What happens if your phone system goes down? You need a solution that allows customers to still contact your business.

Communication is a company's lifeline. Without it, the business simply can't operate. That's why it's important to not only ensure your company uses efficient, streamlined communication methods but also relies on solutions that have at least 99.9 percent uptime.

What happens, for example, if your company's communication systems experience a complete breakdown due to a storm or hardware failure? Do your IT managers have a backup plan? Is there a way to keep your business operational while telephones or online systems are restored?

Managers must have a way to keep their businesses running, otherwise it could cost them thousands or millions of dollars. That's exactly what happened with Navitaire, the reservations management company for Virgin Blue airlines. For nearly 11 days, the airlines suffered a hardware failure and subsequent outages of its internet booking, reservations and check-in systems. After a lawsuit, Navitaire was forced to pay close to $20 million. Of course, Virgin Blue also lost plenty of money because it wasn't able to efficiently service customers.

According to a Ponemon Institute study, "Calculating the Cost of Data Center Outages," the average cost per minute per company of unplanned data center outages across 41 different industries was $5,600. The average reported incident length per company was 90 minutes, costing businesses just over $505,500.

As you can see, your business can't afford downtime. If you're looking for a communications provider that has a suite of disaster avoidance and recovery solutions, turn to Star2Star. This self-monitoring system uses both local premise (PBX) and cloud (hosted) solutions to ensure 99.9 percent uptime. If customers can't reach your business, calls are routed to other offices or even cell lines.

While improving how your company interacts with customers is important, just as vital is ensuring your company can talk with those customers without interruption.