Is your company too advanced with technology for its own good?
The truth is, all businesses need technology in order to compete in today’s competitive climate. Technology is ever-evolving and every day we are seeing with our own eyes how yesterday’s technology seems like it was so long ago. Yes, I know I had a previous post was about how all businesses need to implement technology or risk losing money. Even though I’ve encouraged the use of technology to help grow a business, I still recommend you keep that old squealing fax machine. Well, the reason for today’s contradicting post was caused by two humungous technology hurdles we experienced today.
Don’t toss out that old fax machine, you never know when you might need it!
I wake up and the first thing I do is check my cell phone for my 3 work email accounts. I have one email account to communicate with my staff and clients, this is basically the main email account that I use for work. My second email is where some of our company faxes come to since we’re using electronic fax MetroFax I’m able to see about a third of our incoming faxes without having to be in the office, I can distribute all the incoming faxes to the staff via email without having to leave my house. My third and last email account is for marketing updates. We have over 200 different types of marketing campaigns, from radio commercials, TV commercials, online ads, direct mail, and print ads. All live updates and anything related to the numerous marketing campaigns, like the results, expenses, and statistics come to this email so I and other managers are being updated in real-time. Now that you understand my daily routines, today was a little different because when I checked my email I should have about 50+ emails and I had none. I thought my email password was reset by IT somehow so I didn’t think anything of it. Typically there’s someone already at the office by 5 am PST and they also make sure the important emails get disbursed to the appropriate employees. I got into the office today and to my surprise, we lost our ability to send and receive email. As you can already imagine, email is the lifeblood of most businesses these days. We discovered our web hosting company Bluehost had some technical difficulties due to a system upgrade that took longer than expected. We’ve been using them for close to 7 years, and we’ve never experienced an issue like today. (In fact I still highly recommend them being this was the first time we’ve had this type of issue. They still have excellent customer service all US-based) Our websites and all email accounts were down from 8 am PST till approximately 2 pm PST. Because of this issue, all our website inquiries weren’t coming through, all our inbound and outbound emails weren’t working. This literally put our business on hold, we had several clients trying to send electronic faxes for their final funding conditions so their loan could fund today. Lucky for us, we still have your old school “traditional” fax machines. The clients were able to fax their documents and their loans were able to fund today, but if we didn’t have those older dinosaur fax machines we’d be in some pretty big trouble. Here’s a good example where having some older technology can really come in handy if your newer technology ever fails.
We finally got our email and website working and come to find out one of our partners located 15 miles away from our office had a power failure. I was on a phone call with one of the managers and we had several appointments already scheduled for the next 30 minutes. Lucky for him, technology saved him because he had a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) which is like a large battery that will provide power for a limited amount of time for specific electronic devices. Typically the UPS is used to keep power up for a long enough time to shut down the network and do any quick backups before the power completely goes out. Going back to the story, the other office eventually lost all their power and they weren’t’ able to check their, email, fax machines, make phone calls, the whole office building was completely out. We still had one more conference call to make, so the manager at that location was lucky enough to have a reception with his cell phone and was able to make the call.
I guess if there’s anything to learn from today’s post, it’s nice to have technology integrated into your business. But, be prepared if technology fails, make sure you have other avenues to conduct your business until things can be restored to normal.