Back-ups Beat Outage Woes

We typically associate outages with power outages, but communications lines – whether coaxial, copper or fiber optic – can go out, too. Do you have a back-up plan ready to go?

Power outages are relatively easy to overcome – or keep problems on a small scale. You can locate battery back-up systems strategically around your office to cover computers, servers, routers and other networking equipment and peripherals. These systems are not designed to provide long-term power to keep on working. Instead, they should give you and your workers enough time to finish a task, save your data files and then shut down systems in an orderly fashion. This will help everyone resume work more quickly when power is restored. You should augment your battery back-up systems with surge protectors to prevent sensitive electronics from getting fried when power comes back.

If your back-up plan includes storing apps and data files to the cloud, you can respond more effectively when power goes down. Within your office or home, make sure your work is regularly saved to an offsite storage server. That will make it easier to save work manually and help people get restarted from another location.

Depending on whatever else is happening, you may have the option to send your workers home, where they can reconnect – assuming they have power – and continue working through an Internet connection. Another option, depending on your location and size of workforce, would be to go to a coffee shop or some other place that has Wi-Fi – and power – available. The cost of coffee and lunch or a snack may be a good investment if it helps everyone tie up some loose ends or respond to customers’ immediate needs. And if the outage is short, everyone can get back to the office quickly.

If your business is in an office building, check with your landlord or property manager to see who supplies telecom connection services. You may be able to split your connections among multiple providers, and they may have contingency plans that keep at least part of your office running if communications go down. While we all love our feature-rich VOIP telephones, it’s important to note that the old copper telephone lines still function in a power outage or when coaxial and fiber-optic lines go down. You can generally use cellular connections for phones and devices when all else fails.

Once you know all of your available connection and networking options, we can work with you to design and deploy a system that will help you weather a storm or work through an outage. Call us (973-433-6676) or email us for a consultation. We can help make sure you ask your landlord or property manager the right questions and then install a system that best meets your needs.