On a day to day basis, as you run your business, you will deal with lots of different suppliers for all of your requirements. Sometimes managing all of these different providers can become a task in itself. Of course, suppliers are important to you, they provide you with all the resources you need but what if you were to consolidate the number of providers you deal with? How much time would that save you? How much more efficient would you be? Often suppliers are calling us and promoting their services but how do you choose the right provider? 
Telecommunications is a great example of how a service that has so many elements to it can actually be provided by one supplier. Many businesses have their telephone system installed and maintained by one company, their calls and lines with another provider, their connectivity with another and so it goes on! The amount of time people spend being pushed from pillar to post between all of these providers when they are trying to find out information or resolve a technical issue is inefficient and unproductive. You are there to run your business and service your customers, not chase after suppliers all day. 
 
Something to seriously consider is using one provider for all of your telephony requirements. Let me explain why. 
 
Improved Service 
Having all of your telecommunciation products and services with one provider means that they have full control should you experience a technical issue. Because they manage and have access to all of your services they can easily test and diagnose, especially as they do not have to rely on another provider to give them information. This completely streamlines the fault management process and improves your customer experience. 
 
Efficiency 
As I mentioned earlier, if you use several providers this can often lead to you spending time talking to each one. If you experience a technical issue you can find yourself being pushed from pillar to post from one provider to another. The supplier who provides you with your lines or SIP trunks may blame your equipment provider which means you then need to contact your telephone system provider who may suggest that your broadband is at fault which means that you then have to contact your broadband provider. I know that this sounds a bit far-fetched but having worked in the industry over the last 10 years, I see this all of the time. I have seen customers spend days, even weeks, phoning all of the seperate providers trying to resolve an issue and seemingly getting nowhere. Not only have they had to take valuable time out of their business chasing their tail, they still have an unresolved technical issue. By having just one provider, they would only need to make one phone call and the responsibility is swiftly put into the hands of the supplier. 
 
Compatability 
If you have a multi-site operation then it is adviseable to consider one supplier for all of your sites. There needs to be consistency with the equipment and services that they provide across your network which means that your teams can collaborate much more effectively. 
 
Bill Management 
Telephone bills can be complicated at the best of times, trying to understand what you are being billed for, querying what you are being billed for all takes up valuable time. Why have more bills coming in than you need to? By having one telecoms provider you will only get one bill! 
 
As you read this, some of you will be concerned about "having all your eggs in one basket" and of course there is something to be said for that. However, if you choose the right provider then this should never be an issue. A lot of companies will tell you how amazing they are, how their product is the best in town and how they can save you money. That is all wonderful, but you need to be sure that they can actually deliver on all of that. Here are a few tips on how to choose the right supplier. 
 
1. Have they listened to your requirements? 
When you have your initial meeting with the supplier and you have explained what your requirements and pain points are, have they actually listened to you? Your telecoms provider needs to demonstrate that they have understood where you are currently as a business and where you will be moving forward so that they can provide you with a solution that will enhance your business and grow with you. 
 
2. Are they talking your language? 
Telecoms is fraught with acronyms and technical terms. Make sure your provider is taking the time to explain the technology that they are proposing and are explaining the benefits to you. 
 
3. Do they have in-house expertise? 
If you are going to put all of your services with one provider you need to be confident that they can support all of your services. Find out if they have a direct number to their helpdesk which is manned by knowedgeable engineers. You also need to know that they have their own Field Engineers that they can easily schedule to attend your site. 
 
4. Can they offer reference sites? 
There is nothing more powerful than being able to speak to customers who are already using the provider - ask for reference sites. A credible company providing great products and services will happily provide you with these details. 
 
So, as you can see, there are definitely benefits to having one provider, improved efficiency, improved billing, compatability etc but this only works by choosing the right provider. Take time to research the companies that you may do business with, can they offer and support all of the services that you require. At DCS Voice & Vision we provide everything under the telecoms umbrella to our customers, let us demonstrate how one provider can enhance your business. 
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