The most basic step you can take is one that might come as a surprise. It works for any technical requirement, can be accomplished in a matter of minutes, and won’t cost you a thing. Guess what it is yet?
The simplest solution is sometimes the most effective. Get a fresh set of competitive quotes. Honestly, if you haven’t been in the market for telephone line or data bandwidth prices lately, the numbers you have in mind are almost certainly obsolete. Things are changing that fast.
So how can you do this in minutes when last time it took a week to find 3 to 6 providers, discuss your needs with each of them, and then wait and wait for formal quotes? Put the power of automation to work. There’s an online application for this and it’s called GeoQuote by Telarus. This is an automated pricing engine that connects with dozens of service providers and aggregates their price quotes. For wireline services like T1 lines, ISDN PRI telephone, DS3 and even Ethernet connections to 1 Gbps, the process runs automatically and gives you budgetary pricing on your computer screen in a minute or so. Other services, like SONET fiber optic lines or MPLS networks need some human intervention, so you’ll probably wait a few hours to a day or so for these quotes.
Now that you have service pricing, you can start working tradeoffs. For instance, if you’ve got the newer Ethernet over Copper available for your business location or locations, you’ll likely find that you can get twice the bandwidth of a T1 line for the same price. Or replace a bonded T1 solution with 3x3 Mbps EoC and cut your monthly line cost in half.
You’ll find the same it true for higher bandwidth services, such as DS3 or OC-3 fiber. Ethernet likely comes-in much cheaper for the same line speed and service level agreement.
How about telephone? There’s a fairly simple tradeoff between multiple analog phone lines and a digital trunk like IDSN PRI. Anywhere between 6 and 12 lines is the tipping point to move to a trunking solution. Did you know that there’s another good choice if you are using 6 outside lines or less? It’s SIP Trunking. With a SIP Trunk, your provider gives you both telephone lines and broadband Internet service over the same trunk. This isn’t like the issues you see with broadband phone because the telephone and Internet packets are kept from interfering. The way it works is that voice packets have priority at all times. Any bandwidth not needed for phone calls is automatically reassigned to the broadband pool.
Multiple business locations present their own challenges. Many companies start hooking up private lines from headquarters to satellite offices only to find after a few years that they have a slew of lines and an enormous bandwidth bill. Now would be a good time to re-evaluate. A MPLS network can likely replace that rat’s nest of dedicated point to point lines for a lot less cost, while protecting your security and providing new options like mesh any-to-any networking.
Here are two critical point to remember. In the last few years, prices have gone down and options have gone up. Both of those work in your favor. Why not let them? Get new bandwidth options and pricing quotes now.