4 May 2016
To remain competitive in a rapidly-changing commercial landscape, businesses must be able to adapt and change at the drop of a hat. Which is why, like many SMEs, your organisation will no doubt be making the transition to flexible working hours, remote working and other aspects of an agile working culture. The practices that allow you to respond more dynamically to the growing demands on your business.
The key to implementing these changes is, of course, having a communications infrastructure that supports these working practices while still giving you flexibility and complete control of cost. For that, you need a telecoms provider that does more than just turn up and install some equipment. You need someone who can provide the range of services that your business needs to succeed.
The 5 essential things to look for…
✓ Can they carry out an efficient installation?
This is absolutely critical, as a pain-free installation will minimise the disruption to your business. You do not want your whole phone system down for weeks because the supplier botched the job. Has the prospective supplier installed infrastructure for businesses of similar size to yours? If so, ask to see an example of their delivery roadmap and also quiz them about the problems that usually arise.
✓ How much will the equipment cost?
If you’re moving from a traditional onsite PBX phone system to a hosted service, chances are you’re going to need to update your existing handsets. Yet this can be an expensive endeavour, especially for a smaller business. Rather than pay for all the equipment up front, some providers will lease or finance the hardware to your business over the life of a contract. Others might even give you the handsets free of charge when signing up to a long-term contract. A provider that offers you a variety of options could remove the cost barrier of transitioning to an alternative solution.
✓ Can the provider deliver 24/7 service?
For a smaller business, any prolonged fault in the telecoms infrastructure could lead to a crippling loss of revenue. Speedy resolution is essential, and you need to know that a telecoms provider has dedicated teams available 24/7 to answer questions or carry out maintenance.
✓ Will you get a dedicated account manager?
When buying any IT service, you’re giving a provider your trust – and a lot of money too! You need to know, in return, that you will be getting a dedicated account manager who understands your business. The close of the sale shouldn’t be the last time you speak to this person either; it should be the beginning of a long and rewarding relationship.
✓ Can you get everything from one supplier?
Consolidating all of your communications infrastructure with one supplier certainly has its benefits. Firstly, many providers offer discounts when multiple services are bundled together, so significant cost savings can be made. Secondly, it’s much simpler, as you’ll only receive one monthly bill and one point of contact to streamline all of your communication services.
Armed with this checklist, you will be able to stress test whether a telecoms provider can deliver the service that you need. Once you have found the right communications partner for you, there’s simply no holding you back on the road to complete cost control and greater systems flexibility and efficiency.
4 May 2016 | Jamie Ward
The views in this article are the personal views of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by Gamma.