Business Continuity with Unity Connect


Business Continuity with Unity Connect

Many organizations are constantly evaluating risks to their business and determining what steps can be taken to mitigate that risk, which comes under the umbrella of Business Continuity planning. Effective communications during any kind of crisis is a key part of a business continuity plan.

Depending on the crisis, your current communications system may not be able to handle the various crisis situations.

Unity Connected Solutions has created an inexpensive Business Continuity package based on our cloud based solution called Unity Connect. As a redundant cloud-based system, Unity Connect is not directly impacted by geographic climate issues such as flood, fire, snow or ice storms. As part of the Business Continuity package, Unity works with clients to pre-configure the system and then have it on standby to be quickly brought into action when needed.

On Standby: Always Available

Communications are critical to handling emergency or crisis situations. Ensuring your staff can stay in touch with each other, as well as customers and vendors, will be a challenge if your communications systems are either unavailable or incapable of supporting them outside of the office.

Many premise-based systems will not easily or quickly permit staff to work remote from the office effectively and may be challenged to quickly scale up when needed. They may require hardware implementation, costly license upgrades or other complex network configuration to set up. Things that may be time consuming and difficult to do, in a time when speed is of the essence.

Having a cloud system capable of supporting staff no matter where they are located – on Standby – that can be quickly ramped up and rolled out provides the missing piece to your business continuity communications plan. Unity Connect can be set up with Automated Attendant, IVR, Voice Mail and SIP trunks already set up and configured for your business. The moment your team needs to use the system, existing lines can be forwarded to Unity Connect and licenses allocated to key staff. All the team need are a laptop, browser and headset. A mobile client is also available.

Step 1: Consult/Design Phase

Planning what should happen during a crisis or disaster will ensure the most effective response. Simply relying on documentation alone, is not sufficient to set up emergency communication plans. Unity will work with organizations to determine exactly how calls are to be handled during an emergency.

We work with you to define and set up the automated attendant, an IVR, if required to route specific calls, SIP trunk channels and standard voice mail greetings.  We can help create the basic instructions to be distributed to your team, when they need to use the Business Continuity system as well as define the protocol to initiate forwarding from the current lines to the Business Continuity system.

Step 2: Setup/Test

Once we have worked together to determine how you want to process calls in an emergency situation, Unity will create a Unity Connect instance on Microsoft’s secure and highly available Microsoft Azure cloud data centre.

The team will then pre-configure the system, setting up the automated attendant scripts, an IVR, if needed, to direct certain calls, create the standard voice mail greeting (in case staff do not immediately change the greeting) and any other configuration requirements as defined in the consultation session.

To ensure that nothing is left to chance at the moment the solution is needed, Unity will work with you to test forwarding lines from your current system to the Unity Connect Business Continuity system.

Step 3: Put into Service

At such a time that the business continuity system is required, you will follow the protocol, as defined in Step 1, to forward your Telco lines to the Unity Connect system.

At this point, you may require additional users on the system, and can contact Unity Connected Solutions to expand the number of users your Unity Connect instance can support.

Users can be directed to the MyUnityConnect website to download clients and how to use their system.

Additional Considerations


When people work home they will likely be using their laptop with a WebRTC client. The sound quality of laptop speakers and microphones is poor.  It is impossible to manage background noise. If on a lot of calls, this is far from ideal.

We recommend using a headset. They can be USB or Wireless (bluetooth), some will work on laptops and mobile phones.

We supply Jabra headsets. Ask about headset options for at-home working.

Telephone Handsets

Unity Connect supports a wide variety of SIP (VoIP) telephone handsets. These handsets can easily be used at home, if needed, for staff that make or receive a lot of calls and would feel more comfortable using a phone than a laptop.

It does take time to order and pre-configure telephone handsets, so that they can be easily used later. If you think you want to use handsets, make sure this is discussed in Step 1, as they will need to be ordered and configured and shipped to you and safely stored until needed.

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