If you asked around your office whether people would prefer to work without lights or without internet, they’d probably choose the glow of their screens. For modern, connected organisations, little can be worse than interrupted connectivity. So why do organisations accept slow speeds and service interruptions?
There’s a kind of resignation among many organisations that this is the best they can get. Articles about NBN challenges and big-name service outages hit the mainstream media regularly, so the population is trained to have low expectations when it comes to connectivity, and this belief flows into the organisation sphere.
Single Connectivity Provider Woes
Most organisations, after a quick price comparison, opt for a single ISP or provider. Each provider has its strengths, whether it be the big guns like Telstra and Optus or the smaller like TPG and iiNet. Unless you’re in a very remote location, the differences are largely related to how the options are marketed – cheaper prices, different price/volume breaks, service agreements.
The problem is, though, no single provider can offer uninterrupted service. A quick Google search will show you dozens of pages detailing current service outages among the main contenders. Social media was abuzz with complaints recently when Telstra service was unavailable one evening in Melbourne, Launceston, Perth, Sydney and Brisbane. It would be unfair to single out only Telstra, though – it could just have easily been Optus, TPG, or any other provider. The complexity of providing connectivity on a grand scale means that problems will happen from time to time and this is a risk if you are choosing the services of a single provider.
Ending Single ISP Reliance: The Aggregation Model
The problem is not so much the different connectivity services themselves, but more the dependence on a single provider. Each endeavours to prevent downtime, but it is sometimes unavoidable. For a home user, this is an irritation, but for a organisation it costs in both revenue and customers. That is why, instead of recommending a single provider, we work with an aggregation model.
An aggregation model is vendor-neutral, and finds the best connectivity fit for each organisation, according to location, performance, and any other connectivity requirements. It leverages the infrastructure of multiple ISPs, meaning that, unlike single ISP solutions, real redundancy can be built in. If one ISP hits problems, service switches to another without your connectivity grinding to a halt. Datacentre services and hosting services are options within the same vendor-neutral territory, which makes a lot of sense where uptime is key.
In an uncertain world where technology changes at a giddy pace, the flexibility of the aggregate model is also a secret weapon. It allows for adoption of better, faster and more reliable services as new technologies arise, rather than settling for second-best while waiting out an ill-fitting contract. In disrupted markets, survival can be the realm of the fastest and most agile, those ready for anything.
Another key benefit of the aggregation model is an organisations ability to deal with a service delivery manager to handle any problems or outages that may occur, and that service delivery manager doing all of the running around and dealing with ISPs for you, on your behalf. So rather than deal with a voice automated system, log a ticket and hope that someone calls you back and fixes the issue you are experiencing (as you would when dealing with Telstra, Optus or any of the larger providers), you can contact your service delivery manager, who leverages the partnerships in place with these ISPs to get your issues resolved.
Doing the ISP Math
It is easy to be lured by the expensive marketing programs and low price introductory offers, but it is worth stepping back and calculating a long-term cost to your organisation that factors in downtime, because it is not a matter of if, it is a matter of when it will occur. That cost, of course, varies according to your organisation. System failures last year at British Airways cost $68 million in reimbursing customers, with parent company IAG taking a 2.8% drop in share value. Although the numbers at a small organisation will be less spectacular, the loss of one good sales opportunity hurts.
Being connected to our customers, suppliers and colleagues underpins almost every transaction, from voice calls and emails to e-commerce. Locking in to a cheap, single provider deal starts to look remarkably costly when you factor in the increased risk of organisation interruption.
Free Organisation Connectivity Assessment
Time to put your organisation connectivity to the test? Our friendly Somerville specialists will guide you through a free organisation connectivity assessment to determine whether there is a better combination for your unique organisational needs.