Centralization versus decentralization is an old debate in the business IT world, but running a business is hard enough without having your technology scattered across multiple vendors. Different providers for Internet access and your phone system adds a layer of complexity that makes troubleshooting and management much more difficult than it should be.
Contracting with one vendor for these foundational business services can simplify a complex IT space and create a stronger and more secure tech platform. Further, the time spent keeping track of multiple vendors can impact not just IT, but also Accounting and other teams. One vendor means one invoice and one point of contact for VoIP and internet support.
Understanding the Big Picture
Many growing businesses implement technology solutions in a piecemeal fashion. Internet access from a big telecom, network devices from a local “big box” store, and a growing collection of voice and collaboration apps with no real thought given to integration. This is completely understandable: IT teams are often stretched and overworked, so why choose anything beyond the obvious and readily available?
But this approach to acquiring tech can lead to future problems. Companies grow, change or add locations, employ an at-home or hybrid workforce — all of which need to be connected with internet and communication solutions to the home office and your clients.
A single vendor is able to understand the big picture, and will take a holistic approach to your voice, data, and Internet needs. Not only can this provide a seamless, unified platform for future business growth, but it also allows them to best identify and help you safeguard against information security risks.
In a multi-vendor network, it is simply more difficult to precisely pinpoint vulnerabilities . In the case of threats or information security attack, a multi-vendor network can lead to delays in risk identification and safeguards.
Configuration and Upgrades
Internet, data, and voice communications are rarely one-size-fits-all. Call volume, data assets, and Internet traffic patterns can look dramatically different from one organization to another, or even from one location to another in a single organization. As well as these communications patterns, your tools will be optimized according to factors such as budget, priorities, and projected growth.
Configuration choices aren’t always standardized across vendors. There might be different thresholds for service levels, or different terminology to describe configurations, carrying the potential for configuration issues, or difficulty resolving varying configurations in a multi-vendor network.
For businesses with complex or unusual configurations, set-up and upgrades can be a nightmare on a multi-vendor network. If your vendor’s configuration standards are drastically different, it’s possible to experience prolonged compatibility issues and post-implementation, a single change to your network can lead to recurrent issues that are difficult to identify, let alone resolve and test. With a single vendor, interoperability issues are minimal. A necessary upgrade won’t lead to a broken network or mysterious issues that take days to resolve.
Continuity of business communications is crucial to internal productivity, customer satisfaction, and your revenue streams.
If your business experiences reliability or quality issues with your Internet or Voice services, resolution and troubleshooting can be much be simpler with a single vendor. Your provider can assess your entire network to determine issues and perform adjustments more quickly than if you’re trying to coordinate several vendors.
This is especially important with Voice services. Below are the most common causes of bad quality VoIP — all of which can be addressed by a knowledgeable Internet provider. For your convenience, Skyway West’s MSP and customer portal graphs the first two.
- Jitter — VoIP uses packets to send audio across a network. These packets can sometimes get out of order resulting in a call with poor quality or scrambled audio.
- Latency — Latency is the delay in the time it takes the speaker’s voice to reach the listener’s ear over a VoIP line. Pure fibre and managed fibre have the lowest and most stable latency.
- Poorly Configured Internet — This one’s obvious, but most ISPs let internet surfing and file transfers overwhelm VoIP packets. The solution is business class high-speed internet which will allow you to prioritize voice and data packets.
- The Wrong Router — One of the most common causes of bad call quality in small businesses. VoIP either requires a specialized VoIP router or an internet router for both data and voice that can prioritize voice traffic. Without this, call quality is affected by other users on the network using the internet.
What to look for in a Single Solution Vendor
In order to create a technology platform that positions your company for long-term growth, it’s important to look for a provider who can meet your current and future needs. Finding a vendor who offers best-of-class service for both Voice and Internet is key.
Select a vendor that’s focused on customer service and relationship-building. Ideally, your vendor will develop an in-depth understanding of your business network and communications requirements. Not only will your day-to-day operations run smoother, there are also significant long-term savings to consider.
As well as saving costs on implementation and monthly billing, organizations can realize additional lower lifetime costs. Over time, the benefits of only having to pay one invoice each month, having a single point of contact, and a reduced risk of configuration issues will add up.
Does this sound right for Your Business?
Is a single vendor the right choice for your company’s Internet and Voice services? While no organization wants to sacrifice quality in any aspect of their business communications services, finding a vendor that offers best-in-class solutions will simplify your vendor management. And your life! By working with a single point-of-contact, organizations can appreciate gains in security, convenience, simplicity, and reliability.
Skyway West has been providing Internet solutions to Western Canadian businesses for more then 25 years. We are a leader in business internet and communications solutions. We can provision all internet access technologies from DSL to full duplex Fibre, network solutions like Private Networks and Colocation, and a full suite of hosted Voice and Unified Communications services. To find out more about the cost and efficiencies in choosing a single provider, contact a Skyway West expert today.