Yesterday, I wrote about how if your Netflix is buffering on your broadband connection, then how can you expect VoIP to work. I wanted to add to that post because I don't think that telecom salespeople (or channel partners) are doing a good job explaining two things to prospects: (1) the difference between dedicated Internet access and broadband; and (2) how vital Internet is to a business today.
Your business probably relies on some research online, right? We don't go to a library or have too many reference books or get the daily newspaper or monthly trade journal, so the news and info come from the web.
Payroll, QuickBooks, FreshBooks, and other online accounting and bookkeeping services are probably a daily occurrence for someone in your business.
Email is still the killer app. How about IM/chat? Companies are using a variety of services for this: Google Apps, Gmail, Office 365, Zoho, Hosted Exchange, Sharepoint, and Lync.
If you have VoIP, three-way calling, conference calls, and voicemail retrieval all put a load on that broadband connection. Webex, GoToMeeting, Join.me, and other collaboration and conferencing services also put a load on the broadband pipe.
Do you blog? Do you update your website with new copy or new products?
How do you do credit card processing - over a POTS line or online? Also, for supermarkets, real-time inventory management software and the point-of-sale platform are constantly connected to the server at the data center.
Are you using VPS or testing apps in the cloud?
Do you have a sales team that are using CRM? Where is your customer database stored? Without access to Salesforce (or other CRM) how would you view your customer database without Internet?
Customer support is sometimes done via Zendesk or some other trouble ticket system.
Social selling and marketing means being connected to LinkedIn, facebook, twitter, Hootesuite, Hubspot or similar sites. And if you are running a pay-per-click campaign, don't you want to monitor that spend in real-time?
How much of your business depends on the Internet?
How much would an hour of outage cost your company?
It isn't a bad idea to have a dedicated connection versus broadband, especially for real-time apps like VoIP, Video or Collaboration. At the very least, have a backup like DSL or 4G or fixed wirless.