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Mark Lepak

By: Mark Lepak on January 15th, 2019

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What To Look For In A Network Services Company

Wireless | Networking

Maybe your in-house IT staff is overworked, or perhaps you simply don’t have the expertise necessary to build a robust network infrastructure. Whatever the reason may be, a growing number of businesses have chosen to outsource much of the heavy lifting to a network services company.

Although there are many network services providers out there, not all of them are the right fit for your business. However, just because you’re not an IT company doesn’t mean that you aren’t able to evaluate potential IT partners. Below, we’ll discuss the six most important traits that you should look for in a network services company.

1. They Act as a True Strategic Partner

The operative word here is “partner.” You should be searching for a company that’s willing to consistently work together with your business in order to achieve the best results.

For the most effective collaboration, both you and your network services partner need to be on the same page in terms of communication and expectations. Being upfront and honest about your needs and assumptions is crucial. Double-check your service level agreements (SLAs) before you begin the partnership, to make sure that they fit your objectives and can change if necessary.

2. They Provide Visibility Into Their Processes

Your choice of network services company should offer visibility and full transparency into their processes.

Look for a partner that will give you access to the same information that they use on a day-to-day basis to keep your network up and running. In addition, whenever your partner runs into a problem, you should sit down together and discuss the next steps together.

Your needs in terms of visibility and support may differ, depending on the type of business that you run. For example, if you’re a multinational firm with offices in different countries, you’ll likely require service and attention around the clock. Meanwhile, smaller companies may not even care if they experience downtime overnight.

3. They’re Experts with Experience

Your choice of partner should have a strong track record and be experts in your particular industry. It’s good to have a partner with experience in many different verticals, not just one particular IT environment. Although you may know your own environment very well, it’s good to have a partner with fresh ideas and ways to troubleshoot when something goes wrong.

The type of expertise and experience that you’re looking for will also depend on your own situation. If you’re a larger company, you likely already have some in-house expertise. In this case, you may only need to outsource a particular business function or focus.

4. They Offer Complete Products and Services

When it comes to third-party IT partners, less is usually more. Having fewer partners is not only less complicated, it can often save you money by taking advantage of different promotions and combinations.

As such, your choice of network services company should be a “one-stop shop” for all of the networking products and services that you require. Before signing a contract, ask yourself whether the company can offer services that will complement each other. Do they only work with pre-built solutions, or can they provide a solution that’s custom-built for your business?

5. They Take the Time to Educate Clients

Before signing a contract, look for signs that potential partners keep their clients educated and informed. Resources such as blog posts and case studies can be tremendously helpful when making the final decision.

Client education can take many different forms. Often, clients are used to a more “legacy” way of doing things and need to understand why a technology update or refresh is required. Your choice of partner should be patient and helpful throughout this process, showing you the best practices in order to become more streamlined and efficient.

From the beginning of the project all the way to its completion, your network services partner should be willing to sit down and have a discussion about future directions, as well as the progress so far. Focus on your end goals: the business use cases that are motivating you to pursue the project. Diagramming and sketching out processes can help you identify gaps in your current systems and visualize ways in which you can improve.

6. They Focus On Client Success

Every client is unique, and you should opt for a network services partner who understands that fact. Your partner should never make you feel like your company is just another number or another opportunity to generate profits.

Ultimately, remember that the goal of any network services relationship should be to help your company succeed. If the project or relationship is successful, then everyone wins: you get the services and solutions that you require, and your partner gets to enjoy your continued business.

Conclusion

Evaluating potential technology partners is a difficult yet crucial process. Don’t let yourself get sucked in by flashy promises and fly-by-night operations. Instead, prioritize network services partners who are there for the long term and who provide a variety of different solutions. To learn more about finding the right network services company for your needs, get in touch with us for a no-cost consultation.

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About Mark Lepak

In his role as a Senior Network Engineer, Mark sees first hand the difference that paying attention to the details can make. Whether addressing networking issues, recommending new technology, or installing upgrades to the current environment, he first looks at technology’s role in his client’s business and the potential impact of any change.