[VoiceOps] Main number fail-safe solution for small ITSP

Justin B Newman justin at ejtown.org
Fri Oct 12 13:37:24 EDT 2012

On Fri, Oct 12, 2012 at 12:25 PM, Carlos Alvarez <carlos at televolve.com> wrote:
> I'm curious how other small VoIP providers handle having a fail-over for
> their main (support) phone number in case their entire infrastructure is
> unable to take calls.  I know we all build in redundancy, but for the big
> what-if scenario where nothing is available and the calls fail, you still
> need to take your customer support calls.
> We have one carrier who does PSTN failover, but they're far from our primary
> or an ideal carrier for us.  None of our major origination providers do
> this.

Over the years, I've done a variety of things. One that worked fairly
well was to provide subscribers an alternate "emergency only" #. It
goes to an answering service 24x7. Completely segregated
infrastructure (get the # from the answering service, or get a TF with
a carrier you don't use, and have it routed to the service). It always
works. And you have someone else taking the calls. If you've got an
outage scenario, you can instruct the answering service what message
to give callers - and you don't have a phone that has to be answered.

In reasonably high-end relationships, an escalation list with cell
phone #'s works. It's generally not mis-used, and if it is, well, time
to dump the customer.

I am aware of companies that figure that if their customers can't get
through on the phone, they should "get the message". Others rely on
the web, which, if built properly (no shared infrastructure) is an
easy way to communicate.

And ... PSTN failover doesn't deal with some failure scenarios inside
the provider. Even the biggest of the big sometimes have regional
catastrophic failures.

PS: As I hit send, I see an incoming message from Paul Timmins who
appears to also be a fan of an answering service, although with a good

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