Technology Trends of 2014: the year of the cloud
What should you look for in an Telecoms Provider?
Recent data shows that the “great thaw” continues and the economy is coming back. Unemployment is rates are down, the GDP is back on the rise, increased IT spending is returning to pre-2008 growth rates, a plethora of new technologies, and aging hardware have led to a new dawn of opportunity. Many Small Medium Business (SMB) IT managers are now anxiously catching up to their larger competitors with the focus on ensuring the right Telecoms Provider is selected.
In fact, the continued economic resurgence has led to 79 percent of IT professionals suggesting that their 2015 IT budgets would either remain the same or increase over 2014, a year that enabled SMB IT departments to begin rebuilding.
The surge in Small Medium Businesses comes as no surprise to readers of The Top 7 Communications Trends for 2014 blog, which noted the rise of SMB and their Telecoms Provider requirements:
“Mid-market companies are looking for solutions tailored to their businesses and their needs. Mid-market companies are not looking for scared down or re-branded enterprise contact centre solutions.”
Support excellence will increasingly mean providing the right information in a tempo and volume that a smaller operation can handle, along with the tools needed to put that information to use.
Not being ready to invest in new employees, servers, appliances, and networks for many years has left many seeking outside Telecoms Provider solutions to help them catch up. That’s why 88% of SMBs say they are planning to consult an external partner for assistance in developing and implementing their IT strategies.
Estimations show that companies spend as much as £4,200 per year per employee in IT costs, many SMB managers are increasing relying on enhanced support and outsourced solutions that enable adoption and support for new technologies without bearing the costs associated with technology, heavy staff training or staff resource redeployment.
The following 8 key questions can help you choose the right Telecoms Provider:
#1 – What capabilities & technologies are you missing from your current business communications tool box?
#2 – Is your Telecoms Provider just providing scaled versions of larger solutions? One-size-fits-all solutions that are narrowed down will not necessarily meet future needs of a mid-market company. For too long, mid-market solutions were just limited solutions intended for larger enterprises. Does the Telecoms Provider offer customisable solutions that are tailored to your company’s needs?
#3 – Does the company know your needs and your industry? Mid-market companies are often more industry specific than their enterprise counterparts.
#4 – Can the Telecoms provider integrate, support, and manage disparate technologies in various locations? Having a partner that can quickly evaluate and manage all communications and collaboration resources will ensure continuity of service and ultimately, competitiveness.
#5 – How deep is your service partner’s bench? Can they support your company’s headquarters on-site or halfway across the world? Mid-market does not equal single site, many mid-market companies have multiple locations that can span the globe.
#6 – Are the right resources available both right now and as I scale up and business continues to expand? All business want to grow; can your service partner support you at all stages of growth?
#7 – If something does go wrong, how easy is it to access the right solution? The need for support can be very variable, but when a mid-market businesses needs support, they don’t want to learn a new interface to access it. Does the service partner offer a full range of ways to access support 24×7 and enable you to use the collaboration venue that is most efficient to your IT team?
#8 – When ready, can the vendor help my company take advantage of cloud offerings? Not all service partners are created equally, choosing one with cloud experience can help ease the transition to cloud for the parts of your IT infrastructure that make sense.
The expanding economy and advancing technology have created unimaginable opportunities, but with that comes considerable risk. Customised support from a valued Telecoms provider can help simplify the path to deployment, empower employees and enhance your competitive edge. How SMBs companies manage investing in IT now will have profound effects in 2015 and beyond. Service partners can help smooth that revolution.
Are you planning to rely more heavily on service partners to accelerate your adoption of new Telecoms solutions?
What challenges are you seeing at your mid-market company when it comes to growth and IT?
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