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What is Five Nines and Why Do You Need to Consider it When Seeking a Phone Service Provider?

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Five Nines Uptime is a critical metric for cloud service providers, signifying a staggering 99.999% availability. To put this in perspective, it amounts to just 26.3 seconds of potential downtime each month or a mere 5.26 minutes annually.

Mark Sher, Vice President of UC Product and Marketing at Intermedia, delves into its importance for entrepreneurs, especially those highly reliant on telecommunication services, and provides insights on guaranteeing your service provider’s adherence to this gold standard.

Importance of Five Nines Uptime

In today’s interconnected world, the reliability and availability of communication are paramount for businesses of all sizes. “Being accessible is a cornerstone of maintaining credibility and trust with partners, suppliers, and customers,” the expert noted in his communication.

Furthermore, seamless communication isn’t just external. For internal operations, especially with the rise of remote work and dispersed teams, it’s vital.

Employees, irrespective of their location, need to stay connected. Small businesses, in particular, cannot afford communication gaps. Given their size and scale, each transaction and client interaction holds greater significance.

Larger enterprises might absorb a few hiccups, but for small businesses, every missed call could mean a missed opportunity.

Unplanned Disruption

The unpredictability of unplanned disruptions is a significant concern for businesses. As highlighted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the stakes are high, with 40% of small businesses never recovering after facing such setbacks.

To add some context to these statistics, Sher brings attention to the financial implications. Data sourced from the Disaster Recovery Preparedness Council, painted a grim picture.

“Close to 40% of small businesses suffered monetary losses upwards of $20,000 due to IT service disruptions. For some, losses soared to $100,000, and a staggering near 20% reported losses ranging between $50,000 to a whopping $5 million.”

The emphasis here is clear: the continuity of services, especially phone services, is not just about maintaining communication; it’s about sustaining the business.

Ensuring Five Nines uptime is not a luxury but a necessity, and the choice of service provider plays a pivotal role in this.

Service in The Cloud

While many factors determining service uptime might be beyond the control of providers, such as natural disasters or power outages, solutions exist. Sher underscores the importance of cloud-based services in this context.

Traditional desk phones are vulnerable to external disruptions, but cloud services offer an alternative.

“With services like Intermedia, the business doesn’t come to a standstill during calamities. Calls get rerouted to mobile devices, ensuring continuity,” Sher elucidates.

This adaptability of cloud services not only ensures uninterrupted communication but also provides businesses a shield against the increasing unpredictability of climate-related events.

The Right Tech

Venturing into the technicalities of service providers might seem daunting for the average small business owner. However, understanding some basics can significantly influence the decision-making process.

When evaluating a Five Nines provider, a few pointers can guide the assessment. First, inquire about the underlying network architecture and how it’s primed to adapt and grow as your business does.

The choice and reliability of data centers are also pivotal. And lastly, ensure that the network isn’t just built robustly but is also tested rigorously and routinely to guarantee its reliability.

Specific Business Features

You can narrow down your choices by looking at business continuity features too. These include:

An Automated Attendant
Automatic re-routing to cell capabilities
A Plug-And-Play phone relocation.
A Mobile softphone option to call from a mobile device.

The Significance of a Service Level Agreement (SLA)

In the intricate maze of features and benefits that various service providers offer, Sher identifies the SLA as the linchpin.

“At the heart of selecting the perfect Five Nines provider is their assurance of a 99.999% uptime through an SLA,” Sher emphasizes.
A solid SLA is more than a promise; it carries weight and consequences.
Companies like Intermedia compensate when they fail to meet uptime guarantees.

Transparent Financial Structure

Predictable flat fees, either per user or monthly.
No binding contracts offer adaptability.
Unlimited local and domestic long-distance calls keep costs clear and prevent billing surprises.

Added Perks

Complimentary desk phones benefit startups or businesses seeking to expand without substantial initial expenses.

When seeking a Five Nines service provider, there are several critical factors you need to consider to ensure uninterrupted service. This checklist table offers a quick comparison of key features to look out for.

Features/CriteriaProvider AProvider BProvider C

Cloud-Based ServiceYes/NoYes/NoYes/No

Network ArchitectureDetailsDetailsDetails

Scalability OptionsDetailsDetailsDetails

Data Centers UsedDetailsDetailsDetails

Regular Network TestingYes/NoYes/NoYes/No

Automated AttendantYes/NoYes/NoYes/No

Auto Re-routing to CellYes/NoYes/NoYes/No

Plug-And-Play Phone RelocationYes/NoYes/NoYes/No

Mobile Softphone OptionYes/NoYes/NoYes/No

Service Level Agreement (SLA) of 99.999%Yes/NoYes/NoYes/No

Financially Backed AgreementYes/NoYes/NoYes/No

Compensation for DowntimeYes/NoYes/NoYes/No

No Long-Term ContractYes/NoYes/NoYes/No

Unlimited Local & Domestic Long-DistanceYes/NoYes/NoYes/No

Free Desk PhonesYes/NoYes/NoYes/No


This article, “What is Five Nines and Why Do You Need to Consider it When Seeking a Phone Service Provider?” was first published on Small Business Trends

Achieve the five 9s and get your small business up and running more often.Read MoreSmall Business OperationsSmall Business Trends

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