A Classic Story Retold

Find A Telephony Provider who Provides Equipment and Service

There’s an often told story. It goes back through many cultures into folklore of various countries and has been retold in modern times through various television episodes. It goes like this:Your protagonist needs something. The protagonist goes to a person to get that thing. Then the person says he wants something. To get that thing, the protagonist must go to a second person to get that thing. The second person wants a thing that only a third person can provide. And so it goes…

The protagonist must go through various people to get various and sundry objects or favors in order to meet the initial goal that the protagonist had. Sometimes solving a technology issue can feel the same way.

Let’s Bring it to the Present

Does the following situation sound familiar? Steve realizes he can’t make calls. So he calls up his phone service provider. The phone service provider says it’s not coming from their lines. So Steve calls the company that provided his telephone system. The phone provider comes out and realizes that the problem is only happening on one phone. After doing some diagnostic testing, the phone service provider says that the problem is not in the equipment. There must be another problem. They narrow it down to your cable. Do you remember who cabled your building? By the way, do you have your own IT department?

At a certain point there are too many cooks in the kitchen. And when there are this many people with their hands in the quality of ability to make a phone call, everyone has someone else to blame. So what’s the solution?

Whenever possible, get a contractor who is well versed in all areas of technology. If the person who cabled your building is not the person who will be handling your IT or telephone maintenance, that contractor doesn’t have a lot invested in whether it works. If you get the same person to do your cabling who handles your IT, that person will want to make sure your network is quality.

How About Phone Lines?

Should you use the same provider for my phones as your lines? Well, that can be a double edged sword. Some phone companies can provide telephones but a lot of the time, the systems they provide are not necessarily top of the line. They may not be high quality and they may not have the features you’d like. Do your research. The other issue with using a phone company phone system is that the phone service providers spend most of their time providing phone service. The hardware is secondary to them.

The other option is to use a technology company that provides telephone hardware that also will work with your phone lines. There are a few ways this can go. Some telephony companies will work with the line provider as a service. This means you only need to make one call when your phone isn’t working.

To go a step further, some telephone installers will provide lines through SIP trunks (virtual phone lines) or through cloud service. If you are lucky enough to have a telephony provider that does both, you have gone a long way to reducing the number of cooks in your kitchen. If that company also handles your physical network, you are in really good shape.

What experiences have you had with using multiple vendors?

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