As funny as it sounds, it’s important to look beyond just the price and quality of the switches and access points you purchase from a networking vendor.

Ultimately, you want to work with a vendor that is transparent, caring, and willing to go the extra mile when you need some extra help. Here are 8 great questions to ask yourself before solidifying on any networking solutions vendor.

1) Do I also have to pay for a support contract?
2) Will I get locked in on proprietary protocols with this vendor?
3) Will I need next-day advanced business replacements?
4) How long has this vendor been around and can I trust them?
5) Are they big enough to know what to do but small enough to care?
6) Will they fly out and help me configure everything on site?
7) Can they do something custom for my very specific needs?
8) Have they worked with organizations that are very similar to myself?

Regardless of which vendor you ultimately choose to go with, I hope you find these questions helpful on your quest to creating (and maintaining) the perfect networking environment for your organization.