Analysts have predicted a boom in the business continuity industry and, judging by the number of headlines dedicated to the issue, there is no denying that it is one of this year's hot topics.
So how does it concern resellers, with their real-time responsibilities for voice and desktop installation and maintenance?
In their consultative capacity, resellers have a responsibility to educate companies on the importance of 'business as usual', even when the offices are flooded, the networks have gone down or the power has failed.
But loyalty has its limits, and customers will not hang around when competitors are readily available to supply them. Training provision on how to cope with a crisis - implementing the continuity plan, alerting staff and suppliers, and using alternative equipment - is another activity the channel could consider.
The Institute of Management recently reported that only up to 45 per cent of organisations have a business continuity plan in place. Among those with a plan most outsource services, but over half do not insist that their suppliers have a continuity plan.
A disaster can have a ripple effect, and the larger the organisation, the more likely it is to suffer from disruptions within its supply chain.
On the other hand, smaller businesses are as much at risk, but often remain unprotected.
There is the opportunity for the channel to scale affordable tailored solutions, providing recovery services as a value-add to bundled communications solutions. As security tops the IT agenda, back-up and relocation services should be included in an offering.
The main reason to back business continuity is that the ongoing convergence of IT data and voice products obliges businesses to protect the networks on which the systems operate. Mitigating the risk is imperative because all forms of communication will be lost if it is interrupted.
From new risk management reporting requirements to increased awareness of the need for planning, companies now have concrete reasons for looking at continuity planning and management. The channel should not overlook this opportunity.
Also remember that business continuity services can be invoked in more propitious circumstances, such as a business expansion, which requires an increase in network and IT capabilities.
David Birch is head of operations at BT CommSure.
CRN pulls out the key information from Microsoft's Q4, which took the vendor above $100bn for the year
Investment will include an AI research centre in London
John Coulston outlines Rackspace's plans to partner with the channel in the UK
Chris Bunch of Microsoft partner Cloudreach gives his take on this year's Inspire conference