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It’s not about capacity, it’s what you do with it.

This week, BT had an outage. Hundreds of thousands of customers were left without internet or phone services. In the aftermath, it was discovered that the cause was a broken router, and this single point of failure was responsible for widespread disruption, and the loss of incalculable productive hours and revenue. Additionally, BT’s customer contact centre was unreachable thus leaving customers without any information about the fault, and without indication of how long it would take to get fixed. Even if your internet or telephone provider is a large enterprise organisation, it seems no-one is immune to internet outages, be it the result of malice or technical problems. These things are unavoidable, right? Wrong.

Unfortunately, many organisations opt for unsuitable connections, which are nothing more than re-branded residential-level services. Businesses are often presented with misleading information about what is important, and as a result there are competing priorities present within information technology purchasing. Let’s quickly run through them:

Bandwidth – The first thing that marketing usually focusses on is bandwidth or ‘speed’. This refers to the capacity by which your connection can send and receive information. There are an increasing number of internet or cloud based services that are business critical including, banking, email, invoicing, phones, CRM, or even the transfer of large files. All of which are likely to require a certain amount of bandwidth. If your internet is slow, then you’re at a disadvantage, and the decrease in productivity is painfully visible.

Security – Several high profile incidents involving data loss have caught the attention of the media recently. However there are hundreds of lower-profile incidents that have not made headline news. There are many ways for hackers to disrupt your business, from confidence tricks to hacking your phones and making expensive calls to premium numbers in the Solomon Islands. Many organisations have multiple different vendors managing different parts of the network, increasing vulnerability, and putting their organisation and customers at risk.

Resiliency – This is an important factor to consider and what was perhaps overlooked by many businesses during the BT outage. Networks have grown in complexity and network outages can be commonplace, sometimes lasting several hours. Investing in additional carrier networks that provide uninterrupted service when one network goes down can prevent damaging lapses in service which can end up costing the business in lost productivity, lost opportunities, and damaged brand perception. Even if someone puts a shovel through your main lines of communication, it’s important to know you can still keep in touch with your customers and other sites. And don’t say it doesn’t happen, because it does, with alarmingly regularity.

Ultimately it comes down to a responsibility towards your customers. If customer perception, brand reputation or loyalty is at all important to you, consider beefing up your network resilience, and avoid a recurrence of this weeks incident. Fortunately, Serviceteam IT wants to make this a thing of the past, and will draw upon years of experience to find a network infrastructure that works for you, with one point of contact if anything goes wrong. Find out how you can benefit, and email customerservice@serviceteamit.co.uk or call 0121 468 0101 with your query.