Let’s face it – buying a new phone system is NOT easy. And while it shouldn’t be so daunting, the telecom industry where I’ve spent the past 25 years, unfortunately adds a level of complexity and frustration to the process instead of making it easier. At the same time, lack of experience and a clear plan for evaluating systems on the buying side adds to the confusion.
The market is flooded with so many equipment choices. Advances in technology can be overwhelming; especially in the past few years, so you need someone you can trust that can help you sort it all out. And if that’s not enough, our industry is full of jargon and TLA’s (three letter acronyms) – talk about confusing!
There are economic conditions that can have an impact, but in my opinion they’re often overshadowed by competitive pressures that the vendors are creating by focusing on the “lowest price” instead of the actual needs or results that can be expected. I’m not suggesting a “blank check” approach here, but simply to place more of an emphasis on the explicit needs and desired results than on an initial price that was obtained (which may not be valid or representative of your actual needs).
One of the most important pieces to the puzzle is the vendor you ultimately select to install and support your new system. Other considerations include their level of experience, knowledge of your company or specific requirements, and their status with the manufacturer(s) they represent (are they factory authorized and certified?). Do you have a prior service and billing history with them, or is your assessment of this based on a sales presentation? Have you asked their references the hard questions? For example, what happens when there’s a problem? Let’s face it, when you’re dealing with technology and multiple vendors to complete a simple phone call, there are going to be issues from time to time. Do they take responsibility and see the issues through to completion, or do they point fingers and hide? Are they always accessible and how quickly do they respond to your requests? What’s it like to do business with them and are they fair? The list goes on and on…
This next element is all too common in a number of ways. Each vendor has their own approach, which is okay. What’s not okay is when a “standard specification” has not been established between the buyer and the vendors, which means that everyone is bidding on a different configuration. That would be hard enough to figure out if everyone was proposing the same system; but they’re not which makes it even more difficult to compare. In this case, not only are you dealing with different terminology between competing systems, but the hardware quantities and software components are unmatched. You’re comparing apples and oranges to use an old phrase. So you can’t possibly expect to conduct a fair comparison, which adds to the confusion.
Here’s an unfortunate but typical scenario: You meet with a vendor who does a mediocre discovery and needs assessment; then submits a proposal with the intent to attract and win the business based on price (or even worse – they have an undisclosed intention to bring up the additional costs during the implementation). Another vendor does a more thorough evaluation and is forced to compete with a “benchmark price” that’s not truly representative of your needs. Sound negative? It is, but unfortunately it does happen.
And finally, we can’t forget about the network. Since everything today is Voice Over IP, your local area network (LAN), wide area network (WAN), and broadband provider have a huge impact on functionality. This includes your IT staff or vendor, who needs to be directly involved to ensure the health and success your new IP-PBX. We have a saying that’s proven itself over & over again, and goes something like this; “When it don’t work, it’s the network”!
As you can see, there’s a lot to be considered when acquiring and installing a new phone system. And when you hire IDeACOM, you can rest assured that you’re in good hands. Through many years of experience and a sincere desire to exceed your expectations, we’ve established proven plans to help you simplify the buying process, manage the installation phase, and get the most out of your system with customized support plans.
IDeACOM has the experience and resources to help you sort out the best overall fit for your organization, & ability to help you get the highest payoff from your phone system in terms of results and savings. Contact us to schedule an evaluation, or to simply learn more about how we can help you. Make the call and put our experience to work for you today!