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Metro Meltdown: Business Continuity and How to Avoid Lost Productivity

Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity
April 4, 2016 / Evolve IP

The Metro subway mess was much more than a commuting nightmare – it also cost organizations productivity and revenue.

There have been two major incidents in the past two years on the DC Metro. The first was the tragic Yellow Gas Incident in January of 2015 where an electrical malfunction caused a train to fill with smoke sickening 80 people and tragically killing one.

In recent news, Metro board Chairman Jack Evans stated, “the Metro is in such need of repair that the transit system could shut down an entire rail line for as long as six months to do needed maintenance,” and the region’s travelers agree. In fact, a Washington Post User Poll asked, “Should Metro shut down an entire rail line for an extended period of time to make repairs?” as of 3/31 at 9:00 AM the results were leaning towards YES with 64%.

The impact of such a shutdown is not insignificant. There are 6,032,744 residents in the DC Metro area making 798,456 trips per weekday. Commuters from the surrounding Maryland and Virginia suburbs raise the city’s population to more than one million during the workweek. So, what happens if roughly 10% of the metro population loses their main method of transportation for half a year? Evans stated, “People will go crazy.”.

Considering the already brutal traffic getting in the DC area businesses can expect decreased productivity due to increased commuting time, higher levels of employee stress and increased demands for Work From Home (WFH) programs.

During the March Metro meltdown, we helped thousands of Washington DC area users stay productive at home (or their local Starbucks). How did we do this? With a variety of services that enable real business continuity. Here are a few examples:

  • Using our IP Phone System, associates easily transferred office phones to mobile phones – with mobile phones appearing as office phones to their customers
  • Leveraging virtual desktops, employees accessed your application files – exactly where you left them – on Office 365, Adobe, their CRM, and more
  • With unified communications features, users were able to:
    • Listen to voicemail in email (and answer emails of course)
    • Dial into Web / conference calls
    • Share desktops to edit PowerPoints with co-workers

To put it bluntly, other than wearing sweats and not having to listen to the annoying guy a couple of cubes away, using our cloud services made working remotely no different than being in the office.

These are losses that don’t ever have to happen to your organization whether the cause is a fire at the L’Enfant station, a snow storm or an IT hardware failure. Learn more about our cloud-based business continuity services.

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