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January 2011 - Network Innovations

31 Jan

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The Storm of the Century

January 31, 2011 | By | No Comments

The storm of the century is coming!   As I write this blog entry, ice is accumulating, and Kansas City is in the bullseye of a major snowstorm, a blizzard with 12” of snow projected for our office and up to 20” nearby.  The weather people are coming on TV every 15 minutes in breathless anticipation.

Is your office prepared?  Winter storms are a huge drain on office productivity, with employees unable to make it to work due to bad roads, traffic snarls, and kids home from school.  However, with the appropriate technology in place, essential employees can be very productive working from home.

At Network Innovations, our AltiGen phone system allows our employees to have full access to the office phone system from our cell phones.  When you call our office, we can seamlessly answer the call, and even transfer it directly to another employee’s extension, all from our smart phones.  Clients don’t know we’re not at the office, they just know we are always available to help.

We also have a firewall and remote access server setup, that allow our laptops to connect from home.  This allows full, normal access to the company network.  With these two solutions tied together, our employees can operate identically from home or on the road.  Therefore, on bad weather days, we can close the office early, come in late, or work from home the entire day.

It’s a win-win-win – our office doesn’t suffer productivity hits during these bad storms, our employees aren’t stuck in traffic for hours at a time, they are home safe and sound with their families, and our clients still receive the world-class service they love!  Contact me today to ensure your office is ready!

A few other tips:
For myself, I have a cellular Internet connection for my laptop as a backup – if the power goes out in my home, I can usually still connect to the Internet via the cellular option.  This also allows me pull over to the side of the road and send an email in a pinch, or avoid $10/day Internet charges in a hotel.

Bad storms can also bring major power outages.  Make sure you have sufficient battery backup units at the office and at home.  The batteries in these units do go bad over time, just like any other battery – it’s important to ensure that they are tested regularly.  It may be appropriate for some businesses to invest in a generator powerful enough to run your back-end servers during extended outages.

We can also provide a Business Continuity server – this is a backup server that can “virtualize” or emulate any or all of your office servers.   This would allow you to quickly and easily setup a temporary office in another location if necessary.