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

By Kate Kunkel Comments
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"Everything we had prepared for came to fruition, and we were able to literally avoid almost all of the effects of the disaster ... and we were in the deep of it — in four feet deep of it," he said.

Sighs of Relief

Telesphere, a cloud communications provider based in Scottsdale, Ariz., had eight customers in the way of Sandy's main surge. But when services went down, these companies were also saved by the cloud.

"All of [the companies'] profiles, all of their feature sets, everything that made their services work, were not at the location," said Clark Peterson, Telesphere's CEO. "It was in a Telesphere PoP, in a secure location that wasn't affected."

Peterson added that services were automatically rerouted during the storm, customers were able to put up weather-notification messages on their main lines, and Polycom phones were pre-distributed to customers in preparation for the storm, allowing users to take calls from home as if they were still in the physical office.

"Cloud services played 100 percent of the role in allowing us to keep their services going," said Sanjay Srinivasan, Telesphere's CTO.

Reflecting on how his company dealt with the storm, Peterson said he wants to better communicate how powerful cloud communications can be during the time of a disaster.

People who adopt the cloud realize that even if their offices are gone, they aren't going to lose a call, he added. Meanwhile, their neighbors may still be down weeks later, trying to figure out how to get their businesses up and running again.

Geoff Hester, the company's customer service and support manager, said that bringing awareness to customers about the cloud tools available was one of the most important actions the company took.

"We did hear sighs of relief from our customers who were impacted and were able to immediately resume business through our help," Hester said.

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