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What are the 5 key factors in selection of a Hosted Telecom Provider?

In today’s business environment, companies face a wealth of options when it comes to choosing a Hosted Telecom Provider. It is the goal of this post to act as a guide for helping you choose the provider that can best satisfy your needs. If you focus on the following five factors when researching potential providers you’ll be able to avoid being disappointed with your ultimate choice (unlike many other companies).

Reliable Service

Here’s something to think about: How much business would your company lose if you were without phone and/or Internet service for 15 minutes? How about an hour? A few hours? The amount of money and business that can potentially be lost at peak times can be unthinkable. As such, being able to rely on a trusted and proven provider is invaluable in today’s business world. All telecom providers will have outages due to unforeseen circumstances, but the difference between a reliable and unreliable provider is how quickly they can return services and the total number of outages during a given period of time.

It is also best to research the infrastructure of potential providers. Ask questions like: Do they own their own fibre optic network or lease it from others?  What are their repair escalation procedures? Additionally, put yourself in the position of an outage and research what procedures the provider has in place to help you. hosted telephony

Scalability and Flexibility

Many hosted telecom service providers are looking to lock customers in to long term contracts with no flexibility in terms of the service being offered.  When a change to services or an upgrade is needed, the provider charges expensive fees or in worst case scenarios are unable to provide the change whatsoever.  This not only hampers the flexibility of your business to scale up or down inexpensively but can also slow the adaptation of new technology as upgrading may not be an option.

Customer Service

An often neglected factor to consider is the effectiveness of a provider’s customer service.  When you’re facing with an outage and reaching a customer service representative is imperative, the importance of this factor becomes clear.

Ask potential providers what channels are open to reach their representatives (the more options the better).  Support should be available 24/7/365, no less.  For large contracts, a personal account representative should also be expected so that your business has an individual managing your account.

Company History and References

When you’re determining which provider is right for you, don’t be afraid to ask each company to provide you with a list of local large clients using their service or even customer references and written recommendations.  Research the history of all potential providers and see what kind of history they have with hosted telephony (have they been working with this technology for a long time or are they relatively new?). Obviously, the longer their history with the technology is the better.  The Internet can be an invaluable resource in this respect as you may find informative news articles or blog posts discussing the particular company you are researching.  Getting in touch with companies who have similar telephony needs to your own and asking who they use might also be a good idea. hosted telecom solution

Cost

While this is the most straightforward and most thought about factor, we have chosen to include cost last.  This is because cost should not be considered over reliability or any of the others listed.  That being said, all businesses must operate within their allotted budget so the goal is to get the most reliability, scalability, and flexibility, best quality customer service, and most trustworthy hosted telecom provider at the price your business can afford.

Conclusion

In the relatively new world of hosted telecom providers, obtaining the information needed to choose the right partner can be difficult.  The experts at ECI can be trusted to guide your business to the solution that best fits your needs.  Contact ECI at info@ecitech.ca to get expert advice and guidance on hosted telecom providers.