Communications carriers like to measure reliability with 9s as in 99.999% uptime. It is the standard you expect when it comes to your communications partner and the reliability you look for in the network equipment you buy, and vendors you purchase from, and the phone systems you install. Some will even measure things out to 99.99999%, but regardless of how many 9s one throws on the end, that never equals 100%. The key is knowing the reality and having plans in place when that <1% happens. Here are three reasons you’ll have problems with any carrier and 6 reasons having the right carrier can keep you calm when problems happen.
3 Troubles To Expect
Technology. If it has moving parts or runs on electricity, then it will fail at some point. Your PC, Routers, Switches, Phones, and Wi-Fi Access Points all will die an untimely death one of these days. But doesn’t 99.999% mean almost never down? Yes, but if you have 356 items in your network that each boasts 99.999% uptime a year, then you can have 1 outage a day and everyone can still claim almost never. The math of adding 99.999% things together never gets closer to 0 downtime, only further away, because everyone’s 0.001% downtime doesn’t happen at the same time, so two items mean two failure potentials. Once that starts touching other equipment and end points, then that 100% uptime starts moving further and further away.
Acts of God. A favorite in terms of insurance companies, there are just some things that regardless of how much one prepares, will happen and will cause issues. Hurricanes, tornados, flooding, power outages, lightening, burst water pipes or even the proverbial beer truck that hits the side of your building, there are just items that happen with such unpredictability that unless you are building your facilities inside Cheyenne Mountain, you’re going to encounter trouble. Just because it’s rare, doesn’t mean it won’t happen. That’s why we buy insurance for health, and property, and life, right?
People. “Nobody’s Perfect”, “To err is human….”. Whether you’ve used them or heard them, we can stack up the clichés a mile high boasting of people’s imperfection. As long as people are around, people will make mistakes, and those mistakes will lead to problems. Regardless of how great your system is, how many 9s your equipment has, or how new the technology is, some backhole operator can take you down because of a mismarked water line, or maybe some employee needing a power outlet free unplugs your server rack by mistake. Mistakes happen. How will you handle it, when it does?
6 Reasons You Want The Right Carrier
Nobody’s happy when trouble hits, and pain and suffering in a business network means lost money and lost opportunity, which translates into unhappy customers. But when trouble does happen, it’s important that your Provider is able to help, not hinder the resolution. Local carriers, like Pinnacle, excel in helping to provide options and solutions before and during Trouble times. We know problems will happen so we try to provide ways you can prepare and respond.
Reason 1: People. Yes, as mentioned earlier people in general can be a trouble reason, but people are an important part of the solution too. Having a carrier, like Pinnacle, whose people have experience, education, and preparedness allows them to provide options and solutions in the event that something happens. Just because the experience is new to you doesn’t mean we haven’t seen it before and that helps us provide a faster solution.
Reason 2: Technology. Technology does have its weak points, but it is technology that can save the day too. Pinnacle provides tools that allow you to dynamically control how your voice service routes and terminates. If there’s a problem at your office, route your phones to cell phones, or to another office, or send it to a VM for follow-up. All available to you where ever you are. It is technology that is available to you 24/7, not just something only we can magically do behind the curtain. We put the technology in your hands.
Reason 3: Focused To Find the Problem, Not Find the Blame. When a trouble call comes in, our first goal is always to identify the cause and find a solution. Whether that problem lies on our network, the customer’s network, or some third party beyond anyone’s control, the first goal is to track it down. Obviously there is just so much we can do to fix problems outside our reach, but as a carrier, we spend a good amount of time working through troubles and helping customers resolve issues that ultimately are not on our network, because when you are down, who’s at fault is less important than how do you get back going.
Reason 4: We Think About the Worst. Part of being a good carrier is working out plans and having solutions for when the worse happens, so we are always looking to make our network more robust and also to provide ready solutions for when our customers get hit with the unexpected. Any business that says “we’re ready” is just a company that has chosen to stop getting better. You want your provider to say “here’s where we are now, but this is where we are going in the future.” Our team can provide network designs that integrate as much protection as you want, and can help work with you on Plan C & D options if your original “Plan A & Plan B” are overwhelmed.
Reason 5: Managed Services – Pinnacle can offer an added layer of insurance with our Pinnacle IT Managed Services department. Our PIT Crew can help ensure your network and files are available and protected against unforeseen catastrophes. From virus protection, security patches, and off-site backups, to a full network evaluation to find the weak links in your back office. All with the goal to help disarm potential ticking time bombs.
Reason 6: We Care As Much as You Do. – When a carrier is local, like we are, the people having the problems or feeling the pain, are the same people we see at our kid's sports games and band concerts; the same businesses where we eat lunch or take our cars to be repaired. We live in the communities that we service, so your success is important to us. It counts and we want you up and working as much as you do.
So problems will happen with everybody. And they will just about always happen at the worst possible time. But that doesn’t mean you have to accept that fate for your business. When it comes to partnering your business with a communications provider, it’s important to know that your provider is as invested in finding solutions and resolutions to the hard unexpected problems. If your provider troubleshooting stops at “reboot” then maybe it’s time to look to a true local provider like Pinnacle!