The Questions Every Business Leader Should Ask When Shopping for a Technology Advisor

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In our work as award-winning technology advisors, we’ve addressed thousands of questions from prospective clients looking to understand what we do, why we do it, and most importantly– what’s in it for them. We’ve put together a collection of the most important questions one must ask when shopping for a Technology Advisor. We have also added the answers you need to feel confident.

1. What is the company’s culture?

According to the Puget Sound Business Journal, StrataCore is the 3rd Best Small Business to work for in the state of Washington. At StrataCore we believe a great culture is the cornerstone for outstanding employees and happy clients. Have you ever tried to get great service from a disgruntled employee? We believe only exceptional and fully engaged employees can consistently satisfy enterprise clients, so we have carefully crafted our culture to support employee happiness and fulfillment. Learn more about our culture here.

2. Do you guarantee your services?

We are not afraid to stand behind our work, which is why we provide a $10,000 Client Satisfaction Guarantee.* If a client works with us for 1 year and isn’t satisfied, as defined by the client, then we will write them a check for $10,000. Simple as that.
*$10,000 Client Satisfaction Guarantee is subject to eligibility.

3. Do you have a proven process?

We have refined and audited our process since our beginnings as a company, adapting and maintaining where need be to ensure success. On a typical project, there are over 40 key steps in the client journey including Current State Analysis, IT Infrastructure Assessment, Commercial Terms Review, Usage Review, IT Services Road Mapping, Market Trends Analysis, Niche Provider Research, Side-by-Side Cost Analysis, Vendor Risk Analysis, Next Generation Technology Analysis, Fake Redundancy Analysis, Manual Reverse Auction, Contract Negotiations with Plug & Play Language, Bill Issue Escalation, Post-Sales Support, Renewal Assistance, Ongoing Analysis, Ongoing Support, Technical Issue Escalation, Peer-to-Peer Network Building, and much more.

4. Do you provide detailed side-by-side cost and technical analysis?

Yes. We believe great data produces great decision-making. We don’t just get quotes– we take data much more seriously. Some may call us obsessive, but our clients love our enthusiasm and attention to detail. There’s so much inaccurate and missing data in our industry, and StrataCore has committed to being the change– we fill in the gaps, verify the accuracy, and lay out the information in an easy-to-understand apple-to-apples analysis.

5. Do you have access to subject matter experts?

StrataCore taps over 50 “service-specific” subject matter experts to ensure the quality of our work. Clients need partners who can go deep across a wide range of specialties, and we vow to be those partners. No single person has all the information, so we enlist the help we need to keep our promise of high-quality service. Not only do we have access to direct access to very experienced “service-specific” subject matter experts, but we also have our own in-house technical, legal, and industry experts.

6. Can you provide client testimonials?

Some companies might try to convince you that their client relationships are confidential to explain why they can’t share testimonials. Beware of these companies.
At StrataCore, we have video and written testimonials readily available for review. We can also put you in direct contact with our current clients.

7. How many projects do you work on per year?

We advise and source more IT Services in a week than a typical enterprise does in a year– working on over 650 projects per year and meticulously logging and tracking each one. This provides an unprecedented depth of historical data and enhanced the overall experience. Chances are incredibly high that we have recently completed a project very similar to yours and are able to draw on our most successful methodologies and process points from that exact project to aid in your engagement.

8. Do you provide post-sales support?

We build clients for life, offering a dedicated 3-person support team backed by a much larger team, and continually reaching out and checking in on our clients to ensure our work has lasting effects. This means that if your company has a unique issue, problem, challenge, threat, or opportunity down the line, you don’t have to work through it on your own. We find that we have more leverage with the providers than any single client, due in part to the sheer size and type of our client base. Providers know they must keep our clients happy, or they risk losing much more than just one client. As a valued StrataCore client, you can leverage our combined buying power on future projects.

9. What tools do you use?

Numerous tools help us empower clients, like: Network Diversity Analysis, Service Specific Technical Comparison Checklists, Service Provider Comparison Matrix, Geographic Services Location Finder, Prewritten RFPs, Fiber Mapping Tools, Low Pricing Benchmarks, Plug & Play Replacement Contract Language, TCO Analysis, Ocial and Unocial Escalation Lists.

10. What percent of your business is international?

Our clients are large multinational organizations. As a result, 50% of our business is outside the United States. We’ve completed projects in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, England, France, Germany, Japan, China, Hong Kong, India, Mexico, Brazil, Romania, Israel, Russia and many more. Doing projects in the United States is relatively easy. True international experience is the difference between the minor and major leagues, between big promises and big delivery. We know the specific needs and intricacies of multinational and global organizations, making us a uniquely qualified choice to support their technology needs.

11. How many senior-level members are on your team?

We’re a team of industry veterans that far exceeds this necessary criterion. We understand the behind-the-scenes dynamics across numerous service providers. Our team is full of people who used to work at the major providers, such as Sprint, Savvis, XO, Speakeasy, ColoCenters, Digital Fortress, Frontier, Level3, Verizon, AT&T, CenturyLink, and US Military Cyber Defense. These seasoned experts, some with more than a decade and a half of industry experience, are now dedicated to helping companies like yours achieve success through technology solutions. Meet our team!

12. Do you have pre-negotiated Service Provider agreements?

We know that clear expectations prevent problems, and a good contract is worth more than its weight in gold. All of our clients have lawyers, but they rarely have the specific legal subject matter expertise related to Data Networks, Hosted Voice Services, Cloud Services, Datacenter and Cyber Security. To bridge this gap, we have pre-negotiated dozens of provider agreements. We also drafted plug & play language to address the 35 primary contract issues we regularly encounter. We are the only agency with an in-house legal team.

13. Can you help me network and connect with similar professionals?

Everyone has struggles. Learning how similar companies addressed the same issues can save months of effort. Sometimes clients just want to talk to other clients that are facing similar problems, and we find that they truly appreciate our Client Peer-to-Peer Discussions, which we facilitate between members of our impressive client list. If you want to jump on the phone or meet for coffee with one of your peers, we are more than happy to connect you.
We hope this collection of questions and answers helps you understand the value of working with StrataCore, your dedicated technology advisors. We are truly advocates, driven by our passion, our ethics, and our desire to make a difference for our clients. The flexibility, expertise, and cost-savings available to you through working with a trusted advisor are valuable to your business, and your business is equally valuable to us.
Do you have more questions for our team? Our representatives are more than happy to speak with you. Click here to contact StrataCore.

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