The Fiber-for-SMB Argument
It’ll take more than the promise of speed to get SMB customers on board the fiber train.
Who’s the ideal customer? What costs need to be considered? How are SLAs different than with traditional service?
Those questions and more are answered in this one-stop gallery.
**Source material by Kasia Lorenc** Looking for more? Read Kasia’s in-depth report here.
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The Fiber-for-SMB Argument: Business Advantages
Fiber is fast, yes, but many business leaders – particularly execs – don’t realize that connections are symmetric, meaning that download and upload speeds are the same. That can be a huge selling point to organizations that upload a lot of information to the cloud.
Fiber also is know for lower latency than traditional cable and DSL connections, important for businesses with many VoIP lines and those that frequently use video conferencing.
Other big positives: Better signal strength, less degradation and improved reliability — particularly important for locations that tend to fight tough weather conditions on a regular basis.
The Fiber-for-SMB Argument: Ideal & Non-Ideal Candidates
As many SMBs move more or their workflows to the cloud, fiber can offer big benefits for accessing apps and data.
Initial costs – think construction and installation – might set you back a bit, but the price of fiber itself might be comparable to cable internet if there’s decent competition in the market.
Who might want to pass on fiber, at least in the short term? Maybe a startup that could be moving to larger offices in the near future. But fiber most certainly will pay a business back in the long run, and perhaps sooner than you think. And businesses in remote locations might find it too pricey with little market competition.
The vast majority of companies, however, will find fiber is more than just for breakfast these days.
The Fiber-for-SMB Argument: SLAs
Also worth keeping in mind, since fiber connections usually are a higher priority for service providers, service-level agreements (SLAs) typically are better.
The Fiber-for-SMB Argument: No Backup Necessary?
Just how reliable is fiber? Most businesses will be able to forgo paying for a backup connection.
If your or your customer’s company can’t afford any downtime for any reason – think financial services, health care, for example – that’s an exception. But only because you can never eliminate the chance that a construction crew will mistakenly cut the fiber line, or vandals might try to take it out.
The Fiber-for-SMB Argument: Not All Fiber …
… is created equal.
Some providers will repackage Ethernet over copper and call it fiber. Chances are, the price will look a little too good to be true.
That’s because fiber in this case only goes to the backbone, not the point of entry. Latency and uptime could suffer, and SLAs won’t live up to their billing.
The Fiber-for-SMB Argument: Next-Gen Fiber
Fiber has an even speedier future ahead.
The Fiber-for-SMB Argument: Advice to Partners
Know your customer and the technology.
Be familiar with your client’s location, what construction options are available, how much services cost, etc. And be sure to grill them on their business needs.
And hesitate before you try to rope them into long-term contracts. The price of fiber is dropping and they won’t be happy if their neighbor gets a better deal than they do six months later — when they’re locked in for several years.
The Fiber-for-SMB Argument: Cablecos as Fiber Providers
In our Report, “Cablecos & the Channel: State of the Market 2016,” a two-thirds majority identified cable companies as primary providers for fiber-based services.
The Fiber-for-SMB Argument
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