Just another Friday…..

At FW accounting we have a leased line for access to the internet. I’m not a “techie” but I’m told that this means we have a super-fast connection and don’t have to rely on the standard BT lines for access. Our phone lines also work over the leased line, meaning we can make & receive a large volume of calls. Which is absolutely fantastic when it works, which is 99% of the time.

Today was the 1% that you hope you never have to deal with. However, it taught us a number of lessons, almost all of them positive. Here are the details.

We outsource our IT management to Aberdeen-based Indigo. They have a system setup to notify them if the line ever goes down. This happened at 1.03am. They obviously couldn’t phone or email us to let us know, so what did they do? They sent me a tweet!

By 7am both Indigo and Arrowdawn, who support our phone system, were on the case and had people on site. By the time I arrived at the office, they were beavering away.

We couldn’t send emails out, and people emailing us wouldn’t know we weren’t getting their emails. Anyone calling our main number was getting a message telling them that our number was unobtainable. Not good.

This was when the professionals we work with really earned their corn. First of all AJ from Indigo and the guys from Arrowdawn managed to put together a work around that diverted our 0845 number to a separate line outwith the leased line. People calling that number could now get through. AJ also managed to divert emails via this same ADSL line, so although it was slow, emails started to filter through sporadically.

Then the FW team got on the case. Myself and Michelle got busy on social media, letting people know via twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn & Aberdeen Business Network what was happening. Meanwhile the wonderful Julie Mitchell-Mehta from Debut Marketing sent a communication to all of our clients via MailChimp to let them know.

Emma De Silva, one of our reception team, was coolness personified, liaising between our leased line provider, Indigo & Arrowdawn, and letting everyone internally know what was happening. Turned out the problem was at Cable & Wireless, the leased line provider, who had a major server failure. So this was happening to lots of companies across the UK.

By early afternoon the line was back up & running again. AJ & Arrowdawn were running lots of tests to make sure that it was working 100% before switching everything back. By 1pm we were back to normal.

Emma DS suggested emailing our clients again to let them know, which Julie was able to do for us. Michelle & I updated our social media channels.

It’s now almost 8pm and I’m reflecting on the day. I’m so proud of my team! No-one panicked. No-one got stressed. We just managed the situation. We followed the plan, and it worked. It was bloody impressive!

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