Top Information Technology & Communication Network Companies

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Top Value Propositions and Differentiating Factors of the Best Information Technology Companies

Overview

As businesses face the challenge of digital transformation and adopting a truly omnichannel approach to their marketing efforts, they have a growing need for effective information technology (IT) solutions. Though the benefits of integrated IT software are clearly apparent, adoption of such technology often presents logistical challenges. The best IT vendors can provide technology consultations and solutions to address implementation challenges and streamline systems and operations.

When it comes to costly and time-consuming software and systems implementations, however, it’s essential that your company’s partnership with your IT vendor is strong. That means choosing a technology company that can deliver on their promises and make recommendations in your interest for years to come. Summarized below are some of the key differentiators to look for when evaluating potential IT service providers.

Top IT companies build strong partnerships

One of the most important things to look for in an IT company is their ability to act as a partner to your business. IT implementations can be complex undertakings and the last thing you want is to reach the end of a lengthy implementation and onboarding phase only to realize your relationship with the vendor has become untenable. The longer you can stay with a vendor, the more cost effective the engagement will be. Staying with your vendor for an extended period of time also ensures continuity of service and avoids the inevitable disruptions that occur when switching from one vendor to another.

The best tech companies are well aware of the benefits to both themselves and their clients when they invest in relationships for the long-term. When evaluating new vendors look for those that emphasize their ability to act as IT partners to their clients. How do they maintain strong, healthy relationships with the businesses they serve? What is their approach to communication and reporting?

The best IT companies can scale their solutions

You company’s current IT needs are likely obvious to you. Whether you’re moving systems to the cloud or endeavoring to close the analytics gap between online and offline marketing channels, you probably have a good idea of where your greatest technology vulnerabilities lie. Your future needs, on the other hand, will be much less obvious. Company technology needs evolve over time, and while a specific vendor may be able to offer solutions to address current challenges you should also try to assess their readiness to meet future needs as well.

The best IT partners will be able to offer solutions to fill your most pressing technology needs, but are also prepared to grow their service offerings alongside your business. Top tech companies offer a range of solutions and services in different categories. Even if those services aren’t what you require when you first enter into an engagement, knowing what your options are is an important determining factor.

Reliable IT partners have a proven track record

Every vendor you meet with will inevitably claim they offer the best solution on the market. Their job, after all, is to sell you a product. Your job as a business owner or decision maker is to assess the reliability and accuracy of these sales pitches.

Top IT companies are keenly aware that no matter how confidently they sell their services and products, nothing is more convincing to a prospective customer than the word of an existing, satisfied client. This means they’re eager to share case studies and examples of past success. Such case studies should be specific, accompanied by execution details and metrics. In addition to case studies, IT vendors should be happy to provide references upon request. Be sure to follow up on these and to ask pointed questions of the referees you contact.

Reputable IT vendors provide training

One of the most common reasons adoption of new technology platforms fails is not because the technology isn’t useful or effective, but because employees do not know how to use it properly. Training is an absolutely essential component of IT implementation, but it’s not always something that gets discussed during the sales process. If you want to ensure the highest likelihood of success for a specific implementation, you have to choose a vendor that guarantees a high level of training and onboarding as part of their service.

Top information technology companies are specific about their process and approach to training. They will be happy to lay out the terms of training within your contract to ensure everyone is aligned on what to expect. You should be careful to avoid IT vendors who are cagey about training or who charge extra to onboard employees to a platform.

Leading IT companies stay current

The fast-paced nature of the tech industry dictates that technology evolves, improves, and often becomes obsolete within very short timeframes. When partnering with an IT company, it’s important to look for a vendor that stays current on the latest technological developments. After all app development and the IoT weren’t major concerns a few years ago, but they’re mission critical today.

You should ask your IT company how often they do updates and what improvements they already have in the works. You can also ask what support they provide in order to help make sure updates are implemented efficiently and with minimal disruption to your operations. Top IT companies will have a process in place to help clients manage updates.

Trustworthy IT companies are transparent

Transparency is key to maintaining a healthy relationship with your IT vendor. From the very beginning you should look for an IT company that communicates clearly and offers specifics in terms of what to expect from an engagement with them. Full transparency also entails a trial or demo period where stakeholders and actual platform or system users have the chance to test the technology. Top IT service providers don’t shy away from demoing their products. 

How top IT companies market themselves

IT companies are in the B2B space, so much of their marketing efforts are dedicated to content marketing designed to target key technology decision makers. Thought leadership is key and often takes the form of white papers, digital PR (press mentions and being quoted as expert sources), online case studies, and even offline events like speaking engagements.

IT companies are also usually quite active on social media, especially on channels populated by business and technology types, like LinkedIn and Twitter. Email marketing drip campaigns, and targeted display and paid search advertising are also usually part of the overall marketing picture.

Takeaways:

Implementing new IT platforms and services can save your business time and money in the long run, but the implementations themselves demand an investment of technology budgets and employee time to manage. The choice of software companies and IT vendors should be made carefully if you want to make the most of that investment.

Key differentiating factors to look for when evaluating potential IT vendors include:

●     Committed to partnership - Is the vendor able to maintain long-term relationships with its clients? Do they set clear standards for communication that facilitate a strong working relationship between the client team and the vendor team? Can they offer consultancy services if necessary?

●     Scalable solutions - Will the IT vendor be able to meet your company’s technology needs as they grow and expand? Will they still be a viable partner in a year or more?

●     Proven track record - Is the vendor willing to share case studies and examples of past success? Do these contain details about objectives and metrics measuring success? What references will they be able to provide should you choose to move forward?

●     Training and onboarding - Does the IT company have a policy of providing thorough training to its customers? What will the objectives of the training be, and what happens if you need additional support?

●     Platform improvements - How often does the company push updates and improvements to its platform? How will the update process be managed?

●     Transparency - Is the IT vendor open and transparent about how the operate and interact with clients? Are they willing to share a working demo with your team so you can experience the platform for yourself before making a decision? Can you visit them at their headquarters if you wish?

Top Value Propositions and Differentiating Factors of the Best Networking Technology Companies

Overview

Because network technology operates behind the scenes, it’s easy to underestimate its importance to day-to-day business operations. The truth is that without the proper networking technology in place, business as we know it in the modern world would grind to a halt. Effective networking solutions are key to efficient business operations, so partnering with the right networking technology company to meet your company’s needs is a matter of great importance.

The best networking technology companies offer a range of solutions to help their clients manage communications as seamlessly as possible. Outlined below is an overview of the basics of networking technology, as well as key attributes and differentiating factors to look for as you begin the process of sourcing and interviewing networking providers.

What is networking technology?

Networking technology is a category of Information Technology (IT) that includes the systems of technology that allow businesses to build and connect communication networks. Network technology includes both the physical elements central to the construction of a network (modems, routers, etc.) and the software that powers the network.

Different types of network technology include:

Communications hardware - These are the physical devices, like modems, that enable connection to a network. Hardware may include video conferencing devices (cameras, microphones, servers), telephones and smartphones, WIFI routers, and much more.

Communications software - Communications software is the software that enables businesses and employees to communicate. This may include email service providers, instant messaging platforms, video interfaces, and more.

Intranet - An intranet is a private network that is available and accessible exclusively to the employees within a company, as opposed to the broader public. An intranet is usually home to a variety of company resources, tools, files, and forums.

Network technology key considerations

In choosing a network technology company and determining which solutions your business most needs to implement, there are many considerations to take into account. Among these are:

Mobile - Mobile device use is essential to operational efficiency at most companies today. Networks have to be properly structured to ensure that users have full access and capabilities when they’re working from the office and when they’re operating from further afield.

Adapting to the cloud - By now, mass migration to the cloud is in full swing, but many businesses still have a long way to go before they completely harness the power of cloud technology. Partnering with the right network technology company allows companies to assess their cloud needs and undertake the necessary migrations.

Compliance - Ensuring data security is a major concern of any company, but depending on the industry in which your business operates, you may face more stringent security compliance measures than others. Make sure you’re aware of any compliance requirements that apply to your business and that you fully assess the networking company’s ability to meet them.

Leading network technology companies are forward-thinking

In all areas of IT and digital development, technology is constantly and rapidly evolving. Staying at the cutting edge of new developments is an ever-present challenge for companies that want to succeed in the digital age. The best network technology companies are the ones that can help clients not only meet their current challenges, but also plan effectively to address future ones.

It’s smart to approach prospective networking partners with an idea of future plans for growth. This will help vendors get an idea of future needs and put together a technology strategy that is designed to scale. Your network technology company should also be proactive in recommending new solutions and technologies as they become available, and in putting migration plans in place when necessary.

Top network technology companies are efficient communicators

There’s no getting around it -- network technology is a complicated technical landscape that most lay people will find challenging to navigate. Having an internal IT consultant to help manage your relationship with your network technology service provider is useful, but may not be realistic for small businesses. Regardless of company size, it’s important that your networking provider be able to effectively communicate with the stakeholders at your company, even when the subject matter is technical or complex. Top networking technology companies are not only highly skilled technical individuals, they’re also strong and consistent communicators.

The best network technology companies act as advisors

Of course your business expects speedy service and exceptional implementation from any network technology service provider, but you should also look for a company that can act in an advisory capacity. Top networking technology companies have years of experience managing countless implementations, and this is experience from which your own company can benefit. When interviewing potential partners it’s useful to get a sense of their ability to act as networking advisors, consulting on the best solutions to fit your needs. Don’t settle for a technology company that takes a cookie cutter approach to every project. Instead, opt for a company that differentiates itself on its ability to come up with custom strategies to fit your needs.

How top networking technology companies market themselves

Networking is a B2B enterprise and as such, networking technology companies focus their marketing efforts around speaking to key business stakeholders and C-level executives. Digital marketing is, of course, a significant element of overall marketing, though traditional channels still play a role in developing and maintaining B2B relationships. Seminars, sponsored events, print advertising, and trade shows are all important to the marketing of networking technology companies.

Top networking technology companies also develop thorough content marketing strategies designed to establish themselves as authoritative figures in the industry. Content marketing materials, distributed via key social media channels like LinkedIn, are designed to help businesses make informed networking technology choices.

Takeaways:

Networking technology is a complex field that is nonetheless essential to maintaining efficient business operations. Partnering with an effective networking company is key to putting the best systems in place and ensuring seamless communication with clients, customers, vendors, and colleagues.

Key things to keep in mind when evaluating a networking technology company as a potential partner:

●     Types of networking technology - Networking technology exists in a number of forms, all of which help facilitate communication in one way or another. Communication hardware describes the physical devices used to enable network communication. Communication software provides the interfaces through which to communicate. Company intranets allow employees to connect on a private network.

●     Key technology considerations - There are many considerations at work in the selection of a vendor, but for the purposes of future-proofing, businesses should pay careful attention to mobile capabilities, cloud migration, and compliance issues.

●     Forward-thinking - The future is uncertain but there’s no doubting that technology will continue to evolve at a rapid pace. Choosing a network technology company that can keep up with these changes will help ensure that your company, in turn, remains on the cutting edge.

●     Communication - Communication is central to the success of any vendor-client relationship, but it can get complicated when the services being deployed are highly technical. Effective network technology partners are skilled both at implementing solutions and communicating their value to clients.

●     Advisory capabilities - Look for a networking company that can do more than simply execute. Ideally, your vendor should be able to act as a strategic networking partner that comes to the table with customized solutions and ideas for your company.

Top Qualities of the Best Information Technology Companies

Experience

Information Technology isn’t a skill you can pick up overnight -- becoming an expert requires both technical training and real-world experience. The top IT companies for the job are the ones that have years of experience in the field. When searching for an IT partner, it’s important to make sure that the firm’s experience aligns well with your company’s needs. To get a sense of the firm’s experience, ask pointed questions about previous projects -- which ones were the most challenging? Has the firm worked with clients in your industry before, and if so, how have they met their specific needs? The answers to these questions will help you get a sense for the firm’s level of experience and expertise.

References

Of course, you can’t simply take the firm’s word for it that they have the necessary experience to tackle the job. You need to hear from previous clients whether this is indeed the case. Top IT companies will be more than happy to connect you with past and current clients who can provide a reference. Be specific in your questioning of references so you can get detailed information about the way the firm operates beyond general characterizations. 

Custom Solutions

Every company’s IT needs are different, so it’s important to partner with a firm that will be able to tailor their services to your needs. Top IT companies are well aware of the value to customers when they offer custom solutions, and they won’t try to force you into a contract that isn’t suited to your business needs. Take the time upfront to explain your company’s challenges and goals to the vendors you meet with so they’re able to create a package or scope that is designed to help your company achieve your IT objectives.

Communication and Transparency

We’re all guilty of using too much technical lingo and business jargon in our daily work lives, but your IT firm should strive to communicate clearly in a way that even a non-technical person can understand. Top IT companies are not only experienced technical people, they should be effective communicators as well. When challenges arise, you want to be working with a company that can explain the problem and offer solutions in a way that enables you to make an informed decision about how to move forward. Honesty and transparency are also key. A vendor that isn’t upfront, or one that tries to gauge your company on costs, is sure to cause trouble down the line. Look for an IT provider who communicates regularly and values their client relationships.

Flexibility

Having a strategy and a plan in place for tackling your IT needs is a great way to enter into any project, but nothing in life ever goes exactly to plan. Top IT companies understand that businesses grow and needs change, so they’ll be flexible about reassessing the way their services are allocated. Look for an IT vendor that will allow for adjustments and changes to your services as your business evolves. 

Top Networking Technology Companies

Reputation

Top networking technology companies have spent years in business, establishing reputations as trustworthy, quality vendors. When choosing a networking company to meet your business needs, you’ll definitely want to consider what the company’s reputation is. A reputation for quality service and smart business practices indicates that the vendor is probably one your company can trust as a long-term partner. Check out what people say about the company online, on social media, and on review sites. Whenever possible ask the vendor to provide references so that you can speak directly with other clients who have worked with them. Doing so will help you make a more informed decision.

Scalability

If you’re investing a lot of time and money in implementing a new networking solution, you want to be confident that it’s one that can grow with your business. No doubt your needs will evolve over time, and your networking technology should be able to evolve alongside you. Top networking technology companies implement solutions that are scalable and adaptable based on the client’s needs. Choosing a solution that can scale keeps you from the grueling task of finding a new vendor again in a few years time.

Custom Solutions

Not only should your solution be scalable, it should be customized to your company’s needs from the outset. Be clear upfront about what challenges your business faces from a networking perspective, and what your goals are. Giving prospective vendors this information will allow them to tailor their recommendations to the unique needs of your business. Top networking technology companies offer customized solutions to their clients, while mediocre ones will try to sell you products and solutions that might be easy and profitable for them to execute, but will be costly and inefficient for your business.

Efficient Implementation

Implementing a networking solution, especially for larger companies, can be a time-consuming endeavor in the best of circumstances. Contracting with the wrong partner, however, can be an all-out disaster when it comes to implementation timelines. Delays are costly to your business and cause inefficiencies in your ability to get things done. Top networking technology companies are able to implement solutions efficiently, according to agreed-upon timelines.

Support

It should be clear when you sign a contract what the arrangement for ongoing support will be. Implementing a solution is one thing, but long-term management is equally important. Top networking technology companies will be able to provide the necessary support to make sure systems are running smoothly and are managed properly.