In the second part of the Team One Solutions webinar How to Calculate Bandwidth Needs, we review what to look for on your contracts with your voice and data providers and how to assess your technology policies. Now back to the webinar.
Paul Svec: All right. Understanding your current contracts with carriers. Once again, this should be pretty straightforward. In a file drawer somewhere is a contract from your voice carrier and your data carrier. You do need to know what the end date is, the termination date. You also need to understand what, if any, termination charges you might incur if you choose to switch carriers at any point in time.
Important note here, many carriers, not all, but many carriers have an automatic renewal clause in their contracts. As an example, if you signed up for a three year contract on a voice PRI, you may assume that at the end of the third year, you’re free to go, good to go, you can switch carriers. Take a look for that clause that may say that you needed to notify the carrier in writing 30, 60, 90 days before the end the term, or your contract gets automatically renewed. It’s kind of a “gotcha” and it’s something you should be aware of, especially if you’re planning on increasing or changing your carriers or your bandwidth needs.
Jeff Bell: Just really quick on that. I think a good tip on that, to help people work through that, is put it in your calendar, in your Outlook calendar, in your Google calendar whatever that may be. Is that prior, and I would say at least probably six months prior to the termination of your contract, you want to get engaged and start looking at different solutions, and making sure that if you are going to switch out, you’ve got enough time to make the switch because T1 lines etc. have anywhere from a 30 to 60 day window to get implemented. If you are going to be changing carriers, you want to make sure you’ve got that well in front of your expiration date.
Paul: Good point, Jeff there. There’s your project management background coming to the fore.
All right. So the next step, assessing your technology policies. We’re assuming of course, everybody has very specific technology policies in their organization, and they’ve been socialized up, down, and sideways, or maybe not.
Voice and data, different policies. Most everybody has some sort of automatic voice policies. You might, as an example, not allow long-distance calls from a lobby phone or a kitchen phone, or you may have something very sophisticated for levels of service and access to different parts of the country, or international calling built into your policies and your system as well.
Data policy is becoming more and more important and what we talk about there are how much bandwidth to allow which users and which devices, databases, etc. are you allowing employees to have access to? Those policies need to be specific. They need to be enforced. They need to be socialized.
One of the things that we, in the last couple of years, have found it very easy to do is to provide usage controls for data access, specifically wireless access. With the proliferation of wireless laptops, smart phones, tablet devices, usage controls become very, very much more important than they were in the past. You might want to give, as an example, a different amount of access and amount of bandwidth for staff versus guests and you might want to allow guests to have straight internet access only keeping them firewalled, if you will, from any company databases.
Depending on what kind of organization you’re in, some of these policies are going to be mandatory. Others are going to be simply good business sense, best practices, if you will. If you’re in healthcare, if you’re in finance, if you’re in education, there are several requirements, federal, local, state-wide, that you’re required to do to provide the appropriate level of security and privacy to your clients, to your students, to your customers, if you will. However, that doesn’t mean that every organization, in fact, shouldn’t have specific technology policies that will protect their intellectual property A, and B, to make sure that the bandwidth that they’re providing their users is used appropriately.
That’s part 2 of the How to Calculate Your Bandwidth Needs webinar from Team One Solutions. We talked about the contracts that carriers use and what you need to look for. To review in part 1 of How to Calculate your Bandwidth Needs, In part 3, we’re going to dive deep in to the world of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), the cloud, and what it means to your business.