22 March 2016

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The Benefits of a Single Service Provider for Voice, Data, and Internet

Business Phone Service by Tom Collins

Centralization versus decentralization is a classic debate in the business IT world. For well over a decade, organizations have continually weighed the benefits of a single solution, versus a network of multiple applications, tools, or vendors. As the business IT space has significantly evolved over the past two decades, organizations are now weighing increased options for communications and data storage, information security risks, and more.

A unified approach to business communications can offer numerous benefits, including simplification in a complex IT space. Better vendor governance allows organizations to "control costs, drive service excellence and mitigate risks," per Gartner.

Why is Unified Business Communications Better?

Due to the potential complications of juggling multiple vendor agreements, invoices, and interoperability issues, single service providers are almost always superior. However, finding a unified business communications vendor who offers best-of-class service for voice, data, and Internet is key. In this blog, you'll learn some of the benefits associated with making the switch to a single service provider for voice, data, and Internet services for business.

1. Network Security

A single vendor is able to understand your voice, data, and Internet as a comprehensive landscape. This allows your vendor to best identify and help you safeguard against information security risks.

It is more difficult to precisely pinpoint vulnerabilities in a multi-vendor network. In the case of threats or information security attack, a multi-vendor network can lead to delays in risk identification and safeguards. Deloitte has found that in the age of information security awareness, multi-vendor networks are "a business risk."

2. Standards

Even relatively simple business IT requirements can be the result of hundreds of decisions on configuration and optimization. Internet, data, and voice communications certainly aren't one-size-fits-all. One organization's call volume, data assets, and Internet traffic patterns can look dramatically different from another's. In addition to your existing communications patterns, your communications tools should be optimized according to factors such as budget, priorities, and projected growth.

Configuration choices are not always standardized across vendors. In many cases, vendors can use different thresholds for service levels, or different terminology to describe configurations. This carries the potential for configuration issues, or difficulty resolving varying configurations in a multi-vendor network.

3. Cost Savings

The idea of "bundling" services is well-publicized in both the residential and business communications worlds. By purchasing services from a single vendor, businesses can realize significant cost savings over multiple vendor agreements.

In addition to saving costs on implementation and monthly billing, organizations can realize additional lower lifetime cost outputs. With a single vendor, you are likely to accrue savings over time with simpler vendor selection and management. Over time, the benefits of only having to pay one invoice each month, having a single point of contact, and a reduced risk of configuration issues can add up.

4. Comprehensive Business Requirements

With a single business communications vendor, there's a potential for strong relationships if you select a vendor that's focused on customer service and relationship-building. Ideally, your vendor can develop an in-depth understanding of your businesses' network and communications requirements.

Instead of being pushed to upgrade for profit, your vendor could gain the ability to suggest upgrades or adjustments that genuinely benefit your organization. This can provide reassurance that your communications network represents the best technology for your needs, based on the latest advancements and opportunities to optimize.

5. Simpler Set-Up and Upgrades

If your business requirements dictate complex or unusual configurations, set-up and upgrades can be a nightmare on a multi-vendor network. If your vendor's configuration standards are drastically different, it's possible to experience prolonged compatibility issues. Post-implementation, a single change to your network can lead to recurrent issues that are difficult to identify, let alone resolve and test.

With a single vendor, interoperability issues are minimal. A necessary upgrade won't lead to a broken network or mysterious issues that take days to resolve.

6. Easier Troubleshooting

Optimally, businesses should never (or very) rarely experience issues with their data, phone, or Internet connections. However, when issues do arise, being able to restore optimal performance as quickly as possible is critical. Continuity of business communications is crucial to internal productivity, customer satisfaction, and your revenue streams.

If your business experiences reliability or quality issues with your data, Internet, or voice, resolution and troubleshooting could be simpler with a single vendor. Your provider can assess your entire network to determine issues and perform adjustments more quickly than if you're juggling three or more separate vendors.

7. Single SLA

A single vendor can provide guarantees on Internet, data, and phone reliability, which can lend convenience and peace of mind. Service level agreements can dictate promised uptime, or the percentage of time when a service will be available. Best-of-class vendors are able to offer 99.999% uptime guarantees, which reflects their business continuity processes.

Is a Single-Service Provider Right for You?

Is a single business communications vendor the right choice for your company's Internet, data, and voice services? In many cases, yes. While no organization wants to sacrifice quality in any aspect of their business communications services, finding a vendor that offers sufficient quality can simplify your vendor management. By working with a single point-of-contact, organizations can appreciate gains in security, convenience, simplicity, and reliability.

Atlantech Online is a leading provider of best-of-class unified business communications plans for organizations nationwide. We offer data center, colocation, fiber-optic Internet connectivity, VoIP, and more. In fact, Atlantech Online is one a few firms that can deliver wiring, connectivity, voice and phone system services in addition to data center services, too. To learn more about the cost and convenience benefits of bundling business communications services, contact an Atlantech representative today.





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About the author:

Tom Collins (Twitter, LinkedIn) - is the Director of Enterprise Sales & Marketing for Atlantech Online. He has over 20 years of professional experience in the Internet Service Provider industry and is known for translating technology into positive results for business. A native of Washington, DC, a graduate from University of Maryland (degrees in Government & Politics and Secondary Education), Tom is also a five-time Ironman finisher.

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