So which side of the MPOE do you live?
The “Minimum Point of Entry” is where data enters a building via either coax cable, fiber optics or most commonly, copper. This “last mile” is provided by LECs – Local Exchange Carriers (AT&T and the local cable provider) and is then leased to other service providers known as CLECs – Competitive Local Exchange Carriers.
These LECs and CLECs are continually upgrading and changing the technology protocols of (the way they deliver) the 0s and 1s that become spreadsheets on your computer, voice on your telephone sets, video on your boardroom screen, and websites on your smart device. Commonly referred to as Telco, this occurs on the street side of the MPOE. Once inside the building, these providers will place a switch (router) that converts those 0s and 1s to 0s and 1s that your company’s hardware and software understands.
Therein lies the great divide.
Each of these companies, and now, to complicate things even more, cloud based, internet riding, “SIP” (Session Initiation Protocol – an emerging way of delivering voice and video) companies each have their own sales and marketing forces marching to the marketplace with long term contracts in hand, hoping to sign up businesses to their service, generating lucrative monthly recurring charges. Meanwhile, inside the office lives the corporate infrastructure of computers, telephones, smart devices, and even fax machines that may or may not work well with the services being offered.
This is where the role of a systems integrator becomes critical. Before making any changes to the service provider (Telco) offering, or to the company’s local area network infrastructure, a company needs to make sure that both sides of the MPOE will be compatible and efficiently combined and utilized. No one likes having to make an unplanned hardware or software investment. Additionally, business suffers while having to wait for data to upload or experiencing a choppy voice or video conversation.
So, a systems integrator lives with you on both sides of the MPOE.
Choose one wisely that represents multiple service providers as well as quality hardware and software network products. Ask for and check their references of implementations at similar companies, and visit their place of business. Your business depends on it.