There’s a lot to consider when it comes time to take stock of network capabilities in the business environment — almost too much. Sure, taking stock of where your network pitfalls currently are and what your business is hoping to achieve can help you guide your digital transformation strategy. Sometimes, however, all you’re looking for is a list of the most valuable considerations you can make to ensure you’re getting the best service across the strongest network.
If that sounds like you, then you’ve come to the right place. Here are Horizon’s top 4 tips for optimizing your network, from foundational adjustments to ongoing improvements and beyond.
1. First Comes Fiber
Fiber optics are a solution that nearly everyone has heard of — but there’s a good reason why this term is well-worn in discussions about digital transformations. That’s because fiber creates the most solid foundations for business success in a digital era.
Fiber optics transmit data in the form of light over thin glass strands. When hundreds of these strands are put together and wrapped in a protective layer, you get a fiber optic cable. When we consider how older models of networking transmit data over a coaxial cable with electricity and copper, we can see why fiber is key to getting the best networking. Fiber can’t be taken down by electrical interference, and it’s a lot more protected against weather-related outages, making it far more reliable for the always-on needs of the day.
Not to mention, fiber is also faster and delivers its data with a higher degree of quality, making it just the ticket for any business that’s looking to boost productivity, enrich customers’ experiences or empower more advanced apps and systems.
2. DIA: It’s Time to Think… Smaller?
No business is exempt from the pressures to deliver more… and on shorter timelines, with more security, with fewer interruptions and with greater quality than ever before. That’s a tall order — but not an impossible one if you have the right tools on hand.
Currently, there’s a misconception that mission-critical network solutions like Direct Internet Access (DIA) are only for large enterprises. This is mainly because this kind of personalized solution can sometimes be cost prohibitive — but no business should have to leave the benefits of security, reliability and control on the table. In truth, shared bandwidth can be a major drag on operations due to the simple fact that other organizations are leveraging your network connections. This puts a damper on speeds, reduces your available bandwidth, and creates bottlenecks, lag and weak performance. None of these are acceptable when customers are looking for the greatest experiences to date from the businesses they patronize.
The good news is that any business can take advantage of DIA these days with a partner that helps keep it cost-sensitive without compromising on service effectiveness. At Horizon, we deliver a robust array of access options — and our custom solutions can be built to individual needs with flexible billing featuring flat and aggregate options. Next time you’re looking to boost your IT and give your company a leg up, look no further than DIA.
3. Sometimes, the Devil is in the Lack of Details
Maybe you already have a backbone of fiber optics, and maybe you’re already leveraging DIA across your system — that’s perfect. However, for an all-encompassing, holistic level of innovation (read: a truly optimized network) there are services that are key to helping your business become the most dynamic and capable version it can be. The network alone makes a big difference, but the right additional services and applications can also unlock a whole other level of capability.
Sometimes, true optimization comes from including the right service add-ons on top of a strong core network. Let’s consider making cloud-based services part of the mix — like with a hosted voice option. Robust communication capabilities are vital for ensuring a well-functioning business and satisfied customers. Yet, communications are having to stretch across new and evolving business footprints that span from the home to the office and beyond, rather than just the stand-alone office building of the past. When the cloud layer is added on top of a powerful network, businesses find new and highly valuable levels of mobility and future-proofed innovation.
Cloud-based hosted voice services, like Horizon’s Voice Connect, reduce capital expenditures and avert traditional limitations that outdated phone systems bring to the table. These older phone services need new hardware to update, but with cloud-based voice, those processes are replaced by streamlined software-based upgrades and feature-rich options.
Of course, network services only make a great difference if they’re selected with your business goals in mind — but there are plenty out there to consider that can amplify any business’s success no matter what their ultimate goal is. (The right network partner will provide them all, too.)
4. Remember: The Journey is Just as Important as the Destination
However, when it comes to adjusting or reinventing your network, businesses should never underestimate the power of a home field advantage. That means looking for local service from a local provider that delivers a team of local experts — it’s what will ensure that your network partner really knows your needs and goals and can go the extra mile for you.
Customer service on a local level is about more than just a neighborly feeling — it really delivers some key advantages over incumbent providers. When the team is close by and knows your area and community well, challenges are overcome with faster times to resolution. That not only means more agility for your business but more reliability as well. That level of reliability is what keeps customers and end users coming back for more, and it’s what helps business teams stay on top of both day-to-day tasks and long-term organizational goals. When your IT is a foundational element of your business, it’s best to trust it to the folks that take your success personally as true members of your community. That’s what we pride ourselves on at Horizon — and we’re always ready to put that customer dedication and service excellence to work for businesses in Ohio and beyond.
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