You can gain a range of potential benefits by introducing a Multiprotocol Label Switching (or MPLS) traffic routing technique into your business IT infrastructure, which allows operators to control the paths data goes down within a network. But this doesn’t mean it’s simple, as you’ll need to figure out the process of installing a system like this, which is where finding the best service provider for you comes into play – choosing a good one can be the difference between a new high-tech system, and a huge waste of resources.
With this in mind, it’s a good idea to seek some trustworthy advice on the most important things to consider when finding the right provider for your MPLS system. If you’re seriously thinking about going down this route then you’ll want to do some extra research – but we’ll talk here about the fundamentals – so you’ve got a good foundation of knowledge to help you begin the search.
Crafting The Best System For Your Business
It might surprise you to know that locating the correct hardware and software for an MPLS system isn’t too hard. However, that can’t be said for actually putting these parts into the best configuration! That’s why you need a provider who doesn’t just locate the individual parts but can connect them together to create a well-performing system.
One thing you need to look out for when you’re searching for an MPLS provider is that they show a fair amount of interest in how your business functions and how your users work with the network. Ultimately, employing this system is about providing a good experience for your end users, as well as being able to do so within your existing network infrastructure.
Avoiding Down Time Where Possible
You likely care about keeping your business up to date on the latest tech if you’re considering a change to your system infrastructure – and you can’t do that if, by the time you’ve installed it, it’s fallen behind what’s considered cutting-edge.
But the reality is that installing ethernet circuits almost invariably takes a fairly long time, with providers varying a lot in their speed – you might find one provider who claims they can do it in a few days, while another estimates weeks, maybe even months. Unfortunately, lots of businesses also find that they run into delays; a nightmare if you’ve already waited for a long period of time.
There’s no easy fix for this issue, particularly if there aren’t many providers in your area to choose from. But there are backup options you can utilize in the meantime – for example, some providers can set you up with enterprise-scale 4G routers that’ll they can have configured and on-site within a matter of hours or days.
If you’re looking to avoid the potential downtime from installing this system (and who wouldn’t want to avoid downtime?), you should ask your provider if this is an option, as well as how much it would cost and whether they can also handle the eventual switchover.
Gathering Testimonials From Current and Former Customers
There are plenty of fantastic MPLS providers operating today, but it isn’t always easy to find them among those that only sound fantastic. The best way to sort them out from one another is to get some testimonials from customers who can gladly recommend their services.
It’s a good sign if a provider is happy and willing to give you customer contact details so that you can chat directly with them about their experiences – not insisting on being there to mediate is a sign of confidence that comes from providing a solid service! Even if you can only have a brief email correspondence with one or two companies, this should be enough to indicate whether the provider is one you’ll be wanting to work with or not.
This is where you’ll need to use some of your own common sense and good judgment. No company is perfect, so the odd issue is inevitable, but if customers are talking about consistent issues with wait times, communication (or a lack thereof), and other problems, you might want to look into why this is the case. It might be for a perfectly understandable reason, but if you already have some cause for concern then you’re probably better off looking for another, more reliable provider.
Creating A Productive Working Relationship
It’s safe to say that MPLS providers want your business, and it probably won’t be difficult to begin working with many. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll be the best provider for your business in the long run – and there are a few questions you can ask to determine early in your working relationship if it will be beneficial.
When you start talking, you should ask any potential providers about what working with them will be like based on their relationships with other businesses. If they then go to pull up a range of case studies with details on various problems and developments and how they were able to help, that’s certainly a good sign.
Another thing you’ll want to enquire about early in your discussions is how they will go about installing your new MPLS system – after all, it is essentially the first service they’ll be providing. When they give you information like installation and waiting times, you should think about how long it takes for them to start working once you’ve placed an order, and whether they’re quick enough to keep up with you.
If the provider works frequently with other suppliers or third-party contractors then you’ll also want to make sure you can trust these companies too. Even if the MPLS provider is top-notch, there’s no guarantee that these other businesses will have your best interests in mind!
More specifically, you’ll want to make sure that the manager who you’ll be working with as the face of the provider has a solid knowledge of MPLS and networking tech more generally – they’re your gateway into this new system!