Posted by: on April 24, 2020 at 12:00 pm

Cloud business infrastructure can help prevent weather-related loss of business.

Cloud business infrastructure can help prevent weather-related loss of business.

We’ve mentioned before how having our business nearly 100% in the cloud helped us adapt to Michigan’s stay-home order. Pandemic-related executive orders aside, what are the benefits of moving to the cloud?

While we’re fairly safe from the big natural disasters, Michigan businesses need to be ready for bad weather, flooding, and fires. Think back to March 2017, after a huge windstorm took off roofs and knocked out power all over southeast Michigan. What did your business do?

Below is our blog post detailing how TAZ Networks was able to quickly adapt and keep assisting our clients even when the power was out. It’s been updated a bit, but we’re sharing it again to show how quick and easy your business could adapt to a change in circumstances, whether temporary or long-term.

Original post below, edited slightly:

Ok, “saving our business” might be a tiny exaggeration. But if you were without electricity and phones, could you support your clients and customers? How long could you stay in business?

Like nearly a million other locations in the Detroit metro area, our office lost electricity during Michigan’s historic windstorm on Wednesday, March 8. Once we lost internet, that meant our VoIP phones didn’t work either. Our office building was down for about 24 hours, a significant portion of two business days. Despite that, we were still able to provide support to our clients. How? The Cloud.

Since 2012, TAZ Networks has operated on a cloud network. Most of our software that we use is cloud-based. We log into web sites to access our job management and documentation. Our “local” files are actually hosted on a computer in another state. We can access our business email online with Microsoft Office 365.

Our Cloud Network Gets a Real-Life Test

So how did relying on the Cloud play out in a real-life test? When we lost partial electricity on Wednesday afternoon, our switches were able to operate on the one remaining circuit. They were also plugged into an uninterruptible power supply (UPS), which helped moderate power fluctuations. (All sensitive electronic equipment should be plugged into a UPS!) Functional switches meant we still had internet access. We ran our laptops on battery and wi-fi. Incoming phone calls went to voice mails, which were immediately routed to our support desk team’s cell phones. Some clients emailed our support team. Others used our client portal to enter tickets. Our team called clients back via cell phone.

On Thursday, power and internet were completely down at the office. Zero internet meant zero phones. After a quick meeting, staff grabbed their laptops and headed out. Field consultants went to client sites as scheduled, while others headed home or other locations with internet access. Support continued mostly as before: Clients who emailed support@taznetworks.com were able to get help almost immediately. Tickets created via our portal went right to our hardworking support team.

While we can’t say it was absolutely seamless, the whole outage went fairly smoothly for us. We did not lose business due to this historic storm. (The popsicles in the office freezer, however? Total loss.)

Michigan may not usually get “clear sky” windstorms , but we often get power outages from tornadoes, thunderstorms, blizzards, and ice storms. If you’d like to see how moving at least part of your business to the Cloud can help you during the next historic storm, be sure to contact us today.

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