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BT launches ’voice continuity’


New service safeguards voice networks in emergency situations

BT today announced the launch of Voice Continuity, a new family of business continuity services, designed to keep voice networks running in case of a disaster situation. The solutions ensure that in any circumstances, calls to employees will always be delivered, no matter where they may be located - such as another office, a disaster recovery site or to a mobile phone.

The service covers regular telephone calls, faxes and data calls. It is possible to pre-arrange up to five different diversion plans which can be instantly selected depending on which is most appropriate in any given situation. Uniquely, the service includes the ability for authorised staff to override the current diversion plan and “pull” calls to their current location.

In the event of an emergency, the service can be activated by making a telephone call to the service help desk. Once activated, all incoming calls can be immediately routed to an announcement service, where they are handled automatically whilst staff are evacuated from the affected location.

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.

“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?”

Unlike most continuity services, in the event of an emergency, Voice Continuity can automatically route to a secondary location by testing each incoming call and determining how it should be delivered.
During normal operation, calls will be delivered to the users’ voice network in the normal way, without any change to call-flow. However, should the service detect a failure in either the local exchange, the connection to the exchange, or the connection to an organisation’s internal voice network, the service automatically routes incoming calls to the preferred secondary location.

Organisation’s have a number of options for diverting calls including mobile phones, home phones or even international offices. In this way, the BT solution ensures that incoming calls can continue to flow without the need for manual intervention.

The BT Voice Continuity service is currently only available in the UK.


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