What would have to go wrong for your business to grind to a halt?
Your first thought might be something physical – like a fire, flooding or significant snowfall.
But did you think “internet” … or more specifically lack of it?
In today’s digitally-focussed world, many critical business systems and technologies rely on a stable connection to the internet – VoIP phones, email, CRM, marketing automation platforms, data analytics tools … the list goes on!
It’s hard to imagine a day without the internet; nobody thinks about it until there is a fault. But at one company that’s exactly what happened. Except it wasn’t for a day, it was for 13 days.
It’s a difficult lesson they endured – but it’s one which we’re keen to share so that more businesses are aware of the risks of running a business on an internet connection without a Service Level Agreement (a guarantee against availability of the service).
The story starts with new Fibre Broadband becoming available in a customer’s area. To explain – even if Fibre is installed in a given area, it doesn’t necessarily mean a business can get Fibre access. Each individual line needs to be checked; such is the complexity of the underlying copper network.
A quick phone call to Yoozoom allowed their engineer to complete a line check on the Openreach portal, which indicated that Fibre was available on the respective lines to the premises.
So the client upgrade was ordered and installed by a BT engineer late one Thursday afternoon. The engineer completed the work in the roadside distribution cabinet, as per normal instructions, signed off the job and went home.
However, to the client it quickly became apparent that the broadband wasn’t working at all.
Thursday 5pm: they reported the fault to Yoozoom who promptly raised it with Openreach.
Friday am: Openreach confirmed that the next available engineer to visit the site would be the Tuesday morning (due to it being the run up to the Christmas period).
NB: Broadband customers, be it standard or Fibre, aren’t covered by an SLA (Service Level Agreement), hence Openreach conducted a ‘best endeavours’ service. This is the case with any internet service that doesn’t come with an SLA, no matter the provider. They can only send the next available engineer which is subject to workload, holiday periods etc.
As you would expect, the client was well and truly in a pickle. All their crucial business processes – including CRM, VoIP, email – had been affected.
Yoozoom responded quickly and dispatched their own engineer with a mobile broadband solution to get them back online with some form of service on the Friday. However, the business still suffered significantly reduced bandwidth.
To make matters worse, Tuesday arrived and the Openreach engineer with it, but he discovered the line was not actually enabled for fibre (despite the information on the Openreach Portal claiming that it was). There had been an error with the network mapping on the Openreach database.
At this point the obvious option was to reinstate the original broadband services – you’d think a quick piece of work in the roadside cabinet right? Wrong! Openreach protocol meant that Yoozoom had to cancel the Fibre order (2 working days lead time) before it could order normal broadband services (further 5 working days lead time to provide).
Total downtime = 13 days.
Lessons learned – important to every business:
95% of the time, fibre broadband (starting from around £25/month) works fine and any issues are fixed fairly quickly.
This client’s experience is a rare one but it’s still a risk you take when you choose internet connectivity which isn’t covered by an SLA.
Leased Lines (starting at £175/month) are the recommended internet connectivity option for any size of business.
You get your own dedicated internet connection with a 4-9 hour SLA. This means that, for example, if external roadworks result in your line being cut off, your service provider will get you back up and running within 4-9 hours (dependent on agreement) or credit you for every minute beyond this that it fails to do so.
Even if you’re a small 10-person business, your monthly outgoings (salaries etc.) are likely to be around £30,000, so would you really want to hang that on the back of a £40 per month connection? It’s the business equivalent of spending £6000 per year on your car but running it on £8 tyres – the bits that actually connect you to the road!
More reasons leased lines are the right connectivity option for every business, small and large:
- Leased lines are available anywhere in the UK, so you don’t have to wait for fibre to become available.
- Sending large files? Leased lines give you superfast, reliable upload speeds.