The Networking Technology You Didn’t Know Your Business Needed

There are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of businesses around the world that make do with the technology they have.

That might sound like a smart move – keeping tech spending low so you can focus on the core elements of a business, but is it really the shrewdest move?

In many cases, there’s technology that will help you grow, collaborate, convert, sell, or improve efficiency way beyond what you thought was possible. The thing is, unless you’re at the cutting edge of networking technology, you might not know where to begin looking.

Here, we’ll steer you in the right direction. We’ll tell you a bit about some of the networking tech that’s out there – as well as illustrating a few problems these systems can help you solve…

SD WAN

Increasingly, businesses are either using managed IT network providers to maintain their infrastructure – or that infrastructure reaches around the world, often because of remote staff.

The trouble is, this makes getting hands-on with IT devices very difficult. You’ve either got an outsourced IT team that’s based somewhere else, or you’ve got a series of devices that an IT team would need to hop on a plane to maintain.

This is where SD WAN comes into its own. 

A Software Defined Wide Area Network (SD WAN) system meshes together with your current network. Since it works with 99.99% of devices available on the market today, it means you can fully configure and maintain devices remotely – through a control panel that can be accessed wherever you can get an internet connection.

If you’ve got provisions in other geographical locations now, this is likely to feel like a blessing – but if you don’t, it might be worth asking yourself what the future of the company could look like if geography presented no limitations for your network.

MPLS

Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) is a network management tool that allows you to control the flow of traffic across your network like never before. 

The technology works be attributing labels to particular types of traffic. Then, when the system identifies traffic that’s labelled as a priority, bandwidth is allocated specifically – allowing for seamless and latency free data transfers where needed.

So, what does this mean for your business?

Well, perhaps the biggest bonus relates to speed. Customers expect you to be able to present information in lightning quick times – and if you don’t, those customers are more than willing to find a company or service that can. If you find that yours sales or service teams are constantly struggling to access the data they need in the most timely fashion, MPLS could represent a breath of fresh air. 

MPLS is especially relevant when you’ve got cloud-based or real-time systems require a steady connection to keep everyone on the same page. If you rely on data being there when you need it, you need to make sure your network can keep up. 

5G

5G might be the latest novelty when it comes to selling mobile devices – but the tech’s impact on businesses is perhaps even more significant. 

For a long time, companies have relied on 4G to provide internet when it’s not possible or not cost effective to get a circuit connection to their business location. So, if you work in the drilling, exploration, surveying, or mining industries, your internet connection will look like a router that’s powered by numerous SIMs. 

The thing is, with workspaces and locations becoming more and more varied, this is no longer important just for these companies working in remote parts of the world. What happens if you get a great deal on a building that can’t be connected using a traditional circuit? What’s happens if you need to be agile and move your business quickly? How can make sure you’ve got a robust and secure internet connection if your business works within other companies at their locations?

5G is going to give you the agility you need to pick your whole business operation up and put it down again somewhere else – immediately getting back to work. 

A series of SIMs are ‘bonded’ together – so, while a single SIM’s performance might be good enough for your iPhone, it’s unlikely to power a full business network. That said, 5 SIMs could – and with 5G speeds, 20 SIMs could offer the kind of performance you need to keep your whole enterprise running…

Hosted phones

Automation of tasks has always felt like a tantalising prospect for the future – where bots handle traffic, customer service calls, payments and much more.

The truth is, this kind of tech isn’t as far away as you think – and you may have actually worked with an intelligent customer service system within the last week.

Every time you pick up the phone and are met with an automated system that offers you options, you’re working with a hosted phone system.

What can a hosted phone system offer your business? Well, the options are enormously wide and varied. Of course, you can start by routing calls appropriately, rather than having one particular team answering and doing it manually – but you can also have a number of fully automated systems in place.

For instance, what if a customer calls to pay a bill or invoice? Sure, there might be some merit in talking to them to upsell or refer – but sometimes customers like to just pay their bill and get back to their own work. If this is the case, a hosted phone system can be set up to offer customers a range of account management options – all done without disturbing your account managers. So, your team can be focusing on finding new business while your current customers are contently paying their bills straight into your systems.

The beauty of hosted phones is the number of systems a good setup can gel with. So, want your hosted phone system to update your CRM? Add to your calendar? Schedule calls? Transcribe calls? No problem – and when you start looking at parts of processes that can be automated like this, you begin to free up enormous chunks of time for your team to work on other valuable processes.

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