6 reasons why the stability of suppliers matters
The news that US telecoms company Avaya has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy will have sent shudders through its customers around the world.
How this plays out in the months and years ahead is uncertain and shows how important the stability of your telecoms and IT supplier is.
Technology is changing at a breakneck pace. Even the biggest companies can fail to keep up, as the $6.3bn bankruptcy of US telecoms giant Avaya shows. “Avaya is the first major established technology company that’s dying as a direct result of the cloud,” says Nucleus Research CEO Ian Campbell. “It did not pivot quickly enough to cloud services,” he says.
“Avaya’s uncertain future has left its customers in a state of limbo. What will it mean for them in terms of outstanding orders and future support? The impact could be catastrophic. I wonder though how many customers thought about the possibility of Avaya’s failure when doing business with them? After all, Avaya had annual revenue of nearly $1bn.”
It raises an important question when making a telecoms or IT purchase. How stable is your supplier? And what happens if it fails to deliver, both now and in the future?
Here are six reasons why the stability of your telecoms or IT supplier matters.
1. Financial solidity
The immediate concern when dealing with a supplier is their ability to deliver what you have paid for. In telecoms and IT, this might be hardware, software and ongoing support. What would happen if your supplier went bust before delivery or part of the way through a phased implementation? How would their failure affect future upgrades?
Could your business afford the disruption, let alone the loss of any money paid up front?
It is normal business practice for suppliers to check out its customer’s ability to pay. How many customers research the financial stability of their suppliers?
2. Forward thinking mindset
As we saw above, Avaya’s problems have been blamed on their failure to stay up to speed with technology. Any good telecoms and IT supplier will work with you to plan ahead as your business and the technology available changes.
If your forward planning is to be worthwhile, you need certainty that your supplier will be around to implement what you have planned, and adept enough to offer new technology as it comes along.
This requires a forward thinking mindset and a willingness to embrace change.
3. Consistent values
The chances are that you chose your supplier because of its values and the way it does business. This might be its strong customer focus or emphasis on technical excellent (or both). If these factors are important to you, you want to know they will remain consistent in the months and years ahead. If your supplier is in a state of flux, how certain can you be that these values will remain important? If it starts to struggle, will it chance gear and put profit ahead of customer support or fail to invest in quality support engineers?
4. Day-to-Day Relationships
The first victims of an unstable business are usually staff. Cutting the workforce as a quick fix for crippling overheads is a well-worn strategy.
The result is that the person managing your account, who you have dealt with on a monthly, weekly or daily basis for years, is suddenly no longer around or too busy to take your calls. Now you are speaking to someone new every time you have an issue. This involves precious time bringing them up to speed. What used to be a five-minute chat now turns into a long and frustrating series of calls and/or emails.
Service levels wither. The relationship you valued and which the supplier told you was so important to them no longer exists. You’ve become a problem rather than an opportunity.
5. Rising Costs, Reduced Services
A deteriorating business will try any number of tactics to get back on an even keel. This could include raising prices, reducing service levels, or moving from one-off purchases to recurring cost plans. However they go about it, you can be sure it’s going to have a negative impact on you. It will eat into your budget or reduce the quality of service you receive.
6. Updates and Integration
An unstable supplier will cut back wherever it can, in a bid to stay afloat. A shortage of staff or lack of investment will often mean delays in upgrades and failure to implement new features or integrate with the other software you use. Your competitors will leave you behind without you even being aware of it.
Choosing a telecoms or IT supplier involves numerous issues and no end of trade-offs in terms of price, features and functionality. But all this means nothing, if your supplier is no longer around to deliver.
Concerned about your Avaya system?
If you currently have an Avaya system and are confused, concerned and uncertain which way to turn, rest assured. You can trust Mitel and Opus to provide the best path to seamless communication and collaboration. Here’s why:
- Mitel has a proven record of growth, stability and profitability in disruptive times.
- Mitel is trusted by over 60 million end-user customers every day across small, mid-sized and large enterprise organisations worldwide.
- Opus is a Mitel Gold Reseller partner delivering seamless communications and collaboration, whether on-premises, in the cloud or a hybrid model.
- Opus is 25 years old this year, privately owned by the founders and offering independent advice and solutions for end-to-end business communications.
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