The Internet is no longer a ‘nice-to-have’, but rather, a necessary utility. Much like other utilities, we depend on it to better our daily lives, using it for both business and personal communication. It is the foundation for a multitude of Information Communication Technology (ICT) services and products, such as telephony, email and live video streaming, many of which have become necessary for optimal business functionality. But when a business is using multiple services that are all interdependent, managing and administrating them can become a laborious and costly operation.
Businesses today need ICT. They need to be able to communicate internally and externally, and to be able to process, store and access vast amounts of data on a daily basis. In order to effectively manage all of their IT products and services, businesses need to employ a lot of resources and keep their training up to date. They also need to deal with the administrative headache of liaising with multiple service providers who all depend on each other’s services to function – a veritable administrative nightmare.
When a particular service fails, it can become all too easy for that service provider to lay the blame at the feet of the others, wasting a company’s valuable time with unnecessary rounds of finger pointing. It can also become expensive as service providers who bill for their time are called out, one by one, to resolve the problem only to find that the fault is another service provider’s issue.
If more than one service provider is involved in the provisioning of a service, fault finding can become a tricky and costly process. For example, if a business cannot make or receive calls, they will call their PBX service provider who may investigate and discover that the PBX system is fine, then blame the telecommunications provider, who may in turn find out that the fault is not theirs but a networking problem. And so it goes, leaving the company with a lot of needless bills, wasted time and – through their own negatively impacted service delivery – loss of revenue. It makes sense, then, for businesses to consider service providers who offer all of these products and services as a single, bundled package.
A business can save time and money by taking advantage of a bundled voice and connectivity offering. Having a single service provider means that businesses have one point of contact for all interactions, streamlining fault finding and call logging. It also means that costs are easier to analyse and understand, and therefore to manage.
A business sourcing all of their ICT needs from one service provider will not need dozens of in-house IT staff to manage multiple systems, so costs can be saved on resources. There’s also less administration, no unnecessary call out fees, and consolidated reporting which is often available through an easy access portal.
When considering the risks of having ‘all one’s eggs in one basket’, any service provider worth their salt will ensure measures are put in place to mitigate risks and minimise downtime wherever possible. Businesses who are looking to consolidate their services should select a service provider who can offer redundancy, and who has a track record of reliability and stability.
It is imperative that a company selects a service provider who understands their needs and addresses them accordingly, while not adding superfluous services to boost profits. A reputable service provider generally offers a simple but comprehensive menu, with transparency into what each service entails. Businesses need to do their due diligence and check up on potential service providers’ references and experience.
A bundled voice and connectivity solution will help businesses to save costs, mitigate risk and reduce overall responsibility, while still giving them all the ICT services they need to operate optimally. What’s not to love?
By Calvin Collett, CEO at iConnect Telecoms