Trees blowing heavily in Hurricane Irma winds

Hurricane Irma, and the Importance of Powerful Dental IT Support During Powerful Storms

Powerful storms call for powerful dental IT support.

At Digital Technology Partners, we’ve completed IT work for dental practitioners in the Atlanta area, throughout the Southeast, and beyond. An intense Category 5 hurricane, Irma, pummeled from the Caribbean into the Southeast on September 10th, 2017, with many of our clients in its direct path. The proper preparation, tools, and knowledge allowed us to provide the same high-quality and effective dental IT support our clients receive each day, while in the storm’s path ourselves.

DTP’s Helpdesk Support, By The Numbers, September 11th-13th, 2017

  • 136 service tickets closed
  • 122 same day ticket closures
  • 54 offices down
  • 54 offices back up and running
  • 0% data loss for our clients

Preparing For the Storm

Prior to Irma’s arrival, we took several precautions to ensure our clients’ crucial data remained protected. We reminded our clients to call us before evacuating, in order to get final backups and safe server shutdowns. We advised against the physical removal of servers from practices, which could have resulted in compliance disasters all their own. Finally, we reminded our clients that we are available for emergency helpdesk support 24/7. It’s important to note that we didn’t have to scramble before the storm to ensure our customers’ continuity. We are prepared for disaster every day, and the established systems we already have in place kept our customers completely protected. 

Irma’s Arrival

Even in the most severe hours of the storm, our team executed the same systems and methodologies our clients can expect on any given day. For the safety of our employees, we didn’t report to our physical location in Conyers, Georgia on September 11th or 12th. Our devoted helpdesk staff evaluated incoming tickets from home, called back customers, and got their offices back up and running as quickly as possible.

The Tools We Used (That You Can Use In Your Practice, Too)
  • Microsoft Office 365, which helped our team stay in communication and collaborate effectively
  • Concurrent editing of Excel documents, which allowed for live updates by multiple users in a shared workbook
  • Amazon Web Services for our server needs, to ensure we didn’t have any downtime

The Issues We Solved

Decrypting Servers

Clients with our latest standard deployment have encrypted servers that require a password to reboot. We quickly and easily decrypted many customers’ servers and got their practices back up and running after the storm passed. For an even faster reboot process, servers can actually be rebooted onsite, by a dedicated employee within your practice who has the password. This, of course, depends on comfort levels working with technology and is not an expectation by us of our clients. If you are interested in handling this internally at your practice, we’re available to discuss how it’s done and remind you that the server password, like all passwords, should not be written down.

Phone System Rerouting

When offices lost power, we were able to get their phone calls rerouted to other destinations. This kept our clients from missing important calls.

Setting Up Virtualized Instances in Cloud Sessions

We took our clients’ backups and restored them in virtualized instances in cloud sessions. This allowed office staff to access schedules and client records. We have a large client who was in the direct path of Hurricane Irma. Prior to the storm, we virtualized their entire existence so they could continue operating. After, they were able to return to business as usual.

Unfortunately, disaster can strike anywhere, anytime. Our disaster recovery expertise, along with a dedicated dental IT support team and the right tools, helped 100% of our clients make it through Hurricane Irma with 0% data loss. Are you looking to protect your data before it’s too late? Give us a call at (770) 918-0075, and we’ll help implement the best data backup and recovery solution for your practice.

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