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One-stop shop or one-stop disaster

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Organisations increasingly rely on a wide variety of service providers to support an array of technology-related functions. The promise of a single service provider offering fibre, data and PBX services with a single invoice and centralised customer support, and where everything works seamlessly, is sometimes a dream rather than the reality.
This is according to Euphoria Telecom CEO George Golding, who says that, with various departments tending to different products, these single service suppliers often fail to provide superior quality voice products.
Golding says the idea is right but the reality of being able to be experts in multiple disciplines is not. “The norm is to choose a forerunner product that offers the most value and then bundle it with additional services that the customer requires at good value or for free.
“The problem is these value added services are often the cheapest or free versions as they do not want to accumulate costs around their value added services, this is the same for supporting the product,” he warns.
Providing broadband fibre and supporting it is not a complex service, the service provider installs the fibre network, sets the speed and the service is up and running. One cannot compare this to delivering a comprehensive PBX solution that handles calls, provides management reports and detailed billing analysis.
“For a business to increase their efficiencies and service is a whole different ball game and certainly not an afterthought. The same goes for CRM and payroll systems, these are complex platforms that need knowledgeable support staff, ideally the same company that built the actual product,” he explains.
Golding says opting for an open source platform for a commercial venture, without expert skills dedicated to devote to their open source infrastructure and system, ends up in disaster every time.
“Once companies have lost enough money through the effort and time to get the open or free systems running, they nearly always opt for a well-priced commercially managed solution with a solid reputation. By this time they normally realise it is a very small price to pay and wish they had opted for it in the first place,” he says.
Outsourcing to multiple service providers provides companies with a variety of benefits including access to expert technology skills, lower costs, and increased productivity.
“You don’t want to spend time on your IT systems while you would rather spend valuable time building your business. Phoning for support for each service is a reality, whether it’s from one or five different service providers, doesn’t really matter. What does matter is whether each service provider is focused and whether they are experts in their specific discipline,” he concludes.