Refuge In the Cloud: How Channel Partners and Telcos Survived Sandy

By Kate Kunkel Comments
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For several customers, their sites were unreachable, but most still had full use of their phones and unified communication services. Although they lost local power and connectivity, customers remained in business because their services were protected in the cloud, Kinka added.

Evolve IP plans to help its customers prepare disaster-recovery procedures for the future, and Kinka said he hopes to better educate customers on the various benefits offered through cloud services. "Planning disaster policies in the middle of the disaster" doesn't work, he said.

"These cloud products have intrinsic disaster-recovery capabilities in them," he said. " ... Many customers know they have them, but just don't consider the strategy of what they're going to do when (a disaster) happens."

Make Way for Extra Cloud Data

Leading up to Sandy, Nirvanix, a cloud storage provider based in San Diego, offered a disaster-avoidance program that allowed its customers to move their data to a safe location within the cloud at no additional cost.

During the week before the storm, many clients were moving data from East Coast data centers to a center in Los Angeles, according to Steve Zivanic, the company's vice president of marketing. Nirvanix added to its cloud capacity so that more people could move their data for "peace of mind."

Zivanic added that he wanted to make sure his customers understood the cloud's benefits, especially during this critical time.

"It's about giving [customers] flexibility and making them feel comfortable that they have this very flexible, very agile business continuity solution when there's a time of need," he said.

In the Deep, But Head Still Above Water

One New York-based company helped businesses with offices in four feet of water during the storm — its systems fully functioning during and after Sandy hit, all thanks to cloud-based features.

Russ Fordyce, Broadview Networks' managing director of marketing, said the company's core product was designed for disaster emergencies like Sandy. Customers could go online to change settings and have their calls sent to any other phone.

Fordyce also said the company sent out messages before the storm and told customers to set up auto-attendants, another planned action that saved many customers from losing business during the storm.

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