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04 Oct 2022

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The Key to Finding a Good MPLS Provider
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The Key to Finding a Good MPLS Provider

The Key to Finding a Good MPLS Provider – MPLS – short for ‘Multiprotocol Label Switching – with its data management technique of letting the routes traffic takes through your network be altered on the fly, can be a very advantageous system for a business.

If you’re interested in adopting MPLS, it’s important to think about what the installation process entails. If you were to choose the wrong provider, this process can become costly and arduous – which is why it’s vital to make the right call when choosing one.

If you’re not sure what to look for in a provider, do not fret – we’ve put together this article to go over some of the main things to watch out for and aim towards. We can’t cover everything here – which is why it’s always important to do extra research – but we can show you what we deem to be the most important factors to consider.

Establish a great system

You may be surprised to hear that collating the necessary software and hardware components to implement MPLS isn’t the hard part. Instead, the difficulty comes from fine tuning all these aspects into a system which is perfectly tailored to suit your business and what it wants. You won’t struggle to find a provider with the right tools to get the basics up and running – but when it comes to finding the perfect system for your business, it’s important to be specific about your choice.

If you’re able to find an MPLS provider who is interested in your business, and has a decent idea of how your network is being utilised by all its users, that’s a very good sign. At the end of the day, what you’re trying to do here is utilising your infrastructure to its fullest potential to deliver your end users with the best experience.

Value your time and energy

You probably want to move fairly quickly if you’re looking to stay at the forefront of technology when it comes to networking. After all, you don’t want your technology to be outdated before you even get a chance to use it. The issue is, a lot of network upgrades can take a while to implement, and different providers will work at different paces – some might be able to get work done in a week, whereas some may take a month or two. You also need to consider that providers may face delays at any point along the way.

If your choice of MPLS providers is limited, it can be hard to avoid these issues with timing. That doesn’t mean all is lost – there are numerous ways providers can alleviate problems. For example, many will be able to set up a 4G WAN system for you to work with temporarily.

It all comes down to whether you can afford to wait to experience the benefits. If the potential downtime would cost your business too much, it’s definitely worth asking about temporary fixes – just make sure to find out whether your chosen provider can handle the task of switching from a temporary fix to a real one.

Build a positive relationship with your provider

It won’t be too difficult at all to start working with any given MPLS provider – they all want your business after all. However, you need to be prepared to ask them a couple of important questions in order to make sure that once you’re working together, the relationship you build will benefit the both of you.

It can be useful to ask them about their relationships with their other customers to get an idea of what they’ll be like to work with. They’re likely to be a decent choice if they can show you some kind of evidence, such as case studies, of how in the past they’ve displayed their skills, innovation, and problem solving abilities. To add to this, it’s a good idea to find out how quickly they get to work once they’ve received an order, to gauge whether they’ll be able to keep up with the speed you require.

It’s also important to ask them about how they’ll install MPLS. Questions focused on how they currently work on sites, and how the implement and remove sites can be useful. Make sure you ask them about the installation early on, as it’s one of the first things they will start doing.

Additionally, find out which, if any, third party companies, such as suppliers or contractors, they usually work with. Your MPLS provider might trust these companies, but there’s no guarantee that they’ll meet your own personal standards.

You also want to ensure your chosen MPLS provider’s manager has the right networking experience and expertise. They’re who will be calling the shots and guiding your business through the installation – you need to know they’re fully qualified!

Learn from the experiences of previous customers

Finally, we’d recommend contacting your chosen provider’s past customers. Some providers can talk the talk but not walk the walk – speaking with previous customers can help distinguish whether they really can accomplish everything your business needs.

Even better, ask your chosen provider to help you get into contact with their previous customers – if they’ve got nothing to hide, they should have confidence that their customers will give them a glowing review. While it’s true that you might not be able to have too thorough a discussion with anyone, even a couple of brief positive reviews from other companies should be enough to help you make a decision.

If you do speak to previous customers, make sure to think about why exactly they tell you what they tell you. There are many reasons an experience might not be absolutely perfect, but if you start noticing a pattern of mentions of long wait times and issues with communication, it’s worth looking into in more detail. Like we said, oftentimes a completely reasonable spanner may be thrown in the works, but don’t let your optimism get in the way of finding a better provider – if you notice too many consistent warning signs, get out of there!

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