Podcast: Organizations Can Use Unified Communications to Step Up on Business Continuity

Well-thought-out unified communications platforms can be a huge part of a solid business continuity/disaster recovery platform -- if organizations finally do the necessary planning. Unfortunately, says Polycom Chief Collaboration Officer Bob Preston, most companies still are not emphasizing these vital tasks, despite a decade filled with emergencies.

 By Carl Weinschenk
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Polycom's Bob Preston on Business Continuity: [swf file="http://vid.itbe.com/ctoedge/polycomprestonmay6x.mp3"]

Unified communications, and its various communications elements, can play an important role in disaster preparedness and business continuity. The reality, according to Polycom Chief Collaboration Officer Bob Preston, is that companies aren't paying enough attention.

Steps can be taken ahead of time, Preston told Unified Communications Edge during a podcast. He said that there must be an organization-wide understanding of what locations are key, what personnel must be brought into the loop first, which of these executives is empowered to make decisions, and other fundamental steps that are necessary to get an organization functioning as quickly as possible.

Companies must think about how they plan their UC infrastructure to maintain as much flexibility as possible. For instance, the structure shouldn't make communications between locales in Wyoming and South Dakota solely reliant on a communication hub in hurricane-prone South Florida.

These steps aren't being taken, however. Though unified communications can be a key toolkit for both business continuity and disaster recovery, Preston said that executives still aren't paying enough attention. "I still think that we're woefully underprepared," he said. "In times of crisis, people say, ‘Wow, we should do something about that,' but pretty soon it goes back to business as usual. There probably are different levels of preparedness in different industries. As a rule most organizations are not prepared."

This article was originally published on May 10, 2010
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