8 Critical Steps for Ensuring a Smooth Transition to Hosted VoIP | Step 3: Getting Assurances About Service Availability and Documented Uptime

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Last week, we talked about exploring network options and network management capabilities. This week, we’ll discuss what you need to know about service availability assurances and documented uptime.
When moving to Hosted VoIP, it’s important to be mindful of business continuity. Users should be able to make a phone call anytime, regardless of the device, and providers should seamlessly keep customers connected. Availability is key – especially in the event of unplanned outages due to storms, holidays and other environmental changes.
The other important factor to consider is uptime. Each business determines what amount of uptime is – or isn’t – acceptable. It used to be that 99.9%, or what’s commonly known as “the three 9’s,” was the norm. Then came four 9’s, and now five 9’s. At iCore, we operate at the five 9 level, or 99.999% guaranteed uptime. Companies want a managed solution they don’t have to worry about, with a guarantee – in writing – that supports their business needs.
But What If Something Does Go Wrong?
Aside from availability and documented uptime, if the data center does go down, you should also know how your providers’ failover occurs. There are three types of failovers:

  1. Application failover. This means knowing what your voice data is running on. At iCore, we use Broadsoft, the premier in hosted voice applications. In an unforeseen event, the application itself forwards calls, allowing it to have the highest degree of failover. Calls routed this way won’t experience an issue because they’ll be picked up instantly at another location – and the caller will be none the wiser.
  2. Network failover. This is layered over the application level, with the network supporting calls from multiple ISPs and multiple devices, terminating on the edge of the data center.
  3. Data center failover. Companies can have data centers that are both geographically and physically redundant, known as an A Core and a B Core, to ensure there aren’t any service interruptions, network failures or congestion. Uptime and redundancy are two of the premier reasons to move to Hosted VoIP

Other Considerations
With newer Hosted VoIP options that allow for a multitude of applications and availability, understanding customer premise equipment is essential. For example, how much bandwidth is available, and is it being routed properly? Applications like the iCore Communicator are helpful because they can run over 3G, 4G, Wi-Fi, hotspots and more.
Another strategy to ensure you will always have service is to use multiple carriers – otherwise known as carrier diversification. It’s the best way to build a high availability, high service-related network.
A Collaborative Effort
With iCore’s consultant approach, we spend a lot of time getting to know our customers to make sure we have a deep understanding of how their business works. This ensures that the solutions we recommend directly align with what they truly need.
To learn more, access the full TechTarget whitepaper here.
In our next blog post, we’ll talk about being prepared to support a variety of media.

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