In many ways, your telecom technology is the cornerstone of your business efforts. It's the tool that your employees use to communicate with customers and one another. This is a tool to make their jobs easier and themselves more productive. It's what allows them to work in a variety of settings - on-site, remotely or even while traveling - depending on the needs of the situation. It's both how you build and maintain relationships with your clients and how you minimize costs while maximizing functionality.
Unfortunately for you, this technology just failed.
Take a deep breath and understand that you have options available to you. Pursuing a new telecom service provider just became your number one priority. Thankfully this is a lot more straightforward than you thought it was.
Step 1. Figure Out How You Got Here
The first step to take after your telecom technology has failed is define exactly what "failure" means. It doesn't have to literally mean that your phones just went down permanently, although that may be the case.
Maybe “failure” means you need certain features and functions to maintain a competitive advantage that you just don't have access to. Or perhaps your business is rapidly expanding and your existing telecom provider can’t keep up the pace. No matter what the circumstances are, it's important to examine the problem itself from all angles so that you can avoid it now that you have a rare "second chance" to get things right.
Step 2. Determine Where You Need to Go
Switching telecom providers is also a great opportunity to fix certain "minor" issues you had in the past. Maybe you had the functionality you needed but were paying too much in the process. Maybe on-site employees were taken care of, but working remotely was challenging.
Make a list of all the things you want to address with your new telecom service and make these priorities moving forward.
Step 3. Evaluate Buying Options - Direct versus an Independent Agent
Finally, one of the most important steps you'll need to take involves deciding whether to purchase new services directly from a telecom provider or from an unbiased agent representative. If you already know precisely what you want, all of the solutions available to you and the right fit for your business, there is nothing stopping you from purchasing direct.
But are you absolutely sure this is the right move? Are you in the telecom business? Is this your area of expertise?
Working with an agnostic agent advisor has numerous benefits, the greatest being the fact that you'll have multiple providers to choose from based on your specific needs. Options are a great way to avoid ending up in a similar situation in the future. An independent agent also has in depth knowledge about a wide range of different providers and solutions that you can leverage to your advantage. Plus, the counsel of an agent costs you absolutely nothing since agents are paid directly by the providers.
If you know what needs you must address but want to have an expert in your corner technologically speaking, using the services of an independent agent can be the best way to put together a customized solution that meets the demands of today while preparing your entire organization for the challenges of tomorrow.
Author: Pete Kraehmer
Comtel Communications, a telecom/technology consulting agency based in Richmond, Virginia since 1991, provides best-in-class solutions and unbiased counsel to a diverse group of small, medium, and enterprise-level businesses, totaling more than $18.2M in annual billings. Leveraging unique access to 350+ national and international providers, Comtel benefits its clients through competitive quotes from multiple sources, to ensure their business goals are met with current and dynamic telecom and technology services. Acting as a partner, long after contracts are signed and services are deployed, Comtel offers superb back-office support to manage upgrades, track orders, and provide training to clients.