Snow business?

As a technology company, we’re as guilty as anyone of thinking about ‘disaster recovery’ being all about ensuring that IT systems keep running in any eventuality. The recent snow puts a different perspective on things though, as almost the reverse is true in that our systems were unaffected, but quite a few people cound’t get into the office. Whether it’s snow, swine flu or something else, the conversation needs to be about ‘business continuity’ rather than DR.

Believe it or not, despite the disruption, we had a really busy and successful week. We’re well-equipped with remote systems access through a combination of Terminal Services and Citrix, and of course good old Outlook Web Access – so everyone had some level of ability to continue to work.

One area which we are looking to improve on is the phone side of things. Our aging Nortel phone system is scheduled for replacement in February. We’re moving to a Cisco Call Manager platform which will enable us to ‘log in’ to our phones from anywhere and use ‘single number reach’ to ensure we are available even if we aren’t in the office. In the event, about 40 people made it in so the phones were well covered – but this will be much improved next time round.

As usual, the snow has occasioned a fairly hefty degree of interest in remote access solutions and unified communications. As you can see we are in the process of ‘eating our own dogfood’! If you want to know more, we’re running events on both subjects, and on broader business continuity, in January and February. See http://www.softcat.com/seminars for dates.

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