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Why having a single supplier can help you negotiate better business deals.

The telecommunications and IT services market is an extremely competitive place. So, theoretically using several different providers, rather than a single firm, should allow you to get the best deals on the market. However, in reality, there are several benefits to having a single vendor look after both your landline and mobile solutions.

Cost

The more you spend with a single supplier, the more important a customer you are to them. This means you are more likely to be able to negotiate better deals for a combined package, and be offered preferential rates on a range of products and services.

Obviously you should still compare the price of purchasing the products and services separately and as a bundle, because some providers may be more competitive in this area than others.

Convenience

Securing several telecommunications services with a single provider has its practical benefits, particularly when it comes to matters like management and billing. Many suppliers now have online account management portals enabling you to monitor and control your spending on particular services, and to increase and re-allocate resources depending on staff number. This is made much simpler by having a single portal or single point of contact.

Support

An aspect of service convenience which should not be overlooked is support. Business communications are often critical to the day-to-day operation of most organisations, so any issues will need to be addressed as swiftly as possible to avoid repercussions.

If your telecoms services are being handled by multiple providers, when problems do arise you could find yourself suffering from differing methods and levels of support which could delay resolution of the problem.

Using a single supplier makes troubleshooting much simpler for internet-enabled products and services, such as VoIP (Voice over internet protocol) or WiFi systems, as multiple providers must identify who the fault lies with before it can be rectified.

Compatibility

Many businesses choose different suppliers to serve different sites, however this comes with the risk that you will encounter issues with compatibility further down the line. If your systems and software are fragmented, cohesion is hard to achieve and this could compromise productivity, making it harder for colleagues to collaborate with one another.

The growth in BYOD (bring-your-own-device) and use of cloud services will alleviate some issues with compatibility, however, for complete satisfaction and fluidity it is advisable to make one trusted provider solely responsible for all the threads of your telecommunications tapestry.

Service Options

If your firm needs a relatively sophisticated unified communications solution, for example, with multiple ISDN lines, video conferencing capabilities and superfast internet, then a single supplier should be able to provide compatible products and services, priced as a bundle to save you money.

In addition, the best bundles should also be flexible and capable of evolving over time so that you are not stuck with the same set-up indefinitely. Instead, you should be able to add more elements as and when it is necessary, at a pace that suits your organisation. If you want to start with a bundle that includes basic landline and mobile and later add in VoIP or a full unified communications suite, then this should be much simpler with a single supplier – though this depends on the provider you choose and the products and services that they are capable of offering.

And finally…

While a provider will have certain responsibilities, your business is also required to appreciate the ins and outs of any package so that total satisfaction can be achieved.

Engaging with a provider before you commit to a bundle will help you to assess the competence of the supplier, giving you confidence in their abilities and processes. It will also give you an opportunity to evaluate the appropriateness of the proposed services, as well as giving the supplier a better position from which to advise you further.

Businesses should take the time to arm themselves with the information which will allow them to make the right decision that will be beneficial in the long term. Essentially, a little bit of legwork at the beginning of a relationship, goes a long way in delivering long-term success.

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About Andrew Frost

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