It’s 4 PM on a Friday afternoon, the weekend is in sight and you’re feeling good. Then you get a call, the internet is down at a bunch of your stores. There is a wide area Internet Service Provider (ISP) outage and you end up working the issue the entire weekend. This is the potential fire drill that haunts you every week. The following article is your guide to leaving that nightmare in the past.
What is an ISP Aggregator?
An ISP aggregator serves as a single point of contact for internet service across your business footprint. The effective ones operate as Managed Service Providers (MSPs) who take your business goals and network needs into consideration when they make connectivity recommendations. Their managed internet service is turnkey, covering all aspects of the internet life cycle – service check, quote, order placement, installation, MACD, billing, and trouble resolution. In short, they handle everything and you never have to interact with the underlying ISPs.
Why does Connectivity Matter?
The obvious answer is businesses today cannot operate without internet service. Maybe the more appropriate question is do you know if you have the best internet available? A good ISP aggregator is ISP agnostic, they check your locations for all services available and present the options that fit your business needs. They also offer redundant connectivity to ensure your locations never go down. This could either be dual wireline internet or a wireline connection paired with a wireless (cellular) connection. Cellular is a great option because it is truly redundant, simple and quick to deploy, and cost-effective.
How does an ISP Aggregator save you Time and Money?
If you have a bunch of locations across the US or the globe, you’re dealing with a lot of different ISPs. That means your team needs to know who all the providers are, which locations they service, who to contact for what, etc., etc. All of that takes time and requires meticulous record-keeping. With an MSP, you only have one provider. They manage all the ISPs for you and they maintain the database of all of your location and connectivity details.
Let’s drill down into it a bit –
New Internet Service
Finding new service means determining who the potential providers are, what type of service they offer including bandwidth options, and how much it costs. This takes time and you could end up spending more money than you need to. ISP aggregators have Valued Added Reseller (VAR) relationships with the ISPs. This means they have dedicated account contacts and access to portals that expedite their ability to conduct service checks and provide quotes. They also base their pricing on wholesale rates which could mean more competitive pricing for your business than if you went direct to the business teams.
This is quite possibly the biggest bear of them all. ISP bills are notoriously confusing, often because they are lacking in detail. This makes it challenging to verify if the bills are correct, let alone uncover fees that are billing in error. ISP aggregators handle this headache for you, their veteran ISP billing specialists are astute at reviewing ISP bills. They receive and review all the bills on your behalf, and they know what to look for and what to question. If something is billing in error, they handle the dispute for you and they get you the credit you are owed. Some ISP aggregators even pay the bills for you, making sure timely payments are made and ISP late fees are never incurred. Last but not least, they consolidate all of those ISP fees into a single, monthly invoice. Goodbye, pile of bills!
ISP Trouble Resolution
Prompts upon prompts, this one is extremely time-consuming and could drive you batty. Uptime is imperative, so when the internet goes down it needs to be restored as quickly as possible. This means your internet connections must be monitored 24x7x365 so you are alerted as soon as a connection goes down. MSPs specializing in managed internet service do exactly this, when a connection goes down they auto-generate a ticket and work that ticket directly with the ISP to restore service ASAP. Because of their VAR relationship with the ISPs, MSPs have dedicated support numbers and escalation contacts, which enables quicker resolution. Updates are available via online ticketing tools and if you have a question you have just one provider to call. No more fumbling around to figure out who the provider is and what number to call.
About s2s Communications
s2s is a Gartner-recognized Managed Service Provider that specializes in ISP aggregation and managed network services. If you are considering outsourcing your ISP management or if you are unhappy with your current MSP/aggregator, give us a call. We’ll be happy to chat through the details of our service to see if it’s the right fit for your business.
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