Our consulting practice spends a lot of time on this very issue. I'd rate
the top three things that our customers are looking for from SP's are as
- Customer Service - a single point of contact, pro-active network
management, and fast provisioning. Poor customer service, IMHO, is the
single biggest complaint I hear from our customers about their current
- Cost - especially considering market slow-downs
- Geographic Availability - being able to provide service where its needed
and when its needed, via a single point of contact if partnership
arrangements are required.
I'd also add financial stability as another concern. Companies are very
wary about putting their lifeblood onto a service provider's network when
that service provider isn't financially stable.