Providing Business Continuity in Today’s IT Environment Via Microsoft 365


Stan Chase, NvYA Technology

 

As time moves forward, so does technology. At NvYA Technology, we are asked by many of our customers to help them with their business continuity (BC) / disaster recovery (DR) plans. Having provided technology solutions for over 30 years, most customers think they need to have documents that lay-out the solutions for business continuity and disaster recovery plans, which ultimately end up in a file somewhere and are infrequently reviewed or used. With today’s technology, more and more customers are beginning to incorporate BC/DR solutions into their day-to-day technology solutions. There are several solutions that allow companies to access their critical data from anywhere there is internet connectivity.

Microsoft 365 for Business

Microsoft 365 (MS365) is a multifaceted cloud-based platform that allows customers the ability to access their email, scheduling, document files, and backups from any internet connection. It also provides companies with perpetual Microsoft licensing which eliminates the needs for licensing audits. With many employees owning multiple mobile devices including laptops, tablets, smart phones, etc., MS365 syncs emails, calendars and contact info across all devices for real time access to all their critical data and allows personnel the ability to use one (1) MS365 license on five (5) separate devices.

Email is one of the most critical components of communication in today’s business environment. If you think back 10-15 years, most companies operated with a Microsoft Exchange server that hosted email and calendaring and could only be accessed from a personal computer or laptop and usually required a virtual private network (VPN) connectivity to access the information remotely. Eventually integration was provided to sync your smart phone or tablet with the server so you could access your emails and appointments, but it was somewhat clunky and was not always real time. With the MS365 solution, there is no need for VPNs to access the data as it can be done with any internet connection.

Accessing critical data files remotely is paramount in today’s computing environment as well. How many times have you needed to access a file to review or make changes and share the document with other employees or customers but had to be able to remote into the file server securely? With the MS365 SharePoint solution, companies can set up cloud-based file sharing just as they did with their physical file server. Again, these files can be accessed securely from an internet connection and allow end-users to share the files with other employees or customers. MS365 also allows personnel the ability to set up their own personal files via OneDrive, which works much like the “C” drive on a file server, which can also be shared. These files can be accessed offline as well and synced later when internet connectivity is available.

With the current pandemic, many companies are moving to video conferencing platforms to conduct meetings with employees, vendors, customers, etc. MS365 includes a license for Teams, which is very comparable to Zoom and allows interactive video calls, file sharing, and collaboration. As with all the technologies mentioned, Teams can be accessed through any internet connection, mobile device, or an employee’s smart phone.

Disaster Recovery

Another facet of Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery is the ability to recover one’s critical data in the event of a catastrophic failure. Most of us think of these types of failures with floods, tornadoes, power outages, etc., and the solution was always to have a physical backup of critical data stored at a remote location and would then have to be physically retrieved, reconstituted on a new physical server, and then hope all of the data was correctly recovered. If you’ve ever experienced a catastrophic failure then you realize that not all the data is recoverable or formatted properly due to the changes in the new operating system on the new server, new hardware components, and corrupted data files; or you go to load the files from your hard drive and realize the data was never captured in the backup. With a cloud-based backup, the data is saved to the file on a near real time basis throughout the day, which gives a company to opportunity to recover the most current data. It is also stored in highly redundant data facilities across the country to ensure the data is recoverable.

Utilizing VOIP

Another key component is a company’s ability to maintain communications with their customers and vendors via telephony. Several companies still utilize antiquated PBX telephone solutions that limit their ability to answer phones during power outages and other catastrophic failures. With Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephony, companies have a highly redundant solution that allows continuous operations. VoIP also allows companies to utilize their internet connectivity and eliminate their plain old telephone service (POTS) lines. VoIP solutions are cloud-based as well and if there is a catastrophic failure at a business location, employees can simply take their respective handset to any internet connection to place and answer calls, check voice mail, etc. The solution also provides voice-to-text translation of voice mails, which allows you to access these messages from any mobile device. There is also a “soft phone” feature which allows you to answer your desk phone from your smart phone.

In summary, all the technology solutions mentioned above allow companies uninterrupted data exchange and telephony to maintain continuous operations in the event of a catastrophic failure. If this sounds like something your company needs, please give us a call at NvYA Technology and we will be glad to set up a Teams call, onsite meeting, or whatever you are most comfortable with to determine what’s best for your company. Contact NvYA Technology at info@nvyatech.com or sales@nvyatech.com, or give us a call at (888) 234-6892

Stan Chase is the CEO of NvYA Technology based in Oklahoma City and can be contacted via email at stan@nvyatech.com or via phone at 1.405.492.6222.

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