Three Questions to Consider when Selecting an Internet Service for Your Business
What’s the one thing that binds the melting pot of cultures in Malaysia? Apart from our immense love for food, it’s our addiction to social media and the internet! According to global agency We Are Social, 68% of Malaysians have access to the internet (among the highest in the region) and we spend over four-and-a-half hours every day on the internet. Free WiFi in cafes and eateries is far more common here than anywhere else in the world, which goes to show how local businesses are seeing the benefit of drawing in free-WiFi seekers, possibly in hopes of getting the till running at non-peak hours.
However, if you’re a business that is on the fence about offering free WiFi or internet connectivity in general, either for your customers or for your employees in the office, here are five questions to ask when selecting a broadband/fibre connection for your business.
How Much Does it Cost?
Price is usually the first thing every business think about, and drives decision in most cases. But it can be argued that price is only one of the determining factors and there are various factors that contribute to a product’s price point. Cost of the network infrastructure varies between 3G or 4G, between broadband and fibre, and even within its own infrastructure type, fibre internet speeds for business range between 4Mbps to 500Mbps.
The perspective of cost in investing in connectivity should then be skewed to the willingness to invest and budget constraints that exist in the company. Look at all the available connectivity packages available in the market, gather feedback from trade partners, vendors and speak to a technical consultant to recommend what would be best suited for your business. Scale up then when your workforce increase or when you’re encumbered with bandwidth issues.
How High-Performing is the Broadband Connection?
In the consumer space, most internet connections are sold the basis of speed. This is because consumers are primarily concerned about the bandwidth they will get so that video streams well and internet calls can be made without interruptions.
But there’s a lot more to a broadband connection than speed, especially for your business.
Good broadband service providers ensure your connection has low levels of jitter, latency, and packet loss.
What are these, and why are they important? Like most businesses, yours probably depends on the internet to accomplish various tasks including video calls, accessing cloud-based services, and downloading patches and other large files.
If your connection has high levels of jitter, latency, and packet loss, your users are more likely to see a deterioration of services; video calls will stutter or have lags; large uploads stop halfway and have to be restarted, and cloud-based service transactions fail midway through. When that happens, it can affect productivity.
How Reliable Is It?
Many of today’s collaboration tools require access to reliable internet connections and your business can perform better with higher levels of collaboration among your teams using these digital collaborative tools.
Whether your company uses Skype, Google Hangouts, GoToMeeting, or any another video conferencing tool to talk each other, suppliers, and third-party collaborators, you require dependable internet connections. The same applies to whether your organisation use popular collaboration platforms like Slack and Basecamp or sales management tools like Salesforce, or HR management tools, to storage solutions like Google Drive, and to productivity suites like Microsoft 365. All of these require a reliable broadband service, otherwise your employees will start complaining that tasks assigned to them cannot be completed and frustration sets in.
Here’s a number to think about: By some estimates, access to faster and more reliable broadband can boost the revenue of a business by 30%. More advanced providers will even offer your business back up connections as part of their services. This ensures that when your primary connection goes down inevitably, your business isn’t impacted.
In today’s environment, a broadband or fibre internet connection for your business isn’t an expense – it’s an investment. And like any investment you need to make sure you get what you pay for and by understanding what is important for your business, you are more prepared to compare what the market is offering.