A couple of great accolades have been presented to Colt these past few weeks. The first of the high points we reached was our recent award win for Best Pan-European Wholesale Carrier 2013.
Not only were we recognised in Amsterdam for our outstanding contribution to customer carrier Ethernet, but we have also been acknowledged by the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) for the ninth year running for our Ethernet business as a whole. This is notable as it acknowledges both our outstanding services provided to other businesses across our footprint, and gives us yet another proof point to be the access provider of choice to businesses, both large and small, in Europe.
And why is providing a robust Ethernet service so critical?
Well, it draws on several features, important to any business:
1. When an IT manager evaluates an outsourcing provider, they do so based on the significance each element’s core services – such as Ethernet – play in the overall service delivery.
For example, how important is the service provider’s depth of presence for each new geography you introduce services in; is it only about lowest price? Do you require guaranteed performance for a specific application, or is average performance good enough? The service is right but how important is it that a specific branch office has the service up and running in 15 or 90 days? These are all important considerations when considering an outsourced provider.
2. Some organisations are planning for growth, and some are consolidating operations into new locations that can better serve their markets.
The capability to quickly and cost efficiently connect a new branch is as important as being able to turn up a location’s bandwidth for short periods in 24 hours or less. In order to become more responsive to business needs, IT managers are now shopping for services that give them greater operational control, including proactive notification of faults and visibility of performance monitoring. They also often need to dial up or dial down the provision of that service based on their workforce’s diverse needs.
In our experiences delivering Colt Ceano services we see both SMEs that want to do it themselves, or outsource for a full à la carte experience. Both approaches are valid but if you are providing a service as critical as Ethernet here are a couple of things to keep mind when you are sourcing a new provider:
• Look for a provider that can offer a robust end-to-end Ethernet service and has the track record to deliver it;
• Relate the portfolio to what your business/ customer needs;
• Evaluate the size and coverage of the network – does it operate in the territories you require?
• Look at the lead times, and consider what SLAs you need (we covered service level agreements for SMEs in an early Engage blog here in case you’re curious)
• Don’t neglect the service components, as they will affect how easy it’ll be to order changes or adjust reporting of your service later
We’d be interested to hear what your experience has been of your Ethernet service provider relationship, and what you think a provider should implicitly offer you deciding to outsource.
Do you think the strategy for delivering WAN or Ethernet services for small businesses is changing?
Feel free to sound off in the comments or tweet us @ColtCeano.