Lack of Business Continuity Telephony Solution For Leading UK Businesses.

TeleWare, the provider of both hosted and on-premise intelligent communication solutions for businesses and Service Providers, has announced results of a survey commissioned from PMP Research which highlights the lack of business continuity and disaster recovery planning for telephony services serving leading UK businesses, especially within the financial services sector.

The survey of 70 organisations with revenues over £10 million and up to £22 billion includes 3 of the top 5 UK High Street banks and 3 of the top 5 building societies, 1 of the top 3 Credit Card companies, as well as several high profile investment firms and retailers. Although nearly all respondents felt that losing telephony, even for an hour, would have a major detrimental effect on their business, only 65% of the companies had specific procedures currently in place. More worryingly, 31% of the respondents had suffered loss of voice communications over the last year, yet a staggering 37% had found their contingency planning to be ineffective in dealing with this loss.

Cliff Mills, PMP Research Analyst and author of the ‘Business Continuity for Telephony Systems’ report commented, “This was a particularly interesting research project as there is very little independent data available in the area of business continuity for telephony.” The survey, which ran during February of 2006, targeted only senior IT or telephony managers with responsibility for business continuity or compliance. “We surveyed after the oil terminal fire at Hemel Hempstead and found that there was an increased awareness of the risks. However, many respondents commented that it was an issue that they felt they could not exercise much control over and it was more the responsibility of the carriers – which we found a surprising misconception.” Mills adds.

The survey also found that around half of the businesses that had telephony contingency plans in place only tested them once a year while 16% of companies had never tested their business continuity plans.

TeleWare, who commissioned the survey in association with PMP, unveiled the results at a recent roundtable session in London for industry consultants and systems integrators. As TeleWare Group Marketing Director, Lesley Hansen commented, “The survey highlights the need for businesses to treat business continuity for Telephony as seriously as many do data systems. Our objective is simply to enable organisations to carry on with business as usual irrespective of unforeseen incident.”

TeleWare currently supplies telephony solutions to 23% of the FTSE 100 and 21% of the top 1000 companies in the UK. Its portfolio of products is lead by its intelligent numbering solution which allows its customers’ employees to pull calls to whichever location they happen to be in on the nearest accessible voice device. This might be a mobile phone, an office telephone, home office, VoIP enabled computing device or even a telephone at a temporary location such as a hotel or business centre.

“The survey also highlights the lack of testing of business continuity and disaster recovery solutions for Telephony. TeleWare gets around this issue by being part of the everyday business infrastructure. “For many of our customers, the cost justification is that better contactability equates to a more effective workforce that helps generate more revenue. The fact that TeleWare also provides an inherently more resilient telephony platform or allows customers to quickly deploy disaster recovery is, for many, an additional benefit but not the initial justification,” added Hansen.

Although the survey targeted larger UK organisations, Hansen believes that that hosted telephony services is one method that can also help smaller organisations that do not have the resources to deploy high availability or resilient telephony solution. “Hosted telephony is a rapidly maturing market which is an especially good fit for medium enterprise as it provides advanced telephony features with the advantage of business continuity support and at a fixed price per user,” Hansen concludes.