Telecom Tips: Researching WAN Service Providers

Brand names don’t always deliver desired results. There are too many stories of corporations selecting the big name player and only to find a very underwhelming customer experience.

So where should your research start? Who can you trust?

The Steps:

Establish a Baseline. Take time to brainstorm with your IT staff, C-level Management and your end users. What are your offices lacking in order to achieve their business goals? Where can technology help meet those needs? Once you’ve started a ‘Needs Assessment’ you may be surprised at how many people are willing to help you fill in the gaps. Now, you can establish a baseline and start looking for solutions.

Ask around. Who are your peers using for their services? Are those providers meeting the needs of their customers?
If you can find a ‘friendly’ competitor in your industry you now have someone who has similar business challenges and needs.
Listen carefully and consider what and who they use for their telecommunications needs.

Enlist some third-party research. There are several established players in the  technology-research game. RAM has provided links for you to three top firms: Yankee Group, Gartner and Forrester. These organizations provide subscription-based services. In return, you get access to huge databases of research on business-related technology topics and best practices. These organizations provide a valuable framework for identifying your needs and establishing a game plan for meeting them. Additionally, you may find some information about specific vendors and their capabilities.

Additional Suggestions:

You can also find unique experience and perspective from consultants who play in the WAN arena on a daily basis. A good consultant will know who the top carriers are and which ones can best suit your company’s needs. Even better, find someone who works directly with the sales reps, project managers and installers. It’s not enough to find a good service provider. You must find the good people within those organizations that you want to work with. Separate the good apples from the bad ones!


Establishing your baseline and researching the top players takes time and effort. However, if you take the time to educate yourself and find the vendor that best suits your needs, your chances for success improve dramatically. Do the work and you’ll be rewarded.



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