Support Your Business Internet Uptime with the Right Failover Method

By April 19, 2019 Blog, Internet

Business internet uptime impacts not only POS activities but also your email and VoIP, so having a failover plan is critical.Your enterprise relies heavily on your internet connecting, supporting everything from cloud business solutions to communications through voice over internet protocol (VoIP). If your connection is interrupted, your business essentially stops cold. Preserving business internet uptime requires that you invest in a failover method.

Many businesses make the mistake of investing in a failover that doesn’t offer much uptime protection. They may have a fiber optic connectivity method, but their failover is simply a second fiber optic cable. While this may appear to be a backup solution, it certainly doesn’t offer the diversity necessary to make a failover effective. If an earthquake or other natural disaster causes damage to cable connections, there’s no preservation of uptime when the two cables simply run alongside one another.

Also, any problem impacting the internet service provider (ISP) will affect both fiber optic lines. Essentially, the enterprise is paying for a second line that has limited ability to support a guaranteed uptime.

Instead, enterprises should invest in a failover option that introduces diversity to the connectivity method. A wireless approach is the best backup for a wired internet connection. Three basic types of wireless connection are appropriate for a failover strategy to support business internet uptime:

  • All-in-one primary or edge wireless devices use a wide area network (WAN) and a wireless gateway to combine service in a single device. These are the most common wireless solutions used for backup, but they do have limitations. They only work if the router is placed in an open location that receives a strong signal, and they can’t be stored in a closet or basement.
  • A 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) cellular gateway is a more specialized, standalone option, which is attached either on the outside of the building or near the outside to receive a strong cell signal. The device converts incoming 4G LTE signals to ethernet, which is linked to the router with cabling to distribute connectivity throughout the building. They can be powered by ethernet and don’t require any electricity.
  • A third option is available which enables the enterprise to eliminate all wired internet. It’s an “air” option that uses a single model with dual subscriber identity module (SIM), allowing the company to access SIM cards from different cellular providers at the same time. This is ideal for mobile companies or for locations where cable or digital subscriber line (DSL) may not be readily available.

Businesses that operate in rural areas are particularly vulnerable to downtime. In some remote locations, there may be a single cable that connects to the internet, and if that cable is broken, there’s no backup. These rural businesses often benefit the most from a wireless backup solution to support business Internet uptime.

A business that doesn’t have a business continuity plan for failover risks lost revenue, as well as impacting the level of customer service they can provide.

Without a failover option, there’s no way to accept credit or debit payments for a purchase. This not only slows down transactions, or eliminates the possibility of a transaction altogether, but it also negatively impacts the credibility of the associates conducting the transaction. It’s easy to see how point of sale (POS) processes are impacted, but there are other critical business processes interrupted when there’s no failover, and the connection is lost:

Internet of Things (IoT) Technology: Enterprises increasingly rely on devices to aid in productivity and improve the customer experience. From monitors gauging pressure on a storage tank to the tablet your physician uses to make notes during your checkup, there’s hardly an industry untouched by IoT technology.

VoIP: Businesses are replacing copper wiring landlines with VoIP solutions that use an ethernet cable to transmit voice and video calls over the internet. Without a failover connection, the enterprise may lose all contact with customers.

Other Communications: From email to collaborative tools and messaging, companies without backup support for business internet uptime will see operations interrupted and projects on hold until connectivity is restored if there’s an outage.

Cloud-Based Solutions: Companies are increasingly storing data in cloud servers and accessing the cloud version of their favorite customer relationship management software. While many of these applications have similarities to the in-house version, they will be immediately unavailable if the internet connection is lost and there’s no automated failover option.

The interruption in business internet uptime is an inconvenience for any company, but for those that operate largely in a cloud-based, online space, even a few hours of downtime can be a major problem. For the duration of the Internet outage, they are essentially out of business.

For more information about supporting continuous business internet uptime with failover solutions that work well for your enterprise and your budget, contact us at iTel. Whether your business has fully migrated to the cloud or you simply want to protect your POS process with reliable backup connectivity, we can help you leverage the best solution to support uninterrupted service.