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Royal College of Nursing uses SaaS disaster recovery after on-premise contact centre hardware fails

Jenny Williams

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) used its cloud-based disaster recovery (DR) software-as-a-service (SaaS) for almost two weeks after its on-premise contact centre hardware failed.

The Cardiff-based RCN contact centre handles up to 22,000 calls a month from its members, providing subscription services and professional advice.

Geoff Lewis, networks and telecoms manager at the RCN, said that after a problem with its 11-year-old private business exchange (PBX), the organisation redirected calls to NewVoiceMedia's cloud-based ContactWorld service for 13 days.

Lewis said it chose NewVoiceMedia's cloud-based ContactWorld software for its disaster recovery because providing DR on its hardware would be too expensive to install new servers and integrate with existing contact centre software.

"Cloud was the most viable at that time and the most cost effective for a 24-month contract," he said.

Cloud-based disaster recovery

A recent survey of 2,500 IT managers by business continuity software firm Neverfail found 31% of UK organisations do not consider cloud platforms as a viable option for disaster recovery. Key reasons were concerns about security, cost and reliability of externally hosted disaster recovery services.

Lewis added there was no loss in service using the software-as-a-service or difference in the way calls were presented to its members.

However, due to the capacity limit on the number of lines into the RCN building, some calls had to be routed to call centre staff mobile phones using ContactWorld to answer the same number of calls supported on its on-premise hardware.

"It wasn't great for quality, but it got us over the pinch point," he said.

The RCN is currently creating a business case to present contact centre options to the organisation to use in the future, including the introduction of unified communications (UC).


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