Home » Putting a Disaster Recovery Plan into Place for Microsoft Teams Phone

Putting a Disaster Recovery Plan into Place for Microsoft Teams Phone

February 1, 2023

Tim Jalland, Solution Manager, VOSS

Microsoft says services have recovered after widespread outage

Last week, Microsoft cloud services suffered from a significant outage globally, including Microsoft Teams Phone. The culprit was a network change. The service was restored after some time, but the inconvenience and impact on the many businesses that use the service was considerable.

It’s an interesting predicament.

Are you in the process of moving to the cloud and using Microsoft Teams, or similar, for employee collaboration? Are you starting to move key voice and communications infrastructure too? This outage reminds us all that a service like Microsoft Teams can never be guaranteed, and there will be times when it’s offline. Especially given the scale, global nature, complexity, and the number of users now using it.

So, how do you take advantage of cloud services such as Microsoft Teams Phone, but also provide a level of protection for when this doesn’t go to plan? Better to be prepared rather than breathe a sigh of relief!

We’re talking about disaster recovery, but the broader topic of business continuity covers scenarios such as bad weather planning, an inability to access buildings and sites, and similar events where access to key communication and voice resources are lost.

Here are three capabilities that should feature in any disaster recovery (DR) plan:

1. Insight into uptime, outages, performance, and quality

It’s important to get the basics right and to make sure you have visibility into the performance of the cloud service. That helps in being proactive during an outage and also in picking up quality issues that might impact customer experience or user productivity. Cloud services are typically opaque and managed by a third party through a service desk, and so installing software such as VOSS Insights helps put you on the front foot.

What’s more, with VOSS Insights you can automate the regular testing of critical telephone numbers as part of business as usual, with automated synthetic calling, which can then alert and activate DR plans as appropriate.

2. Managing critical numbers during a DR event

When a DR event takes place, and your critical telephone contact numbers are serviced from the cloud, that’s going to be a problem. What’s needed is the ability to identify these critical numbers ahead of time within the broader numbering and dial plan, and then have these taken away to an alternative service that can handle these calls whilst the outage is in place.

Certain numbers may be taken into an automated messaging service, to inform the caller. Others may be directed to a specific DR site or contact center application to handle the call. Whatever the solution that is put in place, the call is answered in some way and not lost.

3. Automation to make all this work

Getting this to all work smoothly, particularly during a frantic DR event, requires automation.

As you’d expect, DR plans require regular testing and automation lends itself to this, ensuring testing is straightforward and intuitive, and real-life activations are accurate, timely, and robust.

Here’s an automation checklist to get you started.

  • The ability to select critical numbers from the number inventory, for handling during DR
  • The ability to define an alternative call route or destination against critical numbers
  • Notification to key personnel, whenever a plan is activated or deactivated
  • Real-time access to a dashboard to stay on top of the service and where calls are being routed to
  • Suitable logging of events, to provide a robust audit trail, post event
  • Delegation to allow certain events to be handled by departments or regional managers

For more information on automation and VOSS Automate, please click here.

We are here to help

If you were affected by the recent Microsoft Teams outage, or if you have any questions or concerns about disaster recovery in the digital workplace, we are here to help.

Contact us