We have been reading about the new wireless entrants and also been testing 3G wireless technologies from multiple vendors to understand how Canadian business clients can and should be using these technologies to improve their business results.
We have also been assisting clients in analyzing their current cellular costs and services to see how they can save money and improve productivity, particularly in these challenging economic times.
As we previously commented, the new entrants are and will be bringing new pricing models, product offers and overall approach to the Canadian markets. Each of them will target a different profile of customers and try to encourage them to leave their current provider, or become a new customer on HSPA/EVDO platforms using the wireless networks for new things, i.e. IP Video, etc.
How to decide you have the best solution and vendor in the changing wireless environment
Many people have been inquiring about what they should be doing in the rapidly changing wireless world with new providers and new wireless technologies emerging.
It is difficult to provide an easy, one-stop, simple or fast opinion on which provider and technology solution you should use due to multiple variables.
Side note – From one of our recent customer cellular analysis engagements, we have identified that there are over 2,000 different cellular/wireless pricing programs geared to business in Canada.
They are also growing and changing weekly with the new providers coming on board…..let the customer beware!We decided that rather than ‘Feed you’ by giving our opinions of the pros and cons of the various cellular providers, their products and pricing, we thought we would ‘Teach you to fish’ by sharing our approach to determining best provider, best technology, price, etc.
We have developed an approach which enables you to determine your requirements, work with a provider and analyze the options to determine the best short and long alternatives.
We call our Wireless Analysis Approach P4
Note that our comments only apply to the of wireless business segment, and do not include consumers.
Profile – This is type of wireless user, i.e. voice only, stationary, mobile, traveller, uses voice/data/sms/browsing, etc.
Products – What type of products and features will you need? Do you need a cell phone only, or also need real-time email, SMS, video, voice mail, three way calling, other evolving smart phone/PDA applications such as GPS tracking, entry forms, etc.. Are you going to be adding new, emerging telecom applications such as VoIP UC soft clients, etc.?
Performance – Importance or risk of call, i.e. need to take or receive calls from many locations, versus one area occasionally.
Risk – little risk of dropped calls, versus high reliability required, etc. The second part of performance factor to identify is the volume and traffic of voice and data usage. The third and last part of performance factors is the vendor/dealer customer service performance expectations; what do you want and need from your provider and how often.
Price – This part ranges from customers who want to pay as little as possible due to the occasional use with little risk; to those who use and depend on wireless and are able to show business value.
Once you rank and prioritize the information within each of the four categories, you are then able to compare vendors and plans to determine which the best fit for your organization is.
Many of these choices would not be available or possible without the advances in speed, throughput, availability and reliability in the Canadian wireless space. The expansion and rollout of next generation wireless solutions, through partnerships, competition and emerging, evolving types of wireless services is bringing more choices to Canadians.
Before you complain to us….yes, we know that not all parts of Canada have access to the newer higher speed wireless offers, and in fact many never will. (That is the topic for a possible future article….economics versus public service).
We also know that parts of Canada that did not have reliable CDMA cell phone service now have access to the new 3G services for voice and data usage.
This can provide them with improved voice capabilities, and also allows them to use the wireless network internet access, where they only had dial up available in the past. (We have been testing this road warrior/wireless internet access capability throughout remote parts of York, Durham and Simcoe Regions over the past two months).
So what does it all mean to us as customers?
• The wireless technologies continue to evolve, advance and improve; providing us with technology and vendor alternatives that we didn’t have.
• Customers have the opportunity to use wireless technologies in new ways enabling their employees to work from more places and improve their business results.
• New entrants will push, challenge and change the marketplace offers.
• Lastly…we encourage you to use our P4 approach to work out the best solution.
As always, we welcome your thoughts, opinions and feedback on this article. If further information or assistance is required, do not hesitate to contact me at Roberta.Fox@FOXGROUP.ca