This article originally appeared in the March issue of INTERNET TELEPHONY magazine
This past October I had the chance to meet with customers and tour Bangkok the week before the streets were flooded by heavy rains in the north. Clearly disaster recovery plans were tested by many businesses and many contact centers.
But which option to choose? Regardless if your contact center technology is housed in your own data center or in a hosted environment, the importance of having a comprehensive disaster recovery strategy is not diminished, it just faces different challenges.
Every organization making the decision to have a disaster recovery strategy for their contact center is faced with determining what kind of environment they want and what their business can afford – both financially and in terms of acceptable downtime. On the customer premises, a hot active solution provides the most seamless solution for business continuity but at the greatest cost. A replicated cold virtual machine deployment environment provides the lowest cost, but poses the greatest risk to business continuity and challenges to getting the contact center back online. In every organization, these questions drive the need to look at the cost benefit as well as impact a contact center outage would mean to their business operations.
Recently, in order to manage the costs of skilled resources as well as capital expenditures, many organizations are embracing cloud or hosting technologies. So how does putting your disaster recovery site in a hosted environment impact the cost-benefit/impact-analysis for your business? First, if your organization has already established an on-premises contact center, investing in a hosted disaster recovery site will not offset the investments already being made in skills and infrastructure. As a result, the cost of establishing an on-premises redundant site is largely compared with the subscription cost of a hosted redundant system. Plus, transitioning communications infrastructure and agents from a premises-based solution to a hosted environment upon a disaster occurrence brings an added complexity which is only offset by having both sites as hot active and sharing the load between the systems.
Based on this, when does it make sense to utilize a hosted disaster recovery site? As I mentioned above, having a hybrid solution that splits the load between a hosted environment and a premises environment allows you to maintain business operations if an outage occurs at either site. In this scenario, when you already have your primary site deployed as a hosted configuration, a disaster recovery site provides the greatest return on your investment. The host provider will likely offer a disaster recovery option at a manageable price and your organization can continue to avoid large capital outlays and investments in skilled resources.
Hosted deployment contact center solutions for your organization’s primary and/or redundant deployments will provide valuable outcomes, as long as careful planning and management processes are put in place. Have you already started planning?
Edited by Jennifer Russell