What are the most important factors in procuring telecom services for a small or medium size business? Many companies just do a price comparison, but that neglects many other important attributes. Wireline telecom services include: private line, IP MPLS VPN, wavelength, Internet access, VoIP, and even circuit switched voice/data.
In telecommunications, the most important aspects of service quality include availability, reliability, security, flexibility or choice, simplicity and assurance. All of these are affected by innovations in technology, the development of a competitive
market structure, and interconnection of the competitors in a network of networks.
Here’s a checklist of important attributes to consider when procuring a new telecom service for your organization:
-Competitive price for service requested, considering distance between endpoints or from premises to carrier POP
-Quick order processing and rapid provisioning after order is completed
-Service Quality/ Functionality/ Performance/ SLA compliance
-Availability and Reliability – not all services need 5 9’s uptime (but mission critical applications certainly do)
-Customer service/ support/trouble shooting problems
-Fast restoration of service after an outage
-Security (very relevent for a shared network, e.g. MPLS VPN
-Rapid re-provisioning to accomodate moves and changes and to add/delete end points
-Reputation of telco/ brand name recognition
An interesting Oct 2011 Google study of attitudes of “wireline users” includes Wireline Purchase drivers. The study found that customer service was a key driver for many purchases. In particular, Google found that the customer’s desire for personal interaction prevails.
• 60% research telecom solutions online but still prefer to interact directly with a salesperson
• Wireline service shoppers were willing to pay 11% more for great customer service from an Internet provider
• Over 25% of tele-sales originate as a customer service inquiry
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