Friday, 24 February 2017 17:13
Why Fiber? Why Now? Why Not?!
Tech II is a monthly technology contributor to Saratoga TODAY. There are four reasons you should consider fiber for internet and voice at your SMB (small to medium-sized business). First, a quick history lesson on the evolution of human communications (sort of in order). Let’s see- hand signals, verbal, smoke signals, drums, horns, Morse code, telegraph, telephone, radio, internet, email, satellite cellular…who knows what’s next?! Never before in human history has communication been more integral in our day-to-day lives. Walk into your nearest professional office and nearly every employee will have a plethora of communication methods, starting with the phone on their desk and the computer they sit in front of. Perhaps the simplest way to measure the importance of these devices is to see how quickly one’s frustration level rises when either isn’t working. Oh, and let me tell ya, if neither of these are working for anyone in the office, just sit back and watch the fireworks, and understandably so! We use our technology for critical communication with our co-workers, partners, and clients. In today’s business world, when our communications are down, production is usually crippled. Today, many companies have a combination of copper lines for voice communications, and some form of high speed internet. In small companies, often their high speed is over the local televisions company’s coaxial (coax) cable connection. While these solutions weren’t built as true business class circuits, the affordable high-speed they offered outweighed the better reliability of other options. In contracts with providers, coax internet speeds are typically referred to as “up to,” rather than a guaranteed “at” speed, and usually have relatively fast download speeds but much slower upload speeds (asymmetrical). The network is shared, rather than dedicated, and performance will fluctuate throughout the day. Service Level Agreements (SLA’s), the providers’ contractual obligations to keep you up and running, as well as the commitment to address issues when arise, would never suffice in the traditional telecommunications industry. The fact is, high-speed is desperately needed, and the limitations of internet delivered via coax has been acceptable for most companies. More recently, we’ve seen increased instances where this has created major issues with our clients, specifically, when critical services are moved to these circuits. Losing “just internet” is acceptable in most businesses. However if your phone lines go down, or your users can’t get to those servers that were just migrated to the cloud…well that’s a much different conversation. All of a sudden reliability and strong SLA’s become a huge deal. Perhaps the biggest challenge we see is intermittent reliability and issues with broadband delivered via coax I’m here to tell you that just comes with the territory. What if you could have it all- telecommunications services (phone lines) and symmetrical high speed internet all on a reliable network and at aggressive prices? Well, you can, and the service is delivered via fiber, and it’s available right now in many areas here in our region!!! The fact is, coax service can’t match the reliability, speed, or performance of fiber. Here are the four reasons why you should switch your business to fiber. 1.Reliability Fiber service has guaranteed SLA’s that will ensure your critical business communications will be online when you need them. Unlike cable, if a problem does occur, you can rest assured that 24/7/365, the circuits are being monitored and serviced to perform as promised within the provider’s contract. 2. Affordability While the price has come down, fiber as a stand-alone service for internet is generally more expensive than cable internet. However when you closely evaluate all the (carrier) services your business requires, often you can get the fiber services at the same or even less. 3. Simplicity One of the reasons businesses don’t move forward with fiber is that they have a hard time understanding what they currently have, what they may need moving forward, or who even offers any of the services. The good news is that Tech II offers a no-charge service where we evaluate what you currently have in place, and present the different options available to you. We are partnered with most of the major carrier services providers in the region. They pay us to help you, and you will pay the same or less than if you had the ability to figure it all out in-house. We are well-positioned to help you after the move as well, as we’ll become an extension of your staff. We can call the provider and speak on your behalf, saving you from having to spend hours or days dealing with the carrier in the event of a service issue. We even coordinate the installation of the new services! 4. Cost to Physically Transition Another reason businesses hold off on moving their services is the cost to have their IT and Telephone service company transition their computers and telephones over to the new services. Well, I’ve got some more good news- we offer discounted service rates for companies who utilize Tech II for Carrier Services, and for a limited time, we’re offering free technical services to those who transition to fiber. Please contact us for details. Tech II’s CEO, Dan Bardin, recounts a recent situation where fiber made all the difference (luckily for him!) “This past year we had a substantial client come on board with our hosted services. Before we give the green light on such an install, we complete testing to ensure the bandwidth is up to speed and will be able to handle the traffic. If the speed’s no good, regardless of how great we do in the data center, and the cloud, the experience will be poor. The result is an unsatisfied customer that is unhappy with our service when in reality, the problem lies with their internet connectivity.” He goes on to say, “Well, the tests went fine, but soon after, there were intermittent drops on the virtual desktops, and the client was frustrated. Even with all the tools at our technicians’ disposal, they couldn’t say with certainty that it was a connection issue. The client wanted proof before investing in the upgrade to their carrier services. We couldn’t give it to them.” Dan eventually made them an offer they couldn’t refuse (I’m guessing it was presented in his best Don Corleone voice, although more likely, it was delivered by email). “Finally, I said that if the upgrade doesn’t fix the issue, I’ll pay for the cost of the bandwidth increase myself!” That’s how he rolls!! Well, sure enough, we had the fix. Fiber was the answer, and nobody had to sleep with the fishes! For more information on our Carrier Services, including the many benefits of partnering with us for your phone and internet needs, please visit the Business Solutions section of our website, www.tech-ii.com, or give us a call at 518-587-1565.