ShoreTel Sky were among several providers affected by Hurricane Sandy, suffering connectivity issues that led to outages for some customers. Ironically, ShoreTel Sky had been preparing a back-up option (unrelated to the approach of the storm) to another geographically located data center was not yet operational. In fact, relatively soon after M5 Networks was acquired by ShoreTel earlier this year, the company began work on a project to update its “geographic redundancy”, contracting with a facility in the Chicago area.Unfortunately, as it was not ready to go (and will not be until early 2013), it did not prove to be a factor in braving the storm.

“The advantage of having a data center in Manhattan is you have terrific access to just about every telecom carrier and network on the planet,” said Dan Hoffman, president and general manager of ShoreTel’s Cloud Division, in a Nov. 2 video post to the ShoreTel Sky blog. “The disadvantage we saw all too clearly in the last few days.”

To ShoreTel’s credit, time and time again, they are incredibly transparent when it comes to outages and scheduled maintenance. There was no dressing up the situation or feigning preparedness. Instead, ShoreTel simply admitted that it was not ready, and as a result, had to react accordingly. Back in mid-September ShoreTel experienced a brief outage, but remained open and active throughout, until a fix was finally reached. Recently, in the midst and wake of Hurricane Sandy, they provided running updates complete with tips on how to proceed before, during, and after the storm; even going so far as to offer tips on working remotely – interestingly abandoning the use of trust alone, to provide a more intricate window into their storm forecast.

A number of Internet infrastructure providers with data centers in the New York City area were still coping with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy come Monday. For ShoreTel, the Sky outage is a small speedbump to overcome heading into its Champions Partner Conference this week in Orlando. Hoffman said ShoreTel will hold a webinar at noon EST on Wednesday, Nov. 7, where it will address questions about the Sky outage. ShoreTel customers and partners may also contact the company directly for one-on-one support.

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