Disaster Preparation: What’s TEM Got to Do with It?

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Enterprise Disaster Preparation and Recovery

Hurricane Harvey recently wreaked historic devastation in South Texas, Louisiana and other parts of the Gulf Coast. Shortly afterward, Hurricane Irma threatens the Caribbean, Florida and Southeastern US. We hope for the best for the people and businesses already affected by the storms and those in Irma’s path.

Enterprise disaster prep

Most large organization have disaster preparation and recovery plans. But how many take advantage of Telecom Expense Management (TEM) to plan for business disruptions? TEM programs help disaster preparedness in two important areas. First, TEM programs can help enterprises prepare and deal with disasters. Second, managers can consider ahead of time, how to mitigate out of control expenses during a disaster.

Maintain communications through accurate inventory

TEM programs provide valuable asset and inventory information which can help before a disaster strikes. Managers should review the services and providers at each site. Are there alternative providers in case one carrier suffers an outage? If there are no alternative providers, managers may want to consider different technologies. Can calls be re-directed to other facilities and back-up sites if a location suffers a closing?

If a site must be evacuated temporarily or closed for an extended period of time, phone directories can help employees connect with each other. Organizations can also use the directory to broadcast important information to employees’ smartphones during an emergency. Asset lists can help managers gather unused mobile devices, activate and pre-deploy them to prepare before a disaster.

Manage mobile expenses during emergencies

During an emergency, employees may need to rely on their smartphones for many critical life-saving matters. Emergency alerts can warn users of inclement weather, chemical spills, a fast-moving wildfire or other urgent situations. Employees will rely on their smartphones to stream news. During an emergency, managers need to balance the need for employees to stay informed with the costs of streaming news for extended periods of time.

Being proactive with mobile policy is more effective, compared to a reactive approach. Wireless optimization reports can help managers adjust plans of employees in affected areas. It may be necessary to move employees into service plans with larger allotments for data. Service providers may also offer special plans for the disaster areas.

Charitable donations and corp-liable phones

For corporate liable devices, organizations need to anticipate the impulse of employees who will want to pledge donations through text messages. These donations will be charged to the phone and the employer may unwittingly pay for employees’ charitable actions. It may be better for the organization to proactively announce that it will be pledging a more substantial targeted donation, and ask employees not to use their devices to text their donation.

Disasters may be impossible to avoid, but it is possible to mitigate the damage. TEM programs can help with inventory information to plan for network redundancy, vendor/carrier contacts, and directories to help keep in touch with employees. Plus, a proactive mobile policy can help avoid explosive mobile charges after the disaster.

Again – our thoughts and prayers are with all affected by Harvey, Irma and related weather.