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As Olympic pressure builds, voice continuity revealed as weak spot in business contingency planning

• 32 per cent of IT decision makers believe the loss of telecommunications would be business destroying
• Both businesses and workers anticipate massive disruption during the Olympics leading to both planned and unplanned absences from the office
• But a mere nine per cent of London-based workers receive all their calls when not at their normal place of work

London, 11th January 2012: The ability of organisations in the UK to maintain ‘business as usual’ during London 2012 is in serious doubt, with three out of four IT decision makers admitting that they lack total confidence that their continuity plans will be effective during the Olympics.

A study, carried out on behalf of Resilient Networks, shows that 97 per cent of businesses believe they could not maintain ‘business as usual’ if telecommunications were lost – a third felt it would in fact be business destroying – and yet the research reveals that voice continuity is the main vulnerability within the contingency planning and remote working initiatives of UK plc.

The Resilient Networks study, entitled ‘Preparing your business for the Olympics: ensuring voice continuity’ (http://www.resilientplc.com/news/), carried out by Vanson Bourne and OnePoll, examines current business continuity strategies ahead of London 2012 and analyses how prepared businesses are to handle incoming calls during the anticipated widespread disruption of London 2012.

Despite an overwhelming response that the loss of telecommunications is incredibly damaging to operational effectiveness, the research reveals an alarming disconnect with the plans actually in place to protect voice continuity. Nearly half (47 per cent) of IT decision makers believe that their employees are able divert calls when they are away from or denied access to their normal place of work. However, contrary to this, 75 per cent of employees in London do not believe this to be the case; in fact only 15 per cent believe they have the ability to divert incoming calls themselves remotely. In addition to this half of all business continuity plans do not even cover inbound call handing for when staff can’t get to the office.

In terms of the level of disruption expected, the research revealed that 57 per cent of businesses believe travel disruptions in the capital will have the biggest impact on operational efficiency and over half of London based workers who were surveyed said they also anticipate delays and will be unable to travel due to public transport, resulting in home working or irregular hours. While a quarter of businesses expect staff to call in sick during the Games, only three per cent of staff admit this will be the case.

“An alarming percentage of businesses risk losing contact with their customers, partners, suppliers and employees if they do not make the appropriate provisions before London 2012 kicks off,” said Andrew Bale, CEO of Resilient Networks. “These results highlight the importance of telecommunications to businesses and yet they show that they are not communicating clearly internally and do not have the right infrastructure in place to withstand the scale of disruption anticipated. How do businesses intend to ensure ‘business as usual’ if something as simple as a phone call is not reaching the right person at the right time?”

The research also examined how employees handle incoming calls when they are away from their desk currently. A third of London based workers relying only on voicemail to manage calls remotely. Only eight per cent make use of a call forwarding function. A further third rely on a company or personal mobile – which begs the question will callers know the mobile numbers of all those they need to contact in your business and will mobile networks suffer from congestion as they have done before during major disruptions.

“At the end of the day voice continuity is an essential part of ensuring a business can operate day to day. Afterall it’s hardly business as usual if your consumers can’t reach the right person at the right time to assist them. Businesses need to ensure they have covered all bases before the Olympics to avoid any downtime, they should communicate all procedures to staff to avoid the disconnect we have seen reported and play out scenarios before it’s too late,” concluded Bale.

The Resilient Networks report can be downloaded from http://www.resilientplc.com/news/. It gives a full overview of all the findings from the report as well as offering practical tips on what to look out for when updating or structuring a business continuity plan.

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Notes to editors:

For further media enquiries, contact:

Rajinder Khakh/ Alizia Walker
Harvard PR
+44 (0)20 7861 2836
ResilientNetworks@harvard.co.uk

Research methodology and referenced statistics:

The studies surveyed 100 enterprise IT decisions makers and 1,000 London-based workers about their views around areas such as:
• The disruptions they anticipate facing during the London 2012 Olympics
• How confident they were that business continuity plans would be effective during the Games
• Whether employees could divert calls if they were unable to reach their usual place of work
Both surveys were concluded in November 2011. The results of answers to the questions were translated into percentage values.

*The State of Play Consumer Benefits – Deloitte 2010
**Vanson Bourne, Omnibus Service: Enterprise, November 2011
***One Poll, Work Life, November 2011

About Resilient Networks plc

Resilient Networks plc is a provider of highly survivable and flexible communications services delivered from the cloud. Resilient helps large organisations such as banks, government, defence, health, utilities and retail accelerate change with more robust and flexible voice communications that solve enterprise wide problems. Resilient’s smartnumbers™ services are delivered in partnership with established suppliers, such as BT, Regus and Orange. For more information, please visit: www.resilientplc.com

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Harvard Public Relations Ltd in the following categories: Business & Finance, Computing & Telecoms, for more information visit https://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.