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Achieving resilient internet connectivity

3.9 million UK companies suffered internet outages that prevented them from trading or accessing vital online services in the year to 31 March 2016, costing them around £12.3 billion in lost productivity and unnecessary overtime.

With research showing that the average businesses hit by internet downtime suffered 43 hours of lost connectivity and productivity losses amounting to £521 per employee, we spoke to Graeme Gibbon Brooks, the chief executive of Dryad Maritime, and Stewart Drew, chief executive at the De La Warr Pavilion, about the importance of resilient connectivity to their businesses.

Read the full transcript below:

Sonia Blizzard, Beaming: Expectations of everybody, now, are that you can connect anytime, anywhere, and that does mean that businesses really have to focus on their connectivity. Any downtime to a business now hits the bottom line. Time is money and if you are offline you are affecting your ability to transact any form of commerce.

Graham Gibbon Brooks, Dryad Maritime: Dryad Maritime is a maritime operations company with a specialist high grade intelligence capability. In order to track vessels 24 hours a day we need internet uptime and it is only by knowing where clients are and being able to communicate with them, that we are able to do our job. It is absolutely crucial we are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for our clients.

Stewart Drew, The De La Warr Pavilion: The De La Warr Pavilion was originally built in 1935 and was the original model for the South Bank in London or the Barbican. We’ve got a 1500 capacity auditorium for live gigs and comedy and 400 m2 of gallery space where we show contemporary visual arts. Without the internet in the 21st Century we struggle to function. We’ve had failures in the past that have affected our telephone lines as well. We’ve got a team of about 25 office staff and [downtime] means that they can’t work very effectively and our customers can’t access our services either.

Graham: The impact of downtime on our business is an impact on the safety of life at sea, so when we’re dealing with ships in areas where there’s a very high maritime crime risk [internet downtime] could lead to a lack of service where a client is under attack by pirates, there’s no other assistance and they’re talking to our team. They need to be able to do that 24 hours a day and that needs to happen 100% of the time, so uptime is crucial to us.

Stewart: We’re just about to upgrade to a 100mbps internet connection which allows us to move a lot of our services into the cloud and use that effectively. We’re looking at updating our box office system, so that will be kept remotely. It also allows us to provide a greater service to our customers, we’re very keen to be a business hub for Bexhill, where freelancers who come and work in our cafe will also be able to take advantage of those facilities.

Sonia: There are various weak points that could cause problems: if you’re using the wrong type of equipment or it could be that the telephone has failed; it could be even a malicious attack now. The first thing to do is consider what is absolutely essential to your operation. What applications need to be supported at all times? What kind of data do you need to access as a crucial part of your business operation? Then make sure you’ve got the right connectivity to be able to do that. It’s planning; You can look at your different locations and see where is the most appropriate place to operate from, where your data is held, how you can access that if key locations are no longer online and make sure your staff are aware of exactly what they need to do in those circumstances as well.

Learn more about Beaming’s fast, secure and resilient connectivity.

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