Several businesses affected by Hurricane Sandy have turned to cloud-based communications services offered by 8x8 Inc. for business continuity, according to the company.

With traditional landline phone services down for two weeks in some areas affected by the storm, businesses are placing greater importance on business continuity and disaster recovery and are leveraging cloud-based services such those offered by 8x8.

The company’s Virtual Office cloud communications services are delivered from two fully redundant and geographically diverse data centers located on the east and west coasts. Should one of these data centers go offline, 8x8's technology allows the entire call flow processing to be moved to the other data center in less than 30 seconds.

All PBX services, configurations, functions and data, such as voicemails, are fully mirrored between the data centers, allowing complete functionality in the event of a disaster affecting either one of them. Each data center is capable of handling 8x8’s entire customer load.

Virtual Office users can make and receive calls from any remote location using a mobile application on a WiFi or 3G/4G network, a computer with a Web browser and microphone/speaker, or by relocating their IP phones to any Internet connection.

ICS Software Ltd, a family-owned business in Oceanside, N.Y., which offers certified electronic health records software for medical offices, saw its power and Internet connections knocked out in its main office by Hurricane Sandy. It turned to 8x8 for Virtual Office phone service so employees who hadn’t lost power or Internet access could communicate with customers from their homes.

“Although our office did not suffer any physical damage from the hurricane, the power to our building was down and, as a result, our normal communications systems were down,” Ken Katz, president of ICS, said in a statement. “Rather than wait for our internal systems to be back online, we decided to sign up with 8x8’s business phone service so that our employees could immediately begin working from home using soft phones.”

Another company, Water Quality Insurance Syndicate (WQIS), the largest underwriter of pollution liability insurance for marine vessels in the U.S., is based in lower Manhattan and experienced massive flooding during Hurricane Sandy that destroyed nearly all of the equipment housed in the basement of its building.

Rather than re-establish phone service with the company’s former provider, WQIS IT director John Imor will be installing 8x8 Virtual Office business phone and fax services. Hurricane Sandy, according to Imor, made the company aware of the vulnerability and limitations of the premises-based communications system the company had in place.



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