In this blog, I will discuss what you should keep in mind if you are considering making changes to your voice and internet services. Businesses now rely so heavily on their telecom services for the sales process and customer service that being productive without them would be nearly impossible. In and of itself, that is reason enough to evaluate the telecom infrastructure and services you are currently using.
One of the things that we do here at Teledata Select is analyze telecom bills to determine what services you are paying for with an eye towards making sure you are getting the best prices available for them. Part of this analysis includes reviewing the services. Are you using the services that you are paying for? Are there better solutions available? Is your current internet speed keeping up with the application tools that support your business? Has your business model changed (i.e Remote Work) in that your current telecom solution is no longer the best solution? All these questions should be able to be answered by a telecom broker.
Once an analysis comes back recommending a change, it is important to discuss the following topics with your broker before a solution is agreed to.
- Reliability & Service
One of the reasons to switch to a new service provider is that your current provider is not providing a solution that you can count on. Or when you do need assistance, their customer service is not meeting your needs. Be sure that any recommendations you get come with unbiased reviews from customers and benchmark testers. Does the new service come with a Service Level Agreement (SLA)? They provide reimbursements in the case where the provider’s service does not meet the SLA.
- New Technology Upgrades – Hardware impacts
Will any changes or upgrades require the purchase of new hardware? If so, does the service provider include installation and training for the new equipment. Who provides ongoing support for the new hardware?
- Backup & Redundancy
Many new telecom solutions are at least partially cloud based and rely heavily on a reliable internet connection. As such there is always a risk of a business impact if that connection gets cut somehow. Risks in and of themselves are not bad. It’s not having a mitigation strategy to alleviate their impact that is the problem. It is important that you discuss what backups and failover systems a vendor has in place to reduce the risks. This also is where SLA’s come into play if the mitigations don’t prevent a service outage.
- Scalability – Contract Terms
There are many reasons why a business might need to rescale their telecom solution. The remote work business model or customers preferring telephone or internet contact over in person visits are just a couple scenarios that may impact your telecom needs. If you find that your telecom solution needs to be adjusted, some things to think about:
- Is the solution you have or are considering scalable without having to purchase new equipment?
- Does your telecom solution permit you to easily move to a different or multiple locations in the future?
- How reliant are your business applications on the internet and/or cloud services? Can the service provider upgrade the speed within days or hours?
- Providers usually offer a reduced cost by signing a multi-year agreement. Does the contract allow for scaling up or down during the term of the contract? If so, what is the impact?.
- Billing and Support
An important consideration for before the contract is signed, is service after the contract is signed. Its common to feel like the most important customer in a vendor’s portfolio before the sale. Its important to talk to current customers to find out how they are supported after the sale. A good broker will be able to provide you with real reviews from current and past customers. Hopefully, the broker won’t even bring you solutions from vendors that don’t measure up. It is still a good idea to contact references so that you can talk with them. Topics to discuss are the migration experience, service reliability, responsiveness to issues and questions, billing accuracy and value for money.
It is always a big decision to switch Telecom service providers and/or solutions. A Telecom Broker and assist you through and after the decision making process.
Teledata Select offers a whole range of services that will help you meet your business goals. Starting with a complimentary review of your current telecommunication bills to identify errors and find opportunities for savings, better service and more functionality. We also offer project management for new service implementation and infrastructure installs, including fiber and low voltage cabling. Call us at 404-257-1502 to discuss your current Telecom Service Solution and what you would like to get out of it. Or send us a note via This Link to start a no obligation discussion of your specific business technology needs.
John Hagan is President of TeleData Select, a Telecommunications Consultant located in Atlanta, Ga serving customers throughout the US and overseas. His company provides business solutions for voice, data, mobile and cloud solutions for both large and small businesses. Contact John or his team for a complimentary telecom audit to make sure you’re getting the best value for communication services. The savings you receive could offset the cost of purchasing a new Hosted or Premise based solution.