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Teamphone supply BT with voice continuity services.

Teamphone : 13 February, 2008  (Application Story)
BT users now have the peace of mind of continuously available voice communication services in the event of disasters.
BT has launched a family of three voice continuity solutions to counter the ever-increasing threat to business from unforeseen disruptions such as fire, floods, bomb scares, negative publicity and routine 'outages'. Since September 11th 2001 it is accepted that, in an emergency, communication is key, and the resilience of the voice network is vital to the continuation and survival of the business.

"BT recognised the need for a really strong voice continuity solution and we are delighted that they have chosen Teamphone to supply it", said Teamphone's CEO Geoffrey Paterson. "Our partnership with BT has proven our strength and reliability and enabled us to work with major banks and the MOD across their secure networks."

"Voice continuity minimises the impact of a crisis on revenue, security and reputation, which can be destroyed very quickly. It's not just the headline-grabbers like the Manchester Bomb which destroyed 250 businesses; companies are 40 times more likely to suffer interruption from plumbers than from terrorists," continued Paterson. "Through our partnership we can deliver BT Voice Continuity at a quarter of the price of any even remotely comparable service."

BT Voice Continuity offers a choice of solutions designed to enable businesses to maintain communication with customers, communities, employees, partners, suppliers and stakeholders in the event of a crisis. These new network-delivered services are resilient against failure and deliver voice, fax and data calls to alternative numbers, locations, services, teams or individuals.

Ray Stanton, global head of BT's business continuity, security and governance practice, said: "Most organisations have for a long time meticulously planned disaster recovery strategies for their data, network and business applications. In the event of an emergency though, the most vital network to maintain is the voice one. Failure to plan for this creates a major hole in any business continuity plan. This service has been designed specifically to address that gap."

Stanton added: "Business continuity should not be viewed as a box-ticking exercise. It's about protecting revenue and reputation. In today's fast-paced economy, companies cannot afford to be out of reach from their customers and key stakeholders for long. The very real fear should be, 'If I'm not working, is someone going to take my business and clients?' "

BT Voice Continuity is a family of network-delivered continuity services suitable for small and large organisations. No additional lines, equipment, private circuits, CAPEX or extra software is required. It supports unlimited DDI numbers and works across the ISDN30e and Featurenet 1000 / 5000 networks. The services are operated in secure BT locations.

Three Recovery Options are available 24x365 offering different levels of service. These are Directed Recovery Option 1, Directed Recovery Option 2 and Proactive Recovery. Each is simple and fast to set up and completely secure, with flexibility to adapt as a crisis unfolds and can be managed via the telephone or a web browser.

During normal business operation the Directed Recovery options are permanently available but on standby. Only during an event is the service activated by calling the help desk and the service is invoked once the caller has been authenticated. Voice, fax and data calls can be instantly switched between pre-defined dial plans which map the incoming DDI numbers to new locations or alternatively to an announcement service. This ensures that customers calling the usual number get a familiar person or service. At any time staff can amend existing dial-plans or upload new dial-plans as their continuity requirements change during the emergency.

The enhanced Directed Recovery Option 2 adds personal call routing enabling staff to override the active dial plan and 'pull' calls to their current location, be it at home, mobile or any other location; or may elect to have all calls answered by their personal voicemail. Individual staff members can manage the service from any telephone handset; routing their own calls to wherever they happen to be working at that time, using whichever telephone service they choose.

Unlike most continuity services, in the event of an emergency, Proactive Recovery automatically failsover to the secondary location by testing each and every incoming call and determines how this call is to be delivered. This is achieved by porting or block-transferring the numbers back into the network. The service includes all the functionality of Directed Recovery Option 2 enabling the administrators to reroute calls regardless of the emergency, for example when safe access to the office is denied.

During normal operation, the call will be delivered to the voice network in the normal way. If the service detects a failure in either the local exchange; in the circuits connecting the business to the local exchange; or to the PBX interconnects within the business, then the service will automatically route this call to a preferred secondary location. This may be to an alternative gateway or to other locations: a mobile phone, home phone or even international offices. In this way, Proactive Recovery will ensure that incoming calls continue to flow without the need for manual intervention.
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