Selecting the right business phone solution can be a daunting task. There are too many possibilities in the marketplace today. Should your business use a premise-based system or go to the cloud? Is a digital system still relevant or should I follow the crowd and jump into VoIP solutions? So where should your research start? Who can you trust?
Establish a Baseline. Take time to brainstorm with your IT staff, C-level Management and your end users. What are your offices lacking in order to achieve their business goals? Where can newer phone system technology help meet those needs? Once you’ve started a ‘Needs Assessment’ internally, you may be surprised at how many people are willing to help you fill in the gaps. Now, you can establish a baseline and start looking for solutions.
Ask around. Who are your peers using for their phone solutions? Are their VAR’s meeting the needs of your peers? If you can find a ‘friendly’ competitor in your industry you now have someone who has similar business challenges and needs. Listen carefully and consider what and who they use for their telecommunications needs. You may find a common string of benefits as well as gaps. It is very good to discover both. Then you will know the common challenges and resources you need to bring to the table.
Enlist some third-party research. There are several established players in the technology-research game. RAM has provided links for you to three top firms: Yankee Group, Gartner and Forrester. These organizations provide subscription-based services. In return, you get access to huge databases of research on business-related technology topics and best practices. These organizations provide a valuable framework for identifying your needs and establishing a game plan for meeting them. Additionally, you may find some information about specific vendors and their capabilities.
You can also find unique experience and perspective from consultants and VAR’s who play in the phone arena on a daily basis. A good consultant will know who the top vendors are and which ones can best suit your company’s needs. Even better, find someone who works directly with the sales reps, project managers and installers. It’s not enough to find the right phone system. You must find the good people and organizations that you want to implement and support your new phones. Separate the good apples from the bad ones!
Establishing your baseline and researching the top players takes time and effort. However, if you take the time to educate yourself and find the vendor that best suits your needs, your chances for success improve dramatically. Do the work and you’ll be rewarded.
DON’T HESITATE TO CALL RAM FOR MORE HELP!