Let’s be honest. There are a lot of cloud communications providers. So when it comes to selecting one as a partner, you’re no longer just relying on good service for yourself, but for your clients as well. Which means you need to be asking the right questions to make sure you’re getting the best of all the options.
With the telecoms industry the way it is, even the savviest of IT professionals can get bogged down in the details of each supplier to the point where it becomes difficult to distinguish the good from the bad. So what questions should you arm yourself with when looking for the ideal communications partner?
1: What kind of services do you offer?
If all you need is SMS services or PSTN access in limited markets, then your pool of available partners is fairly large. But, if you want SMS and virtual toll-free numbers in emerging markets, your choice of providers is more likely to be limited, and you are likely to benefit from partnering with a single Communications as a Service (CaaS) partner who can meet your global needs, versus using different vendors within individual markets.
Evaluate not just what the provider offers today, but their roadmap for the future.
2: What is your policy on regulatory compliance?
Providers who can support regulations like emergency services call routing will have an advantage over those who do not natively provide such capabilities and must instead work to integrate a variety of partners to deliver a broad service offering.
3: How reliable are you?
Providers should be able to deliver highly reliable services, across their entire operating areas, with rapid failover times. They should deliver monitoring and reporting capabilities that allow customers to see exactly how services are performing, both in real-time and historically.
4: What kind of quality and performance can you guarantee?
Providers with large numbers of interconnects to top-tier carriers around the world are better able to provide high quality, reliable services than those with limited interconnection points and Points of Presence (PoPs). They will reduce the number of hops that calls must take transverse networks, as well as potential delays from transcoding between networks.
Remember to ask about their experience at this point. Providers with a long track record of providing globally available services have an advantage of startups or those with minimal service reach. Newer providers may not yet have infrastructure and support operations in place to scale to meet the needs of global enterprises.
5: What support can you offer us?
Providers will often differentiate themselves on factors like mean time to repair, scope and availability of support (e.g. 7x24x365 versus business hours only), as well as customer ratings such as net promoter score (a measure of the likelihood that a customer is willing to recommend a service).
Remember that cloud communications shouldn’t be complicated, and a good provider and partner should be able to give you a clear idea of how they’re going to help your clients by creating an ideal offering based on your business.