Tag Archives: backup plan

In business, you always need a backup plan

We are at our Camp Liberty again this weekend, but it is business as usual for me and my company. We have orders, questions, and other communications that take place every day no matter where we happen to be so I must have Internet connectivity and email, , , it is a vital service for our company.

A problem is discovered on Friday

For some reason, I can’t send Outlook email messages from my pop3 server, , , I can receive fine and have good internet connectivity but we can’t send messages. I know the problem probably has to do with the DNS setting with our outgoing email account server but I haven’t been able to resolve the issue.

It worked great last weekend but not this time, , , not a good time.

We were entering the weekend and I had a special product offer going on so I knew it was going to be an active few days ahead, , , I knew we had to have incoming and outgoing email capability.

Here were my possible options:

  1. Resolve the problem – this wasn’t happening and my IPS support group is closed for the weekend.
  2. Go without outgoing email capability – also not an option because I knew we would be busy this weekend with lots of orders.
  3. Go home – it’s only 45 minutes away and we can always spend another weekend at the camp.
  4. Find a backup solution for outgoing email

My solution, , , option #4 – find a backup outgoing email solution.

I set up a Gmail email account and will use it for outgoing email whenever I encounter this problem. There is more than one way to skin a cat as they say. I implemented this solution and dozens of email messages were sent out over the weekend. It was business as usual.

Success!

Do you have a downtime plan?

Technology will break, so sooner or later you will have to deal with downtime. Will you be prepared when it occurs?

Waiting until downtime occurs is not the time to start thinking about how to troubleshoot the issue. It’s much better to have an idea of what to do when this issue comes up.

One of the things you should consider is to appoint an “expert” for each of your key technology support areas, , , things like e-mail, telecom or WAN, each of your mission critical business applications, intranet and internet access, etc.

A key responsibility of each Expert is to define the potential downtime issues that can happen for his technology area of responsibility. For e-mail, it would include things like virus attack, server failure, power outage, etc.

Once the potential downtime issues are identified, the next step is to develop escalation procedures to troubleshoot and resolve each of the issues when and if they occur.

Proactively looking at these issues and developing a downtime plan to attack the problem when it occurs puts you in a much stronger support position, , , and helps you sleep better at night.