How to Select the Right Communications Vendor
“The five essential entrepreneurial skills for success are concentration, discrimination, organization, innovation and communication.” - Michael Faraday
“Communication – the human connection – is the key to personal and career success.” - Paul J. Meyer When choosing a communications vendor, there are four key criteria you should consider.
Security is and should always remain a key consideration for businesses of any size. Yet, it often takes a backseat to cost when evaluating a communications solution.
As a business, you need to ensure that any communications provider you choose is handling your business communications securely and protects your data both at rest and in transit. This means stored information, including history, recordings and other metadata need to be protected by your vendor. Calls and meetings in progress should be encrypted to keep data safe.
Vendors that follow lax security practices both internally and in solution development put your business’ communications at risk, particularly when they fail to be transparent about those practices. Vendors who implement weak security protocols when encrypting communications traffic or comply with government agency requests to compromise security (commonly known as a backdoor) should simply not be considered at all if you prioritize data security
Usability is key to adopting any new technology. Gone are the days when users would tolerate a trade-off between sophistication and ease of use. Today’s solutions have to be both sophisticated and simple and intuitive to use.
This is especially true for communications solutions, where providing a consistent experience across different modes of communication increases productivity and encourages better team collaboration, allowing work to get done.
Now, more than ever before, a simple and intuitive user experience must be key to any decision made in the adoption of a communications solution.
Hand-in-hand with simplicity is the sophistication of the overall communications solution. A key part of any vendor selection process is evaluating the features they offer as well as how robust and innovative their roadmap is.
In conjunction with a comprehensive communications solution should come a very rich feature set associated with each channel. For example, video meetings must come with abilities to manage participants and share content. Calling must include the ability to automate call processing and provide speech analysis.
It is impossible to stress enough how critical communications are to your business. Unreliable communications or communications outages have a direct financial impact on your business through lost customers.
A critical part of offering a reliable communications solution is supporting a highly available and reliable infrastructure that supports the highest quality communications with consistent uptime, and that isn’t always the cheapest.
As a business, you don’t want to be worrying about quality and availability issues, so you want a vendor that not only takes care of that for you but also guarantees it with financial penalties if they do not fulfill their obligations. That means not only being reactive when issues can arise but being proactive in anticipating and resolving potential issues before they impact their customers.
For a more in-depth discussion on these four evaluation criteria and a look at how 8x8 takes on these issues, click here to check out Chapter 2 of our 8-part on how to Enable True Collaboration without Compromise.