While you can always manage networks with internal staff, outsourcing the work comes with significant savings, predictable monthly fees, streamlined management, and access to cutting edge technology and years of experience. As you weigh varying managed network services options, consider the following factors:
1. Service offerings. Your provider should understand your unique needs and work with you to develop a solution that meets them instead of offering a “one size fits all” package. For example, you should be able to select an access speed that is right for your users or remote connections. You also want a provider that has business level hosted voice services with varying equipment and feature options.
2. Capacity for network, voice, and security operations. A managed network services provider should support and actively monitor security, voice, and data services round the clock from multiple network and security operations centers. With a dedicated support infrastructure that has automated fault notification, you're guaranteed to get maximum performance and timely technical assistance. There should be an internet-based interface that displays the status of the network at all times.
3. Flexibility for growth or downsizing. Signing a managed network service contract with a company that can only cover your current network requirements means that you'll be looking for a new provider if you expand your network in the future. Ideally, you want a solution that can accommodate potential growth, including adding more locations and users.
4. Experience and professional certifications. How long has the provider been working in the field? What sort of qualifications do the employees hold? Does the provider participate in a vendor partnership program? Delivering high quality, reputable managed network services necessitates a high level of knowledge and skills.
5. Service level agreements (SLAs). A service level agreement ensures consistent network uptime and timely response and resolution for any issues that do arise. It is best practice to find a provider with a single point of contact that’s on call 24/7 for support and problem resolution. This level of support allows you to leave the office at 5 p.m. with a peace of mind.
UCI provides comprehensive copier, document, and managed services, including managed network services, to companies of all sizes in Amarillo, Lubbock, and Wichita Falls. Contact us to learn more about our managed network services and what we can do for your business.