Welcome to iSymplify’s first ever blog post!  For our first 8 years in business, we have relied on face to face meetings to get the word out about who we are, what we do and the technologies we represent.  We have one to many cups of joe at Starbucks and Panera while evangelizing the latest and greatest in technology!  It’s time to drink our own coffee and put the technology to use!

In our first installment, we will outline what a Business Communications Agency is and why it makes sense to work with a firm that is 100% dedicated to knowing the industry and helping their clients find the best technology plan at the best rates.  In future postings, we will break down one technology per month and give you our honest opinion of the ins/outs we’ve seen in working with the technology and lessons learned during installation and support.

WHAT IS A BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS AGENCY?
So to lead us off, I’ll break down what a Telecom (or Business Communications) Agency is and how it works.  For comparison sake, our agency can be paralleled to an insurance brokerage firm.  iSymplify is authorized to represent 100+ technology providers ranging from Tier 1 carriers to smaller, more niche providers that can offer a more customized solution.

From a tactical level, we utilize our extensive knowledge of all providers and pricing to seek the most effective solution to fit your needs.  At a strategic level, iSymplify drives digital transformation for our client base, designing Converged Networks, Unified Communications, Cloud Compute, Cloud Contact Centers solutions and Security solutions.

A technology agent should provide a technology assessment, design, vendor analysis and selection, contract negotiation, project management and ongoing lifecycle management services. iSymplify’s clients benefit from the turnkey approach and enjoy a consistent experience from the idea stage through customer service.

We have a unique ability to see across multiple vendors, platforms, network architectures and pricing models to help our clients navigate the very best technology, solution and provider to meet their needs. We also ensure competitive pricing and contract terms to meet our clients’ budgets. Lastly, our firm provides project management, and ongoing account management as part of our service, for no additional fee. We find this is a key differentiator to driving our clients overall project success. Our goal is to drive customer satisfaction with the solutions we design.

HOW CAN A BUSINESS AGENT HELP YOUR FIRM?
With first-hand knowledge of carrier partners network, executive teams and escalation procedures, a business agent can provide a much higher level of account support than working with a direct carrier team.  In today’s carrier environment, account teams are spread very thin and often have too many accounts and even a monthly minimum spend to be assigned a local team.  We often receive feedback that support is out of a centralized call center for billing questions, to place orders or to escalate.  A good business agent will have a more centralized, streamlined channel to get answers and will be available to personally take your phone call.  Even on nights and weekends!

In addition to a more personal customer service experience, a business agent has an independent, un-biased viewpoint into what providers can get the job done on time and to meet your requirements.  From years of working with the providers, we have established great working relationships and escalation points to drive project success.  When working with a direct team, you only get the information from that provider and it is always slanted in their favor.

Our clients have found benefit from having the same account team from design to renewal to help provide historical knowledge and documentation that spans years.  This takes much of the guesswork and finger point out of the renewal process.  In addition, a good business agent has a strong understanding of your current technology environment to better introduce or design other solutions that will augment and work nicely in your existing climate.

Lastly, business agents work as an extension of your IT team so we sit on your side of the table.  This helps to drive pricing, contract terms and conditions, and someone to help keep your technology provider performing at expected levels to drive customer satisfaction.

Wouldn’t it be great to have a full time team researching new technologies, working on testing proof of concepts and knowing exactly what provider to go to for your latest project?

WHY iSymplify?
iSymplify has helped many clients achieve their technology goals over the past 8 years.  One example of a recent project has been helping a nationwide retailer to scope, design, and implement a multi-national footprint for SD-WAN service to over 2,000 locations. We worked with one of our carrier partners to source this design with tremendous results. Our client received a converged network solution for less than their MPLS T1 network, increased their bandwidth, provided circuit redundancy and eliminated many of their POTs lines in a single solution with a single provider. This allowed them to also reduce the number of carriers they had to manage and maintain into a single provider, with one simple invoice.

We have also worked with a $350M company to help them completely outsource their IT department.  This allowed them to elevate their current IT staff from dealing with day to day issues/tasks to directing IT strategies and defining business processes.  The current cloud provider is large enough to have a robust network and portfolio of services, but small enough to be nimble and flexible to meet their daily needs.  We provide them with Cloud Compute, Storage, Office 365 licenses, primary and backup WAN/LAN circuits, management, monitoring, Hosted Email, Firewalls, SD-WAN, their phone system and employee helpdesk support.

 iSymplify’s passion is sourcing the best technology and provider to meet our clients’ expectations and driving customer satisfaction.

Make sure to watch out for August’s post that will break down SD-WAN and lessons learned.  Here’s to enjoying the dog days of summer!