Phone chaos: from the desk of the president

May 31, 2023
Access Tech: What is your role in fixing an issue for a client?

This blog is in reference to this case study. 

Trey Lackey is the President of Access Tech. 

When the phone lines first went down, I asked the usual questions like what’s happening, who’s affected, when did it start, what’s the impact on the business, is there any connection with other outages, and what’s been done to fix it. Once I realized that it was a carrier down hard, isolated to just this client, I became very concerned. The biggest worry was that they wouldn’t be able to conduct on-air interviews for news programs since the lines and numbers they need for that were completely down. 

The support staff at the carrier, an overseas call center, informed us that they were aware of the outage and working on restoring the service. After two hours, we had not received a clear explanation for the disruption, which was quite disconcerting. Typically, outages tend to last anywhere from several minutes to a few hours. As the entire day passed by, we began escalating the issue to higher management levels, where we discovered the service had been disconnected. This resulted in a great deal of frustration, as nobody at the carrier seemed to know what to do, and responsibility kept getting shifted between the overseas help desk and the carrier-level account manager. 

One benefit of the pandemic is that people became used to using their mobile devices for business. We recommended that they forward the most critical phone numbers to cellular numbers immediately. Despite our initial perception of the situation as catastrophic, the client managed the situation well overall. 

We then encouraged them to use this outage as an opportunity to move to the cloud. The cloud had been proposed for several years but for various reasons, could not get a consensus around. The outage helped in that respect. At the end of the second day, we began the process of moving the customer to the cloud. Fortunately, we had been doing a proof of concept and the customer was familiar and comfortable with the technology. They were nowhere ready, and we got them ready fast.  

I gained valuable insight into the importance of outlining the risks of inaction to our clients. It’s critical to communicate clearly and demonstrate where there are gaps in their current setup. Educating clients by emphasizing the positive business outcomes that come from resolving these issues, tying it back to productivity and security, and painting a clear picture is crucial. 

As consultants and service providers, we must ensure that our clients understand the impact that technology outages can have on their productivity, reputation, and morale. Such disruptions often require already-strained resources to be diverted from their regular duties. It’s also essential to understand how these systems serve each unit of the business and the impact on each department and individual. 

We need to ask, listen, learn, and lead effectively. By doing so, we can provide our clients with the guidance they need to make informed decisions that will help them achieve their goals. 

Disclaimer: This blog is written on behalf of Trey Lackey by the Marketing Administrator of Access Tech. The Marketing Administrator had no personal involvement in the situation. This blog is based on the President’s personal accounts and opinions. 


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