Reliability & Service
In the course of making a decision on what telecom company to choose, you will face several decisions on what type of service is best for your business. This decision is based on a thorough understanding of your telecommunications requirements compared against available telecom solutions:
- Compare the services provided by the various telecom companies for your location(s).
- Understand the potential costs to your business of lost internet connectivity or voice issues.
- Reputable telecom carriers provide a Service Level Agreement (SLA) outlining the services to be provided, metrics to be used to measure compliance to the agreement and remediation if the agreed service levels are not met. What does this mean for your business?
- In the case where SLA’s are not met. You will need to compare the costs of managing service issues and determine if you want to work to resolve those issues yourself, or have it done for you. If you do choose to do it yourself, will you have the information and resources needed to resolve the issue quickly and expeditiously?
New Technology Upgrades – Phone systems
Your business may face a number of decisions when it comes to upgrading or purchasing new technology. Those decisions will include:
- Will your communications systems reside “in the cloud”… and what does that mean for your business?
- What are the long term advantages/disadvantages of buying or leasing new technology hardware and services?
- Do you have staff and floor/rack space needed to support an on-site solution?
Backup & Redundancy
It is pretty common that small and medium sized businesses prioritize their day to day operations over preparing for the outside chance of a Telecom Service Outage. But the impacts of a service outage can cost your business varying degrees of time, money and reputation. Take a moment to consider the following:
- How will you continue to operate in the case of a telecom outage?
- How would a telecom outage of minutes, hours or days impact your business?
- Who on your team would manage outage resolution and return to normal operations?
- How would you go about retrieving critical data in the case of data loss or corruption?
Scalability – Contract Terms
Many businesses are faced with near and long term changes in their telecommunications needs and usage.
- How does your current or planned telecommunications systems support variable or changing usage patterns?
- Does your current or planned telecommunications systems easily support a physical relocation of your business?
- The internet has becomes critical in accessing business applications and data. What service providers can upgrade your team’s web based tools within days or hours?
- In most cases, a business can reduce costs by signing a long term agreement. However, do the constraints and obligations of the long term agreement negate the cost savings?
- Is it worth the extra savings to sign a three year agreement?
Billing and Support
Beyond pricing, there are differences between the Telecommunications providers in how they handle the customer relationship after the sale.
- What is the Carrier’s reputation for billing accuracy?
- How quickly are billing questions answered and resolved?
- How does the Carrier respond to user support questions and comments?