ATLaaS: ATL as a Service
A Thought Leader In Toll-Free Number Management Solutions
HOW TO SET UP TOLL-FREE DISASTER RECOVERY
RECEIVE A UNIQUE RESPORG ID:
In order to utilize multiple carriers, you must have an ID that isn’t tied to a carrier. This gives you the power to use any carrier you want, after obtaining the carrier’s permission, and in any combination you want. You can either acquire your own unique RespOrg ID or, like the vast majority, contact an existing RespOrg (Schedule a Call with ATL to set-up a unique RespOrg ID) to fall under their umbrella.
SET UP ADDITIONAL CARRIER / NETWORKS:
During carrier outages, the only option to get your numbers working again is to use an alternate
carrier. It’s not in a carrier’s best interest to help you move your numbers away, as this is a revenue
source for carriers, especially when most of their resources are focused on repairing the outage.
In a disaster situation, your own business is your greatest advocate for a speedy recovery and
without a real disaster recovery solution, this process can be difficult and time-consuming.
Creating relationships with additional carriers is paramount to an effective Disaster Recovery plan.
Carriers are eager to work with new businesses as they incur financial gain through new customer
acquisition and billing for services rendered. A business seeking an effective toll-free disaster recovery
solution needs to establish contracts and set up networks with at least two unique carriers
while getting complimentary carrier agreements in place. In the telecommunications industry, this
agreement is known by different names and it depends on which carrier you are talking to. At its
core, the agreement informs the carrier that you’ll be using their network with your own unique
RespOrg ID. The reason this is so important is that when you port numbers in and out, carriers
will see these new numbers in their network. If there is no existing agreement in place, these carriers
will scrub your numbers. This agreement establishes that your number belongs there but
under your own unique ID. It’s largely a preemptive measure, but it’s in a business’s best interest
In addition to having a secondary carrier to route your traffic to in the event of a carrier outage,
you also gain the ability to split your traffic by percentage, region, and date/time. Splitting your
traffic between multiple carriers brings businesses closer to the ideal least cost routing structure
which will save the business money as that traffic is routed in the most cost-efficient manner
based on several key modifiable identifiers.
PORT YOUR TOLL-FREE NUMBERS TO YOUR NEW RESPORG ID:
This is a pretty straightforward process that RespOrgs can perform. Simply stated, this is when all
numbers under a business’s control are transferred from their previous ID to their new unique
RespOrg ID. A business cannot add multiple carriers unless they perform this step.
CREATE DEFAULT AND FAIL-OVER ROUTING TEMPLATES:
In this phase, a business should work closely with their RespOrg to create disaster recovery scenarios
and a routing map should an outage occur. Generally, a RespOrg will ask their clients how
they want their numbers to route and how they want to utilize their carriers in any given situation.
A RespOrg should also identify any alternate routing scenarios the business may want to have. By creating these templates, the business can move its numbers quickly from one carrier to another. With template-based routing, the routing is passed to the toll-free numbers via the template, which can be accessed by any quantity of toll-free numbers. Think of a template as a line in a database. This database line contains all routing information, so when you route a toll-free number using a template you are essentially programming that number to only receive its routing information from that database line. If that database line updates, the toll-free number’s routing is updated. Whether you have 1,000 or 100,000 numbers pointed to the template, all numbers are updated simultaneously.
As a RespOrg, or with the assistance of your RespOrg, you can utilize several routing variables
which can determine exactly when, how, and who is receiving your inbound toll-free traffic. These
routing options include:
Percent-based routing: The ability to assign a certain percentage of your overall inbound traffic
to a specific carrier. This is a powerful tool for managing load balancing on the fly.
Time of day: The ability to send traffic to a specific carrier only during specified times. This is
another easy-to-use load balancing tool that can be implemented based on historic call volumes.
Date: The ability to preset the exact date and time that a routing set goes active. This is valuable
for when you have advanced notice of a service disruption, like scheduled carrier maintenance for
Blocking: The ability to block inbound traffic based on desired parameters. This can also be viewed
as the ability to only accept traffic from specific areas by blocking all unwanted areas.
Geographic-based routing: The ability to assign a carrier based on the geographic data of the
originating inbound call. Geographic categories include Local Access and Transport Area (LATA),
State, NPA, NPA/NXX, and ANI. This functionality becomes helpful when you use two or more carriers
based on their rates in geographic territories. For example, Carrier A charges $0.06/minute
for all calls in Oregon and Carrier B charges $0.02/minute for all calls in Oregon. Geographic-based
routing allows you to take advantage of Carrier B’s lower rate and assign all Oregon inbound
traffic to Carrier B. This is also known as least cost routing and can save businesses thousands of
dollars, monthly, depending on their inbound call volume.
To simplify, the numbers are divided into groups with the understanding that every group of numbers
will route in the same way. Businesses can change the routing of these numbers with a click
of a button. Without the templates, businesses wouldn’t be able to move numbers as quickly and
efficiently so the prior setup of these templates is quite valuable and recommended.
TEST ALL NETWORKS:
Once the RespOrg has identified the carriers that the business wants to use, and the RespOrg has
the numbers porting to the business’s unique ID, the RespOrg should route 100 percent of the
numbers down the carriers individually to test each network and make sure there are no challenges
with the porting process. In test dialing all the numbers, a RespOrg should not only make sure
the calls are hitting the correct carrier, but also that the calls are set up on each network correctly
and each call is being terminated properly.
APPLY NUMBERS TO THE TEMPLATE:
Once this is done and any challenges are identified and resolved, your RespOrg will apply the tollfree
numbers to your desired template. This is where we apply the numbers to routing records
that use multiple carriers.
TEST AGAIN ON BOTH NETWORKS:
Finally, if your RespOrg is your carrier, they should test the numbers again because now they’ve
put your numbers on the new routing networks. If your RespOrg is not your carrier, and you are
operating under an independent RespOrg, contact your RespOrg to test your numbers to ensure
that your numbers are working correctly. Testing a second time is a critical step in the process and
imperative to make sure the template you’ve created has been built correctly and the calls are
being delivered as intended.
In the event of a carrier outage, you should know exactly what actions to take to complete the
routing change to move your inbound traffic to the backup carrier. It is recommended that you
create a plan for each scenario, whether it be an outage by Carrier A or an outage by Carrier B, and
you should be prepared to act. Being prepared will save you time, inevitably saving your business
money and preventing a very stressful event.
If you are working with a RespOrg who manages your toll-free numbers as an outsourced service,
keep their customer support number handy and available should you need to immediately contact
them to perform the fail-over. If you are your own RespOrg and are using a RespOrg-supplied
portal or platform to manage your own numbers internally, be sure multiple members of your
team know how to move numbers between one template and another. Like the theory behind
toll-free disaster recovery, it’s all about redundancy.