A reliable internet connection is no longer a luxury. The dependency on the web for real-time communication, data transfer, and operations is more important than ever. Slow or unstable internet connections can throw a wrench in the daily operations of a business, impacting not just productivity but the bottom line as well.
In South Africa, the problem is compounded by loadshedding, infrastructure damage or theft as well as unplanned power failures.
How are you and your business expected to maintain continuous connectivity? The answer might lie in a few affordable purchases and key investments, and the approach of infrastructure providers like Openserve.
By taking measures to keep their fibre network powered up, stable and fast during load shedding, Openserve provides local businesses like yours with access to fast, uninterrupted fibre networks that help your business grow and thrive, despite the challenges of constant power cuts.
Let’s look at how you can ensure that your business is benefiting from Openserve’s proactive loadshedding initiatives, and how failing to be proactive from your business may be hurting your chance of growth and success.
Getting powered up and online
Incorporating a combination of devices and solutions tailored to your specific business needs and operational demands can significantly enhance your organisation’s resilience to power disruptions and ensure continuity during loadshedding events or otherwise.
The internet is after all, only available if you have devices that are also able to stay powered up for the duration of power outages.
With that in mind, you may want to look at some of these options to meet your needs:
1. Smaller back up power solutions (UPS) for your budget and needs
UPS solutions provide a buffer during power interruptions, enabling safe data storage and equipment shutdown. Using affordable “mini” UPS options helps you maintain Wi-Fi connections when you’re connected to an uninterrupted fibre network, or charge devices during brief outages. Certain networking equipment like routers and switches come in energy-efficient models that can operate longer on battery power or UPS systems.
Conversely, while more expensive, generators and larger UPS variants can power bigger devices through prolonged outages, offering a more robust solution for staying connected and operational.
2. Tablets and smartphones
Tablets and smartphones are highly portable with built-in batteries, chargeable via power banks or car chargers during outages. Many business services offer mobile apps, ensuring functionality on these devices with long battery life, which means that in many cases you can still access functions or services you need even if your main devices are not available. This brings us to our next point, which also removes your need to have certain devices available to access specific services or data.
3. Cloud-based applications
Using cloud-based applications can help ensure that data is saved and accessible from anywhere, regardless of local power conditions. This gives you more flexibility when determining how to keep your operations running. A fast and stable fibre network provides all that you need to stay connected to your important cloud-based services and data.
4. Power banks
Fully charged power banks can help keep essential devices like smartphones, tablets, and even some laptops running during a power outage. Keeping them charged up and ready can be a bit of a chore though, so keep that in mind when deciding what solutions will work best for your situation.
5. Laptops with all-day battery life
Newer laptops from brands like HP, Apple and more offer up to 12-hour+ battery life due to their new hyper-efficient processors and better batteries, providing flexibility during power outages. Though pricey, their long battery life could be valuable enough for you to consider for key members of your businesses.
6. Voice over IP (VoIP) phones and wi-fi / internet calling
Cellphone towers and strong signals are never a given during extended power outages and can leave you incapable of making phone calls or using mobile data.
VoIP phones and internet / wi-fi calling services like WhatsApp, Facetime or even conferencing services like Zoom can be used with laptops and mobile devices, ensuring continuous communication even when traditional phone systems are down due to power outages.
Diving deeper into the power problem
In South Africa, loadshedding significantly impacts small businesses and individuals, causing substantial financial setbacks, with just an hour of Stage 1 load shedding costing the country around R101.73 million.
Mitigation strategies like alternative power sources and technology adoption, alongside staff training and enhanced IT support, are crucial for navigating load shedding challenges and fostering business growth in the region.
In South Africa, the challenge of maintaining a stable internet connection is heightened by loadshedding – and what’s worse, the fluctuating stages means you can never plan too far ahead.
These outages are a reality that South African businesses like your own must grapple with, and finding a way to stay online during these periods is crucial. This is where and why it is important to pick a connectivity solution and method that provides you with the most reliable internet available, and especially one that manages to keep speeds fast and stable no matter what.
What this means for your business
The consequences of sluggish or unreliable internet can be plentiful and may trigger a negative ripple effect within your business.
For instance, customers getting access to free Wi-Fi are likely to migrate to competitors if they encounter slow Wi-Fi services at a business venue. This migration is not just about the speed of the internet but the quality of customer experience that comes with it.
When data processing hits a speed bump due to buffering and latency issues, operational delays follow suit. Time is of the essence in business, and any time spent waiting for a page to load or a file to download is time wasted – and as they say, “Time is money.”
Moreover, when internet connectivity slows down, the effect on productivity is significant.
You or your employees might find yourselves resorting to manual processes to complete tasks, which is not only time-consuming but can also lead to increased errors and reduced output.
A slow and unreliable network can gnaw at a company’s resources, impeding everything from employee productivity to customer service, and limiting opportunities to reach new markets or develop new business.
Stay connected to thrive
The challenges posed by slow or unstable internet, coupled with the reality of loadshedding, underscores the importance of a stable, uninterrupted connectivity infrastructure for South African business owners navigating the challenges of the digital age.
Reliable internet is a crucial aspect of continued operational efficiency and customer satisfaction. Make sure that your business takes full advantage of the opportunities available by ensuring you get and stay connected to stable, high-speed fibre internet.