Ask someone to name a cloud services provider (CSP). Chances are the answer will be Amazon Web Services (AWS), Rackspace, Microsoft Azure, or Google. They’re the big names out there largely because of longevity, business volume, and good marketing.
But bigger isn’t always better. Depending on your business needs, working with a smaller CSP like US Signal, which is geared toward serving mid-market companies, may be the better choice. That’s particularly true if you’re in the Midwest where US Signal offers eight data centers. (There’s something to be said about staying “local.”) The following helps explain why.
Big Box and eCommerce vs The Little Guy
Let’s say you’re in the market for new running shoes or a computer. You know what you want, including the basic specifications. Getting a great deal is a priority. The big box stores have just about anything you want on their shelves. Or, with just a few keystrokes, you can find what you want online. The downside to going with those sellers ─ they don’t offer much in the way of customization or follow-up service.
If you’re in a brick-and-mortar store, you’ll likely find a limited number of salespeople, if any, with the knowledge or training to help you determine which model or option best meets your needs. They’ll help you try on a pair of shoes or recite the features of a particular computer. Beyond that, you’re on your own.
If you go the eCommerce route, you may have the opportunity to use a chat feature and have some of your questions answered. But most of the time, you’ll just be receiving automated responses courtesy of artificial intelligence ─ and not necessarily real help.
It’s your smaller, “specialized” retailers ─ like a locally owned shoe or computer store ─ that are likely to offer the attention and expertise you need. They generally take the time to understand what you are looking for and how you will use it and then provide recommendations. That pair of running shoes you want? The smaller, specialized retailer will assess your foot and how you run and then hook you up with shoes that fit your feet and are best suited to how and where you run.
Smaller retailers want your business, so they go the extra mile to earn it and keep it.
With few exceptions, the same can be said about CSPs. The smaller, specialized ones will take the time to understand your needs and goals and work with you to ensure they are met. They’re also likely to provide better follow-up service.
The Benefits of the Smaller CSP
If you know exactly what you want in terms of a cloud service and one of the big-name providers can deliver, go with it. But what if you don’t know what you need? Or, what if you think you know but don’t?
We all know how busy in-house IT professionals are. Most have limited staff and tight budgets. Their days are jammed packed just keeping pace with day-to-day operations and maintenance. There isn’t a lot of time for researching alternate ways of doing things or the use of new technologies, much less to architect and test what may be better options. That’s where a company like US Signal comes into play. While we can’t speak for other IT solution providers, we can tell you why you should consider US Signal cloud services.
Consultative approach. Tell the US Signal team what you need, and it can deliver. But the way US Signal likes to work — and what you can expect US Signal to do — is to take the time to understand your organization’s short- and long-term business goals, current IT strategy, and other factors to propose the IT solutions best suited to your needs. US Signal also offers rightsizing recommendations to help optimize resource usage. In other words, you get what you need from US Signal.
Workload Factor. Non-critical workloads work just fine in the “swipe your credit card and go” kind of cloud service. The US Signal Cloud, however, is designed to run production-class workloads. That means it offers the uptime and high-performance environment that can handle critical enterprise workloads, such as Oracle and SAP applications, web, mobile, and social applications, disaster recovery, and industry-specific solutions.
Flexibility. With US Signal’s cloud services, you choose the resources you need and can dynamically allocate them when and where they are needed. And, if you need more than a cloud service, maybe something that also takes into consideration recent investments in on-premise hardware or legacy applications, US Signal can help you develop a hybrid IT strategy and provide secure networking connections to move data safely between the various IT environments — including AWS’s.
Compliance. US Signal undergoes rigorous independent audits each year to validate its compliance with HIPAA and PCI DSS. Doing so means US Signal employs industry-leading security and privacy controls and best practices that protect your data and applications and can help your organization meet various compliance requirements. Not all the big-name CSPs can say the same. Nor do all of them offer the resources of an in-house compliance officer — like US Signal has — to answer your questions, provide audit documentation, and more.
Network Power. US Signal cloud solutions are always up, available, and secure. That’s because US Signal exclusively owns and operates its carrier-grade network and can minimize network downtime and latency while ensuring reliability, speed, and security. Built on leading-edge Cisco® technologies and designed with redundant architecture for maximum network speed and security, the network is continuously monitored by US Signal’s Technical Operations Center (TOC) to help stop issues before they occur.
24/7/365 Service. “White glove service.” “Concierge service.” Whatever you call having technical experts available to help you, 24 hours a day, every day of the year — that’s what US Signal offers. If you encounter a problem or have a question, call. US Signal’s Technical Operations Center (TOC) offers 24/7 support, with calls typically answered within 30 seconds by qualified technicians.
The Choice is Yours
The list goes on, but you get the idea. The big CSPs have much to offer, but so does US Signal.
So how do you make a decision? The internet and trade publications are full of advice on the subject, and most of it is good. Just don’t be swayed by catchy taglines and promotional pricing.
Do your research. Determine what your company needs and what the various CSPs can do to meet them. We think you’ll find that US Signal deserves to be at the top of the list of contenders for your business. To learn more, call 866.2.SIGNAL or email[email protected].