Stormproofing Your Business Against Mother Nature & More

Systems redundancy is important for business continuity, especially for small to mid-sized businesses. Whether caused by weather, construction, equipment failure, or human error, outages can happen at any time and for many reasons.

But what would happen if your business lost Internet service? If you own a store, would you be able to ring up an item a customer wants to purchase? If you own a restaurant, would you be able to print out separate checks for each diner in a large group? If you own an accounting firm, would you be able to order office supplies and computers for your staff? If you have a VoIP system, would you still be able to make and receive phone calls? And, in the most extreme cases, what if you had to send all of your workers home because they simply couldn't do their jobs without Internet access?

The cost of downtime, even an hour of downtime, can add up quickly, especially when factoring in lost sales, employee productivity, and customers -- folks who may never return again.

In today's business world, Internet access means everything. This is especially true as more SMBs move their documents, data, and applications to the cloud. But, surprisingly, many businesses don't plan for outages or disruptions in service.

So how can you prepare for and overcome outages to keep your business in business? You need to be proactive and develop a business continuity plan that includes an automatic wireless Internet backup connection. By doing so, you can significantly reduce downtime, keeping your business operating longer and giving you an advantage over competitors.

How does an automatic wireless backup system work? When an outage happens, the wireless backup system automatically triggers a connection to the Internet via cellular service, typically 4G LTE. This can happen quickly enough that you and your customers see minimal disruption in Internet connectivity. And, if you lose your Internet service as a result of a power outage, many of the wireless backup systems also come equipped with a battery backup, providing power for several hours to keep equipment running and your business connected.

Broadband providers are offering customers automatic 4G LTE cellular access should they lose their primary network connection, and this combination offers powerful redundancy and acts as an "insurance policy" in case an SMB loses its primary service. So, while the lights may go out, your employees and customers can still connect to the Internet, allowing transactions to go through and enabling customers to access Wi-Fi.

Jeff Lewis is Vice President of Product Management for Comcast Business, overseeing the company’s evolution of next generation networking, cloud, data center, Wi-Fi and internet solutions for business. His team is responsible for delivering smart connectivity solutions to effectively connect multiple locations, systems, employees, partners and customers across a distributed enterprise.