Tucson Business, It’s About What You Want

Keith John Gill asked:

Tucson AZ, it is one of the fastest growing “High-tech” business communities in the nation. With this fast growth comes a greater demand for flexible, scalable, intuitive, feature rich, customizable, and economical options for business class data and voice solutions.

The interesting thing though is that this “demand” is born more out of what is “wanted” than what is really “needed”.

I represent a large competitive local exchange company (CLEC) where I focus on the local Tucson AZ business community. It is my job to give business owners and principles what they “want” not necessarily what they need. Often times what they “want” is also what they “need” but not all the time. But what a business “needs’ is never as nearly important as what they “want”

Think of this “need / want” dynamic on a generalized personal level. Do people generally more often buy and consume less healthy white bread or healthier whole wheat bread? Statistically people more often buy and consume white bread…Why? Because it is what people “want” not what they “need”. Get it?

So how does this apply “need / want” dynamic apply to the Tucson business community and specifically to business class data and voice solutions where my expertise comes into play?

There are quite of few choices locally here in Tucson AZ for a local Tucson business to use as their data and voice provider. You have Qwest which is the legacy, “incumbent local exchange company” or ILEC, then a handful of other “competitive local exchange companies” CLEC’s such as Cox and Comcast and then a small group of service resellers and other companies that exist solely in the IP world that offer private network IP based services.

Anyone of these choices can fill the “need” to get the job done for the local business owner. But the real question is what does the business owner “want”? What are the rising trends? And who can consistently provide for these “wants” and rising trends?

Based on my field tested experience and research these are the trends and “wants” that I see as on the rise among Tucson businesses in regards to their voice and data solutions.

1. Scalability: Businesses want the flexibility and the choice to logistically scale their data and voice needs as their business grows and not be locked into an “all or nothing” type of solution. A popular voice and data solution that is not scalable enough for a lot of business are legacy, copper wire T1 lines. A full T1 in the Tucson metro area can cost anywhere from $400 to $700 per month before mileage charges. T1’s also offer a maximum of 1.544Mbs of fully symmetrical bandwidth and nothing more. If a business owner ever wants more bandwidth they have to bring in a whole new sole and separate T1 and another $400 to $700 per month. Now what if a business does not need a full 1.544Mbs of data connectivity right away because they are a new and growing business? In this instance a T1 does not offer the scalability nor the flexibility that some businesses “want”.

2. True Local support and local point of contact: This is something I hear a lot. Local business owners and managers are tired of calling support or service and getting connected to someone in another state (or worse another country) who has no real relationship or vested interest in solving an issue in a painless and timely manner. Tucson business owners want the personal relationship and for vendors to truly understand and relate to a given “want”.

Tucson Businesses want personal, high-touch, one-on-one, and fanatical customer service and a local person that they can form a true professional relationship with.

One business owner told me that he loves that I can be the local Tucson based point of contact because if anything goes wrong with his voice and data connections, for his mission critical applications, he likes not having to go travel very far to find me and “punch me in the face…” . Of course he was being sarcastic….I think?

3. Ala Carte service and flexibility: Tucson business owners “want” to be able pick and choose the services and products that they truly “want” and not be locked in having to take a certain level of service before being able to get a certain feature or product with a whole bunch of other ancillary services that they may never use.

4. Custom solutions: Tucson businesses are extremely diverse and not one particular “off the shelf” solution will fit every business. Tucson Businesses want to be able to have the choice of a custom fit / custom engineered solution for their data and voice solutions.

5. Choice to bundle services and have one vendor: Tucson business owners love to “bundle”. Practically it makes sense NOT to layer costs spread out among several different vendors. Tucson business owners **** having to pay up to 4 different vendors for their data, voice and HD video needs for their businesses. Being able to write one check and have one point of contact is not only convenient but it also saves a lot of lost time and frustration which in turn creates more productivity and profitability

6. Service and feature that cater to mobility and telecommuting: Tucson Business are moving away from the full time, static “brick and mortar” locations and are increasingly become more mobile in their business practices. Hence Tucson businesses want their data and voice solutions to be as mobile as they are like “digital voice service” with such features as “find me / follow me”, “call hunt”, “simultaneous ring” etc. Likewise on the data side Tucson business owners want the ability to access files and folders on their own private network remotely. Be it a virtual private network sessions or setting up a wide area network Tucson business owners need access from any location at any time they need it.

Also, I have noticed that an increasing amount of Tucson businesses are employing home workers or “telecommuters”. Especially those companies that employ a large customer support or technical support work force. To me this is a great thing. Automobile traffic is becoming an increasing nightmare in Tucson not too mention gas prices. So if more people can effectively work at home the better it is for everyone.

Being that “telecommuting” is becoming more of a growing trend for Tucson business, business owners want features and service that support this trend. Such as remote call forwarding, remote VPN access or having a wide area network or WAN for short.

7. Several different price points and bandwidth tiers to choose from: This ties back in with scalability and flexibility. Tucson business owners do not want to be locked into an “all or nothing scenario”. Tucson business owners want an economical solution that is fluid and can scale and grow as their business grows. Not all businesses want a full T1 data and voice connection to begin with when starting out and some business want a lot more than what a T1 can provide once their business grow and evolves.

8. True understanding of Personal Business WANTS: Did you ever meet someone who tried to serve you vanilla when you never “wanted” anything but chocolate. Vendors and sales people have gotten a bad reputation for constantly trying to pound a square peg in a round hole all because they don’t take the time to truly listen and understand your “wants” as a business owner. Most vendors try to constantly give you what they think you “need” but never address what you want.

Now, there are several different “wants” and growing business trends here in Tucson AZ in regards to data and voice connectivity but these are the most common I have run across.

So now that we have uncovered the growing trends for Tucson Business in regards to data and voice connectivity and what they “want” (not what they need) how does a business choose a vendor that can consistently deliver on these most common “wants” and trends? Very carefully, that’s how.

Never sign anything unless you are sure your potential vendor is going to be able to consistently deliver on your business “wants”. Again, it is my job to give Tucson businesses what they “want” and I will be the first one to tell you that I can not deliver something and recommend who can. Most times I and the company I represent are the best choice. But sometimes we are not.

Remember, it’s about what you “want” not what you “need…Now go get what you want.

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