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Telecom Outage: What’s Your Business Continuity Plan?

Apr 25, 2018 6:19:35 AM

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Will a telecom outage take your business offline?

Without voice and internet connections, will your business be able to continue its operations, or will your employees sit at their desks and twiddle their thumbs, waiting for the service to be restored, while your customers fume at the delay?

Global Business

Those were the questions Brian Wise faced in his new role at DocuSign. The company had 10 locations around the globe and used a variety of known and unknown telecom providers. And it was those smaller, seldom-heard of providers that caused Wise some concern, along with the fact that each location had its voice, data, and internet tied to just one telecom provider.

What if there was a telecom outage? How would the facility be able to complete the e-signature process to keep transactions and orders moving ahead?

Downtime: The Importance of Telecom Continuity & Resiliency

DocuSign’s leadership in the e-signature space comes from its ability to do away with the traditional, paper-based agreement process that is slow, costly, and prone to error. The company prides itself on helping clients measure turnaround time in minutes rather than days, which reduce costs and largely eliminate errors.

So, downtime is not an option.

 

Wise turned to LinkSource, a telecom and cloud managed services provider, to help create a telecom resiliency plan that would virtually eliminate downtime caused by a telecom outage.

Telecom resiliency means you’ve got more than one telecom provider with each providing the same services, so if one goes down, the other takes over. Communications continue and so does the business.

You Need 2 (or More) Circuits in Place with Different Telecom Providers

Equipment can fail, and often needs to be updated and replaced over time. When that happens, you can be knocked offline and see productivity screech to a halt.

LinkSource worked with DocuSign to create a resiliency plan so downtime could virtually be eliminated.

And that meant doing an audit of each location, ensuring they had the right number of lines, the right number of money spent for the headcount, performance, and cost performance. And it meant getting two, or sometimes three, providers for each location.

Technology Lifecycle Management

LinkSource and Its Telecom Resiliency Plan

After the audit, LinkSource worked to make the network inventory at each of DocuSign’s facilities completely scalable with more than enough bandwidth to accommodate growth.

And then it brought in a primary circuit and a secondary circuit for each location. For heavy offices and heavy users, it even brought in a third circuit.

The Process of Building a Resiliency Plan to Deal with a Telecom Outage

1. Choosing the Providers: Because DocuSign is a global company, that meant it needed global telecom providers. LinkSource works with several top-tier providers and would contact the two or three that offered services in the area and begin the quoting process.

 

2. Minimizing Downtime, Telecom Outage Risk: To minimize the risk of downtime, LinkSource put in two circuits from two different providers. LinkSource let the telecom providers know what they were looking for and asked each to explain how it would bring in the service. At all costs, LinkSource avoided using the same provider for those two or three connections.

 

3. On-Net or Off-Net?: In the on-net scenario, the telecom provider that would provide the primary circuit would bring its own equipment, its own fiber, and install it in the customer’s closet — no middleman needed. The secondary circuit provider could be off-net, but was absolutely prohibited from using Provider 1’s fiber for the last mile. It could either use its own network and equipment, or someone else’s, but it had to be a completely separate path, completely separate equipment, and completely separate networks. Thus, if the first link goes down, the routers would switch right over to the secondary connection right away.

 

4. Discovering the Particulars: LinkSource work with each provider to hammer out details, including:

  • How they would bring in their strands of fiber to the customer
  • Whether they’d use copper, fiber, and their own equipment
  • When a site survey could be done
  • Whether construction would be needed to accommodate the installation, and if so, what that would cost
  • How they’d decide which room in the facility to drop the circuit into — and even which side of the wall

All of this is to make sure equipment doesn’t cross each other and the same paths aren’t used and the services are brought in properly.

The Secret Sauce to Deal with a Telecom Outage

LinkSource knew how important telcom resiliency was for DocuSign, how essential it was for the company’s voice, data, and internet to always be available.

Its team has telecom experience with TDM, ethernet / optical fiber, voice, data, internet and cloud, as well as in-depth knowledge with the provisioning processes, vendor roles, and timelines associated with the implementation of telecom projects. It’s this secret sauce that helped it develop a reliable, cost-effective resiliency plan to keep DocuSign up and running.

The LinkSource Advantage

 

Now, DocuSign won’t go down, even if one of its carriers has an outage. Business will continue and electronic signatures continue in a timely manner.

LinkSource’s expertise and relationships in the telecom arena gave it what it needed to find the right providers for the multiple circuits at the best possible price, and that was a value-add to DocuSign.