Communicating About Communications
It can't be stressed enough – communication is the bedrock of business. How else would vendors and customers enter into agreements and transmit payments if there is no basis for what services will be provided, at what cost, and under what terms?
The challenge here is finding the vendor that has what you need, and you don't have the time to commit hundreds of hours to talk to dozens of providers to hunt down the perfect service package. Sure, finding the perfect solution would be ideal – but you're not Goldilocks, and you don't have time to try each option before you know what works for you.
Carrier networks distribute unimaginably large amounts of data every second, and all over the globe. Telecommunication lines transmit payment transactions, email and SMS messages, voice calls, video conferencing, all to support the communication on which we rely. Complex interconnected lines and systems work together to transfer messages, all in an effort to support basic human instinct to interact. We've outgrown the basic telephone lines of yesteryear, and instead, require sophisticated technology that delivers messages with immediacy and clarity.
What complicates communication delivery more is that professional needs are obviously different from personal needs – though they overlap given the evolution of technology to allow for access to email, voicemail, and information outside of the office.
Your Carrier Services Checklist
#1 – What are your voice and data needs?
Your total technology package is a crucial element of your daily operations, and finding a solution to support your needs is the critical first step.
From this list, choose the elements that you currently combine – or would like to – for your preferred set-up:
- Local and long distance services
- Wireless service
- High-speed Internet
- Virtual Private Network (VPN)
- Other specialized needs
Not all schools or hospitals will share the same needs, nor will any two global Fortune 500 companies, and your specific needs should define your total technology solution.
#2 – How do you need everything to work?
Like mentioned earlier, the way you need your technology to work together is going to be different from other companies, and you don't want to pay for more than you need – but how do you know what you need?
Consider your total technology infrastructure, and determine what other factors should be considered in your search for carrier services.
- Cloud-based solutions
- Remote access for staff
- Legacy PBX systems or VoIP telephony
- Collaborative environment
Based on an assessment, you'll learn the optimal set-up for business phones, modem and router placement, and how to combine technology to maximize productivity.
Business IT services and telephony needs require customized input to deliver secure systems in an efficient design. For example, VoIP is the more reliable telephone system for business operations today and is a far more cost-effective way to communicate. Providing the same features as legacy systems, like Caller ID and Call Waiting, VoIP gives users the same communication service you expect but with more advanced options, like being able to call from a computer or laptop, as well, and using a high-speed Internet connection to connect without relying on a telephone line. Callers on the other end won't know your location, and VoIP systems take advantage of the same security protections from which your network already benefits.
In fact, security is an equally important part of telephony as it is to network design. Without a way to reach customers or fellow team members, a business faces the challenge of delivering on obligations and meeting deadlines.
#3 – The Right Support
You wouldn't get a flu shot from a taxi driver. No, the intricacies of the flu shot – where it should be given, what risks need to be managed, and what side effects to watch for – are defined by a highly-specialized industry, and it's the same with communication needs and carrier services vendors. Chalk it up to experience, but working with someone other than a carrier services specialist who understands communication needs would be like expecting your grocery store cashier to differences between a WAN and an SD-WAN.
Partnering with a specialist to oversee your carrier services transition is the best way to make sure everything is as smooth and straightforward as possible, eliminating hiccups and expensive surprises throughout the process. Carrier services specialists will also work with telecommunications carriers to have an insight of the industry, the service availability, pricing structures, and infrastructure support to match users to the right carrier, saving users time and money in the long run.
Lowering your monthly financial commitment while improving your overall communication system is a pretty perfect scenario, hand-delivered in a personalized solution.