One vendor. One bill. One point of contact.
Running a business is hard enough without having your technology scattered across multiple vendors. When you have different providers for Internet access, network services and phone systems, you add layers of complexity that make troubleshooting and management far more difficult than they should be. Further, the time spent keeping track of multiple vendors can impact your IT, Accounting, Operations and other teams.
Contracting with one vendor for all of your foundational IT needs can simplify your business and create a stronger technology platform—one that becomes an asset instead of just a tool or even a liability.
Here’s your guide to selecting the best solution provider for your company—one that takes the time to understand your needs and craft a solution that’s flexible and scalable.
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Your Service Needs
All too often, growing businesses implement technology solutions “on the fly.” They may order Internet access off a flyer left on a door, buy network devices from the local “big box” store, and download a collection of apps that work on their own, but lack integration. This approach is understandable. IT teams are often small and overworked, and few people really want to put a lot of careful thought into which Internet option to buy.
But a scattershot approach to technology can lead to problems down the road. As a company grows, it may have greater network needs and more remote employees or satellite offices that need to be connected to the home office. Office technology that might be fine for a solo-preneur or a small business may not have the functionality for a growing business with expanding staff.
For businesses with an assortment of technology solutions, a single technology vendor can help bring everything together under one umbrella to provide a seamless, unified platform for future business growth.
Everyone knows that Internet access is important, but which kind should you purchase? What level of security do you need? Do you need bandwidth to support large data transfers, such as uncompressed images or frequent video conferences? Selecting the right Internet access is vital, because the right Internet access establishes a platform for everything else you do.
- Do we need dedicated access, or can we have a shared connection?
- How important is uptime to us? How much money would we lose if our Internet access went down?
- Can our provider offer additional managed IT products, such as SD-WAN, or will we need to build out our own functionality?
Not every technology service provider can handle the unique challenges of a cross-border company. From currencies to regulations to cultural distinctions, implementing technologies that meet the needs of a cross-border company requires a company that understand the ins and outs of both sides of the border.
- Can my provider invoice in the correct currencies? Can we get one bill with multiple line items, or do we have to consolidate multiple bills and do the accounting ourselves?
- Can my provider implement technologies that connect our offices seamlessly so that we’re all on the same platforms?
- Does this provider understand the different regulations of both the US and Canada?
- Is our provider’s network expansive enough to handle all of our offices?
It’s true—some providers only offer phone services or Internet access or managed IT. And when you’ve assembled your current technology in an “as we grow” fashion, it can be tough to envision having those services consolidated under one provider.
The right provider, however, will not only be able to bring your essential telecom and IT services together into one portfolio—that provider will also take the time to evaluate your needs and make sure you aren’t paying for services or licenses you don’t need.
- Do our current providers offer other services besides what we’re purchasing from them?
- Are we paying for more than we need, either in number of services and apps or licenses?
- Do some of our technologies overlap in ways that could be consolidated?
- Are we still paying for outdated or unused technologies?
Businesses are often inundated with sales pitches for Internet access, phone service, IT contracts and a host of other products and services. And when the IT staff is small and locations are dispersed, it might seem easiest to just contract with local vendors and move on to more important business concerns.
But in order to create a technology platform that positions your company for long-term growth, it’s important to take time to look for a provider who can meet your current and future needs—whatever those might be.
Here are a few questions to ask as you look at your options.
Look at each of your providers. Does your Internet provider offer phone services or managed IT options? Do you have collaboration apps that integrate into one streamlined platform for simplicity? Can any of these providers serve all of your locations on one contract with one bill?
Even if you have a single provider for all of your foundational technology needs, how easy is it to get support? Do you have one rep who can help you troubleshoot or escalate to someone who can? Do you know how to get the support you need easily when you need it?
As a company grows and expands, it’s very easy to just set up an assortment of solutions with local vendors. However, this approach can lead to integration problems between business locations. It may also mean paying for more or less than what you really need.
The right vendor will be able to take a holistic approach to your technology needs by looking at your whole business and helping you design a technology platform right-sized to your needs.
Consolidating your technology needs with one provider doesn’t just make things easier. It also can potentially mean advantages such as loyalty discounts. In addition, when you work with one vendor that offers multiple services, you can develop a longstanding relationship. The right representative will care about not just your current needs, but also what you need to grow. That representative will help you implement a solution that’s flexible and scalable.
Businesses across the US and Canada trust Allstream to deliver comprehensive solutions that position them for growth. Our experts offer both technical knowledge and a customer-centric perspective that focuses on your whole business and its unique needs.
Allstream’s Intelligent Platform is built on one of North America’s most expansive and modern fiber networks. Our unique approach allows you to build your business solutions one block at a time, creating a solid foundation to grow your business.
But Allstream does more than just provide technology solutions. We’re also a long-term partner in your growth. Allstream’s experts build a relationship with you and your business to make sure that you have the flexible, scalable, reliable solutions you need.
Allstream’s Intelligent Platform gives you a flexibility that many providers can’t offer. With Allstream’s wide range of connectivity, collaboration and managed IT solutions, you can find the tools you need to power your business, all in one place. And with our building-block approach, you don’t have to add everything today; instead, you can expand and scale as you grow, one block at a time.
Allstream offers the technical solutions and expertise you need to build a solid foundation for your business, but we’re more than just a technology shop. We help you find the right solutions for your business. It’s not just about technology you need, like Internet access. It’s about our people helping you select solutions that support and empower your business objectives and give you the foundation you need to grow for the long term.
That’s what makes Allstream big enough to deliver—small enough to care.
Ready to get started? Explore the Allstream Intelligent Platform with one of our experts.
Call Sales at 1-833-603-6600, or let us know more about your needs and an Allstream expert will be in touch. Our experienced representatives can make a personalized recommendation for you, based on your business’ specific situation and requirements.