AT&T is on track to acquire Time Warner. Avaya files for bankruptcy. Verizon acquires AOL. Windstream acquires Earthlink. These communications giants are facing tricky times while demand for wireless service and connection speed increases in tandem with increased price competition. There is certainly a wind of change that is bringing with it plenty of mergers and acquisitions. With all the company upheaval in the telecom industry in the past year, it’s likely your phone system provider will change along with the service you get and the price you pay. It’s wise to take some time investigating the viability of your next phone provider. Here are some tips to do so.
- What are your needs and does the provider’s offer align with them? There are plenty of new start-ups in the sector offering new and exciting features. But, what is their market and how does it pertain to you and your business? Some of the tried and true companies have a very standard offering that does provide much specialization to the end user. Basically, not all providers are created equal! Regardless, if it’s hosted phones, SIP services, or SD-WAN, all providers have their own segmentation of their respective services. You need to do some digging to figure out what best applies to you.
- What are the analysts telling you? You need to know that your provider is forward thinking. Are they integrating options, like SD-WAN, that are clearly the direction of things? Don’t just take their word for it. You need to hear it from the industry experts.
- Does your provider’s offering support long-term IT strategies? You may need premise-based hardware, virtualization, or cloud-based options. Each has its strengths and weaknesses and what works for you now will likely change in time. You need a provider that gives you freedom and flexibility to evolve. If you’re planning to migrate to the cloud, you will likely stage it over time and they need to accommodate that. Having a vendor that offers on-prem, cloud, and hybrid is a strong indicator of stability. It means they’re prepped for the long game.
- Is your provider innovating? While you want someone that’s been stable so far, you also want them to be making smart moves for new technology. A simple indicator of how much they innovate is a patent check. How many patents and what type of patents have they established? If there’s a long history of patents, they are dedicated to innovation and that can only benefit the customer.
If you can answer all of these questions readily, then you have likely landed on a stable provider. But, there still may be some turmoil that you can’t discover on your own. Instead of spending your time trying to learn the ins and outs of the technology industry, find a vendor-agnostic communications solution consultant. Corporate Technologies Group can assess your needs and match you up with the optimal set of providers for your communications. It’s our job to know who the strongest players and the innovators are. We have a wide network of partners to choose from and will find your ideal solution.