Fast, efficient Internet services are essential for Canadian businesses of every size. They support the flow of email and data in and out of the business, and enable employees to download or access many different types of work-related content from documents to video.
Increasingly, small business internet providers like BroadConnect are helping organizations throughout Canada move many essential business services and processes to the cloud or take advantage of advanced phone systems like VoIP and Unified Communications.
Internet connectivity also supports the growing importance of mobile working and the distribution of business services to branch networks. Together, these services are driving new levels of productivity, efficiency and competitive advantage.
That makes a high-quality Internet service essential for the present and future of your business. But, what’s the best type of Internet service and how do you find the best business Internet services provider?
Meeting business needs
Providers offer many different types of Internet connectivity, so it’s important to be clear on your business needs. If you only need connectivity for basic Internet operations like email or downloads, a business-grade ADSL or VDSL should meet your current requirements with a range of fast download speeds and moderate upload speeds. Check that the service is uncontended. A shared service could give you problems if speed drops at peak times.
But when you use the Internet to support critical operations like cloud hosting, data transfer or business VoIP service, speed and reliability are essential. Look for a provider that can offer fiber or TI connections, which offer ultra-fast performance for both uploads and downloads.
The right level of support
An Internet connection must be reliable, whatever the application. Ask about the provider’s service level agreement, which should offer you a high level of uptime, as well as fast response in the event of an outage or other problem. The service provider must provide support during the hours that are important to your business. For critical Internet applications, that may mean 24-hour support by telephone or site visit.
Some business Internet service providers supply equipment as part of their offer. Make sure that the equipment they supply meets your operating and application needs. A basic modem may be sufficient for email and downloads, but, if you are planning to migrate your phone system to VoIP or move applications to the cloud, you need a router that can prioritize different types of traffic. If you have existing routers or modems, a good service provider will check the equipment to ensure it provides the right level of connectivity.
Value for money
When you are comparing service providers, you also need to take fees and contract conditions into consideration. The lowest price may not represent the best value. The monthly fee may include different levels of support, as well as additional services like email accounts and basic web hosting. The fee may also vary by length of contract.
Initial set up or installation charges may be additional to the regular monthly fee. And, some service providers may set a monthly usage cap, with additional charges if you exceed the limit.
The best business Internet service providers don’t just provide you with connectivity, they are partners who can help you take your business performance to new levels.