This article is sponsored by FlexNetworks.
With video calls and remote access to corporate data becoming hallmarks of doing business amid COVID-19, companies across Ottawa are increasingly understanding that not all internet connections and service providers are created equal.
Many existing office networks that were designed to connect a handful of on-premise employees are under strain while business owners and managers are simultaneously confronting new cybersecurity questions.
These are headaches that internet service provider FlexNetworks has alleviated for years with its extensive fibre-optic network.
The company – which has a presence in Ontario as well as central Canada – delivers fast and reliable internet to its enterprise-level clients in the private sector, academia and health care. Chris Armitage, national sales director at FlexNetworks, says demand has accelerated ever since the pandemic forced many workers out of their office.
“Your business is only as strong as your network,” says Armitage. “The internet is so prevalent in running a company these days that any shortcomings in the connection can have a huge impact on productivity.”
Kris Kelly, a senior account executive at FlexNetworks based in Ottawa, says anyone who has spent time staring at a frozen video of a colleague or waiting for a simple upload to complete should likely be asking themselves – and their internet service provider – several questions about their connection:
Cable vs. DSL vs. fibre
While you can access the internet from almost anywhere, there is a lot happening underground that affects your connection, says Kelly. It typically starts with the type of network you are on.
Internet providers can connect clients in several ways, including cable, DSL or fibre-optic options.
While cable is the more widely used option for internet service providers due its availability and long-standing use in the industry, the quality of the connection often diminishes with physical distance. DSL suffers similar shortcomings. This typically means that the further a remote user is from their office server, the slower their connection, says Kelly.
However, by solely using a fibre-optic connection – like the networks Flex owns, builds and operates – users can be spread out across the country and still experience seamless connectivity.
“We’re allowing our customers to do more online with their business without the fear of slowing down or limiting their network,” says Kelly. “You don’t have to worry about what technology you’re going to use because we take the “Can I do it?” question out of the equation.”
There is also a safety benefit to using a fibre-optic connection. It is inherently more secure and a lot harder to tap into, which can bring peace of mind to business owners whose employees are using personal computers for work.
Latency vs. bandwidth
As companies transmit ever-growing volumes of data, many traditional networks can become congested.
The issue is often high latency, or how quickly information is moving from the server to the user, says Kelly.
Since Flex builds its own fully fibre-optic network, the company is able to provide point-to-point connection – connecting users directly with the server – as opposed to putting clients on a shared network or a part fibre-optic, part-cable connection. Point-to-point connections have lower latency and enable seamless communications between staff.
Many companies also question their ISP’s bandwidth capability, or how much data can be transmitted at one time.
FlexNetworks understands that every business has different needs and has various internet packages that correspond with their clients’ requirements – be it sharing large files across entire teams or Zoom social events on a Friday afternoon.
A personal connection
One of the best measures of your network’s effectiveness is the speed at which you can troubleshoot a problem. Many people have first-hand experience with long wait times and frustrating conversations with large telecom companies.
As a specialized service provider, FlexNetworks experiences a low volume of service calls, enabling its team to offer more personalized and individualized help – and resolve challenges quickly.
“Nobody wants to open a service ticket and wait for someone to call them back. They just want to talk to someone,” says Kelly. “It’s one thing if your TV is down at home, but it’s another if your entire business is down. Productivity can come to a standstill, and we want to ensure that isn’t the experience for our customers.”
If your company is experiencing choppy video connections, slower-than-usual download speeds or are in need of a more reliable network, visit https://flexnetworks.ca for more information or contact Kris Kelly at (613) 808-6746 / Kris.Kelly@FlexNetworks.ca to set up a consultation.