This information is from my new book, The Ultimate Business Continuity Success Guide: How to Build Real-World Resilience and Unleash Exciting New Value Streams. I hope you enjoy the chapter and my book.
Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) Your Communications Lifeline
I have received a great deal of positive feedback from employees regarding the tip discussed in this chapter. If you agree it has value please pay it forward to your employees during a tabletop, in your newsletter or any other way you see fit.
Most of us love our mobile devices, well at least most of the time. They do so much. They are little computers – in size – but have far more computing power than that massive mainframes that put astronauts on the moon, back-in-the-day. Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel (R) Corporation, stated in 1965 that the number of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits had doubled every year since their invention. Through the ensuing decades his observation, famously known as Moore’s law, proved an accurate prediction of the future of computing.
A growing percentage of us, including my son, only own mobile devices – no landlines. Unfortunately, in a crisis mobile cell service can fail us. Cell towers often become overloaded, just when you need to make or receive a critical voice call. Callers may get a busy signal or no signal at all. Yes, sometimes text messages can still be received, as they ride a different transport protocol, but there are times it is important and comforting to hear someone’s voice. Plus, believe it or not, some people do not text!
Google Voice and other Voice Over Internet Protocol (IP) based phone services may be beneficial in those situations. Generally, they are free or low cost. I have experience with a number of such services. I happen to enjoy Google Voice. I even use it during non-crisis situations. In fact, I rarely use the desk phone in my office anymore. The only drawback is there is a 3-hour limit per call. Believe it or not, I have actually hit the limit during some conference calls that lasted too long. One way around that is to call into the conference call from another device when you are nearing 3 hours and then calling back on Google Voice and you get another 3 hours. If you somehow max out the next 3 hours you have a bigger problem of insanely long conference calls!
Google Voice is feature rich and just keeps getting better and better. You can make clear voice calls over the Internet to any phone. It does not have to be to another Google Voice number. You even get your own Google Voice phone number. That is handy when you do not want to give out your home or personal mobile numbers. You can set the Google Voice number to forward to any landline or cell device. It works great! Google Voice essentially acts as a call-forward to any device you choose. It has so many other cool options.
If the internet is available, even if cell towers are down, you may be able to reach employees or a family member.
I enjoy Google Voice and you may too. Here is a link to the Google Voice site. Please let me know what you think.
P.S. I actually learned about Google Voice while hosting a tabletop quite a few years ago. I have hosted hundreds of tabletops over the years and I thoroughly enjoyed each of them. From feedback I received I believe the attendees felt the same way. I learned from them as they did from me. Then I ‘pay what I learn forward’ in future exercises. I will have much more to say about conducting tabletops a little later in the testing part of the book.