From the Wires
Businesses Affected by Hurricane Sandy Turn to 8x8 Cloud Communications Services to Enable Business Continuity
By: Business Wire
Nov. 12, 2012 08:15 AM
With traditional landline phone services still down in many areas affected by Hurricane Sandy, businesses are placing greater importance on business continuity and disaster recovery and are taking action by turning to cloud-based communications services from 8x8, Inc. (NASDAQ:EGHT).
8x8’s Virtual Office cloud communications services are delivered from two fully redundant and geographically diverse state-of-the-art data centers located on the East and West Coasts. Should one of these data centers go offline, 8x8's unique technology allows the entire call flow processing to be moved to the other data center in less than 30 seconds. All PBX services, configurations, functions and data, such as voicemails, are fully mirrored between the data centers, allowing complete functionality in the event of a disaster impacting either one of them. Each data center is capable of handling 8x8’s entire customer load.
Having built-in redundancy and automatic failover is not the only advantage 8x8 services offer when coping with a natural disaster. Rapid service deployment, mobility and portability are critical for businesses and other organizations dealing with disaster recovery. 8x8 Virtual Office users can make and receive calls seamlessly from any remote location using a mobile app on a WiFi or 3G/4G network, a computer with a web browser and microphone/speaker, or by relocating their IP phones to any Internet connection.
ICS Software, Ltd, a private family owned business based in Oceanside, New York, offers SammyEHR, ARRA certified electronic health records software for small to medium size medical offices. After Hurricane Sandy knocked out power and Internet lines surrounding its main office, ICS turned to 8x8 for Virtual Office cloud based phone service so that employees who hadn’t lost power or Internet could communicate with customers from their homes.
“Although our office did not suffer any physical damage from the hurricane, the power to our building was down and, as a result, our normal communications systems were down. We had no idea how long it would be before they were restored.” said Ken Katz, president of ICS. “Rather than wait for our internal systems to be back online, we decided to sign up with 8x8’s business phone service so that our employees could immediately begin working from home using soft phones. This capability will serve us well not just in this crisis but beyond, as we’ll not only be able to quickly recover from future business disruptions, we’ll also have a lot more features and flexibility than we had with our previous phone system.”
Water Quality Insurance Syndicate (WQIS), the largest underwriter of pollution liability insurance for marine vessels in the United States, is based in lower Manhattan and experienced massive flooding during Hurricane Sandy that destroyed nearly all of the equipment housed in the basement of its building. Rather than re-establish phone service with their former provider, WQIS IT Director John Imor will be installing 8x8 Virtual Office business phone and fax services.
“Hurricane Sandy has opened our eyes to the vulnerability and limitations of the premises-based communications system we currently had in place,” said Imor. “Had we been using 8x8 service previously, we would not have been tied to one physical location. Our employees would have been able to simply plug their desk phone into their home Internet connection or use a PC soft phone to conduct business just as if they were in the office.”
In addition to the redundant architecture of the 8x8 network, the technology and design of 8x8’s cloud communications services allows customers to dynamically configure service behavior on the fly based on current needs and circumstances. 8x8's unified communications portals contain powerful tools that enable users to change routing and call delivery methods in real-time so that employees can stay connected during a disaster.
Rockville, Maryland-based Preferred Computing Resources (PCR Educator), a leader in the school information systems and databases market, became an 8x8 customer just in the nick of time. Days before Hurricane Sandy hit, CEO Tom deBettencourt and his team decided it was time to get rid of the PBX phone system they had sitting in the closet and move to a 100% web-based telephony environment.
“With the threat of Sandy upon us, we didn’t want our business to suffer as a result of storm damage that could disable our PBX equipment,” said deBettencourt. “We are now not tied to any one device with our 8x8 service, not even desk phones, as we are all using PCs and iPhones for our business communications. We’ve also been able to add valuable features, like after hours emergency ring groups, to improve customer responsiveness.”
For additional information on 8x8 cloud-based business communications services, go to http://www.8x8.com/CommunicationsSolutions.aspx.
About 8x8, Inc.
8x8, Inc. (NASDAQ: EGHT) empowers business conversations for more than 30,000 small and medium-sized businesses with cloud communications services that include hosted PBX telephony, unified communications, contact center and video conferencing solutions. Named the No. 1 Provider of Hosted IP Telephony by market research firm Frost & Sullivan, 8x8 has been delivering business communications services since 2004 and has garnered a reputation for technical excellence and outstanding reliability. For additional information, visit www.8x8.com, or connect with 8x8 on Facebook and Twitter.
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