Engineering Best Practice 101
Recommendation #1: Maintain a Hardware Inventory
If you don’t have a hardware inventory record for your client, it’s a great place to start. It’s always a good idea to keep and maintain a list of the hardware used for your client’s technology components. A complete list includes the following information for both voice and data equipment:
- Software Level/Firmware Level
- General Function
- Server / Firewall / Router / Switch / PBX / Etc.
- Warranty Term
- Warranty Expiration Date
- End of Support Date
- End of Life Date
Tip: Remember to include routers, switches, servers, PBXs, Wireless Access Points, and essentially any other device that has an IP address – be aware of devices approaching or past end of support or end of life.
Recommendation #2: Maintain a WAN Services Inventory
It’s also a good idea to keep and maintain a WAN services inventory for each location in your client’s network. The inventory should include the following information:
- Circuit Provider
- Circuit Type
- T1 / Ethernet / Cable Modem / Etc.
- Circuit Bandwidth
- Circuit Function
- MPLS / Internet / Point-to-Point / Voice (PRI/SIP/Analog) / Etc.
- For each Carrier
- Contract Signing Date
- Contract Term
- (12 month / 24 month / 36 month* / 60 month)
Tip: * Most WAN and telecom circuit contracts are 36-month terms. Most carriers provide contracts with shorter terms (i.e., 24 or even 12 months), but expect to pay a premium – ~20% or more for each yearly reduction in term.
Recommendation #3: Review Your Voice and Data Solution Every 12 Months
Voice and data networks are a large portion of monthly operating expenses; regular evaluation is critical to ensure optimal performance and pricing. The engineers at iTransit recommend yearly review of your technology solution.
Pricing pressures from competing providers (e.g., cable companies) significantly reduced the price of MPLS WAN circuits over the past few years. Technology advances at a lightning pace, and solutions put in place a few short years ago quickly become outdated.
Tip: If it’s been a year or longer since you reviewed your business communication solution, odds are you are overdue for a review…
Engineering Best Practice / Conclusion
Create sound hardware and WAN service inventories to better manage your current business communication solution. These inventories are a critical component to developing technology improvements – you need to know what you have got to work with before you start to solve problems…
Don’t Go It Alone!
Data volume is growing exponentially, IT budgets are shrinking, and IT staff is focused on other priority projects. iTransit has seasoned WAN and telecom engineers that will guide you throughout the process of designing the voice and data solution that meets your client’s requirements. There are a lot of choices and we can ensure you get the right technology for your client’s unique voice and data needs…