Here’s a very common scenario: An IT buyer is looking into buying a new phone system, so he contacts a vendor, tells them what system they currently have, and asks for recommendations. The vendor then attempts to upsell the buyer, and the buyer feels pressured to purchase more than his business really needs because he didn’t take the time to figure out what the exact requirements were in the first place. He ends up purchasing a system that doesn’t align with his business’s needs, and spends more than he wanted to.
Phone systems are one of the most important technology investments your company will make. The right system can fuel and support company growth by offering scalability and flexibility; but investing in the wrong system can bog down your productivity and impede growth. As the first step in the buying process, research your business’s needs and capabilities before reaching out to vendors. Doing so will save time, money, resources, and headaches.
(To see if it’s time to upgrade your phone system, check out this article.)
To understand your business needs before comparing phone vendors, make a list with the following information:
- What is the budget allocated for this project? While there is nothing wrong with blue-sky thinking, having financial parameters early on will help narrow down your search. Do you have the CapEx for an on-premises solution, or would you prefer the OpEx route? Do you have a preferred billing method?
- What IT resources are available within your company? Can you manage an on-premises IP PBX or would an off-site, managed Cloud solution suite you better? Do you need a Value Added Reseller (VAR) to help with the selection, deployment, and ongoing maintenance of your system?
- Voice applications – Do you have a call center/automatic call distributor (ACD)? How many remote workers do you have? How many total employees do you have?
- What features or capabilities are important to your users and management? If you can list some problems you are currently having with your system or the flow of business, a vendor should be able to match them with features that will serve as solutions.
- Network readiness- What are your growth plans? What kind of internet connection do you have? How many ports do you need per user? There are certain aspects of your current network that need to be considered to ensure that you are capable of delivering high-quality voice, video, and UC features to your office. Take our VoIP Network Readiness Test to assess your network.
Once you fully understand your business needs, you will be better prepared to choose the right business phone system for you, your employees, and your customers.
Part 2 of this blog series will go over the next steps in the phone system buying process, including: researching vendors, comparing features, and understanding the various types of business phone systems.
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business communications vendor is the right choice for your organization.