The rules of engagement for small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) are changing. Speed, flexibility, responsiveness, personal service—the traditional hallmarks of small and midsize business success—can no longer be taken for granted. Your customers are a click away. And so are your competitors, especially large, global companies who are making smart use of technology to become more responsive and customer-driven.
To remain competitive, small and midsize companies need to evolve their technology strategies and infrastructures to meet these new challenges. The stakes are high: the investments you make today absorb scarce resources and will set you on a path that will impact your business for years to come.
How can you be sure that you are investing in the right solution? Obviously there are no guarantees, but your best insurance against making a costly mistake is to choose a vendor that is truly focused on the small and midsize market and isn’t just trying to fill the sales funnel with a lot of smaller clients. Look for vendors with these characteristics:
- Right-sized for SMEs: Small and midsize businesses are constantly adapting to rapid shifts in the market. The right technology for your business is one that is designed to adapt to the way you work, with plenty of capacity and a wide range of software options. Be wary of underpowered consumer solutions or systems that were designed for larger enterprises but now have been “dumb downed” for the needs of small and midsize companies.
- SME leadership: What is the company’s track record in meeting the expectations of the SME market? Is it a market leader or an also ran? Has the company innovated when it comes to SME solutions or are its real breakthroughs reserved for the better paying, larger clients?
- Cost control and investment protection: Look beyond the initial acquisition cost. Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is as important, if not more important to SMEs, than the initial outlay. How does the offering stack up in terms of ongoing operating costs, administration or upgrades?
Embracing new technology shouldn’t necessarily mean getting rid of older solutions, particularly if you are staying with the same vendor.
- Reliability and energy efficiency: Every vendor will tout claims for reliability and consistent performance. It’s important to vet these pronouncements either with existing clients or independent analysts. Also, look carefully at the investment you will still need to make in backup capabilities. Does the solution have proactive diagnostic capabilities that will make your job easier? Are there alternatives to acquiring redundant hardware? Finally, how does the solution stack up in energy consumption? Is it really green?
Who is STL Communications? STL Communications sells, installs, and maintains all Avaya, and legacy (Lucent, AT&T, and Nortel) equipment. We have a staff of certified, highly decorated technicians, a consultative focused sales force, and the best design engineers in the industry. We are Avaya SME Experts and are rated “Best In Class” and “World Class” for our fast response times and dedication to our customers. STL Communications can help your small or midsize company discover and plan for the most efficient solution, driving more revenue, and providing better customer service. . Give us a call or send an email, we are happy to help. At STL Communications, we beleive that communication changes everything.