The benefits of hosted and managed network services have made the service necessary to remain competitive at the enterprise level. Here are the top six benefits.
When VoIP became more widely adopted by businesses several years ago, the initial focus was almost exclusively on the benefits to corporate phone systems. As VoIP capabilities have been expanded and further developed, the reach of their benefits has grown as well. In recent times, many enterprises have extended their VoIP installations to include unified communications, VoIP-based conferencing, and now cloud-hosted network services. Moreover, customers, vendors, and other market-related factors have created an increased demand surrounding managed network services for faster access, longer availability, better reliability, and enhanced security, service, and support. The solution to meet these demands: managed network services – helping enterprises to stay competitive in today’s volatile economy.
Enterprise Now Seeking Benefits of Hosted/Managed Network Services
Modern enterprises seek a network infrastructure solution that intelligently combines voice and data networks beyond traditional VoIP offerings, in order to maximize the performance of their converged enterprise network. And companies today expect this optimized network to extend to its employees in a way that maximizes their productivity across a managed VoIP network. According to a recent CompTIA survey – Fourth Annual Trends in Managed Services Study – over 2/3 of companies surveyed are turning to managed IT services to improve their IT operations.
1. Control Operating Costs of Entire IT Network
First off, implementing managed network services will reduce operational, maintenance, service, hardware, software, and infrastructure costs. A recent CompTIA poll of 400 IT and business professionals found that 46% of organizations that use managed service providers for some or all of their IT needs say that they have reduced their annual IT budgets by at least 25% as a result of adopting managed services.
Moreover, these costs become better controlled and more predictable when they take the form of a fixed cost expense. Furthermore, upgrade costs are lowered since they are taken care of by the managed network services company. This arrangement also reduces the cost of ongoing maintenance labor. Additionally, requiring less physical hardware onsite means fewer capital expenses will be incurred. Finally, costs that can occur with initial and ongoing training, employee turnover, and technology upgrades are kept to a minimum or altogether eliminated.
2. Proactive Network Maintenance and Issue Prevention
Managed network services companies free up enterprises to focus on their primary business goals. They do so by combining high-performance network availability with increased speed and flexibility, to drive business growth. Companies that provide network services have the infrastructure in place to support quicker implementations and upgrades. And ongoing proactive and preventative maintenance checks and enhancements continually occur in this advanced network setup. Furthermore, managed network services provide access to state of the art technologies that companies might not otherwise be able to afford.
Likewise, issues are more easily preventable with the continuous monitoring services provided by network services companies. Intrado Maxxis Network Montior is a complete WAN management system containing tools to easily manage hardware, circuits, and VLANs. Notifications can be configured on these types of systems so that system-halting issues can be prevented before they interrupt daily business operations.
3. Enhanced Network Security
Managed network services provide enhanced security for the entire voice and data network. Most network services providers include products that protect the enterprise from spam, malware, viruses, intrusions, and inappropriate web content. In this policy-secured configuration, all transactions, business critical applications, and data are kept safe and secure.
MaxxSecure is an example of a network services solution that works to eliminate single points of failure and prevent bottlenecks and intrusions through a fully-managed network security solution.
4. Enables a High Level of Network Availability
For any enterprise, it’s important to consider the level of network availability that is required for voice and data access. If a high level of network availability is vital for an enterprise, then it may be appropriate to enlist the services of a managed network services provider that can guarantee levels of uptime in the 99.999% range.
Civic services like fire, police, hospital, and emergency and rescue are all prime examples of organizations with communications networks that demand a high level of uptime – at all times and in all circumstances. Like these groups and other enterprises in similar situations, Service Level Agreements (SLAs) made with managed network service providers offer a guaranteed level of availability, network uptime, and response and resolution times for addressing network issues that can leave these organizations feeling confident that they have a reliable and stable communication system.
5. Improved Quality of Service (QoS)
Other benefits enterprises can experience with the right managed network services company include: improved voice quality, enhanced call routing, and better network management from built-in Quality of Service (QoS). Managed network services provide customers with a high-speed, high-quality MPLS backbone across a variety of internet connections.
QoS can be ensured by prioritizing traffic based on packet analysis, source, destination, and even business use case. With an application-aware network, issues can be adjusted on the fly so that congestion and bottlenecks are avoided while peak performance is maintained.
6. Maximized Performance and Increased Productivity
Through a comprehensive managed network service solution, providers are able to seamlessly join voice and data networks and optimize them in a way that maximizes network performance. These tools can provide methods of time and cost savings that reduce support time and enable effective monitoring, preventing network hiccups and downtime. As a result, IT staff members - and enterprise employees in general - are able to perform their daily tasks more efficiently and effectively, increasing their overall productivity.