format), please visit Reprint Management Services online at www.reprintbuyer.com or contact a representative via e-mail at tmcnet@reprintbuyer.com or by phone at 800-290-5460.

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