Partly Cloudy Saves Time and Money
How many times have you experienced a power outage while at work, or a loss of internet connectivity? Did your day quickly come to a snail’s pace, or even stop? The break room becomes busier; the water cooler area forms larger crowds.
No matter the business, most of us are tied to the internet for our daily responsibilities to be met, especially when e-mail or other crucial business functionalities live on an in-house piece of hardware.
In late December the RoseBud office experienced such a case where our internet was completely down in our area for a few hours. Our technology business cannot afford to be away from e-mail for multiple hours during the day. Fortunately for us, our e-mail was not tied to an in-house server and our shared files were not in-house. Our e-mail (Hosted Exchange) and shared folder functionality (SharePoint Online) is in the cloud with Microsoft Office 365.
Our staff was able to connect to other various means of internet connectivity (wireless phone hotspots, wireless cards, etc.) and our day was not interrupted for more than the time that it took to find a new wireless connection.
If this had taken place a couple of years ago, this would have presented multiple communication errors for RoseBud.
The RoseBud staff was able to quickly switch their internet connection source, and continue on with our day as if nothing had happened. There was no time wasted on trying to determine why e-mail flow had stopped, why users were not able to access certain shares on the network, etc. Time was utilized to benefit the business without hesitation.
We delegated one person to call the ISP and get the details about our “outage”, while one other let the staff know which internet connection to use in the interim. No time was wasted looking at the server(s) to try and identify e-mail flow problems, or trying to set up unusual and time consuming connections. Users were quickly instructed to use a specific wireless connection, and communication/work continued as normal.
We later learned that our internet provider was doing some work close our area, and one of the main lines had been severed. This was an outage for a little over three hours, which affected a few square miles. This was not a centralized interruption, and affected thousands of their customers. Our total down time during this 3+hour loss of connectivity was close to one minute.
The part of this scenario that was somewhat comical was the communication that was sent to the staff that was outside of the office during this “outage.” I sent an e-mail to Greg Treanor (firstname.lastname@example.org) letting him know that the RoseBud office was experiencing loss of internet issues. The notification e-mail came from email@example.com. There was no need to use personal e-mail accounts to relay this message, mail was sent without interruption, and without hesitation. If this had been a case where the Exchange server was on premise, I would not have been able to send this communication to a local account (@rosebudtech.com), let alone send it from my local account.
Without really thinking about how this message was going to be perceived, we were simply trying to keep our staff informed, but we sent a message stating “There is no internet connection at the office right now, but we will let you know when it is restored.” We then received a few e-mails from the field members joking that we were doing really well to send e-mail without internet.
Cloud computing allows our workforce to not only be mobile, but also gives our users the ability to easily overcome challenges that they encounter. To learn more about hosted Exchange and SharePoint Online with Office 365, please contact Greg Wartes at firstname.lastname@example.org