There are a number of things to consider before purchasing a new telephone system. It is important to cover the bases to ensure a solution that will fit your business needs and budget.
When planning to purchase a new telephone system, it is wise to thoroughly analyze your specific business needs. A well thought-out process will help ensure quality results and a solution that meets your expectations. Don’t fall into the trap of paying too much, selecting the wrong technology or the using the wrong vendor. Most business telephone solutions are long term commitments, so a mistake lives on for years. Be sure to employ an effective process that helps you select the best solution possible.
The following questions will assist in determining your business communications requirements.
What is motivating you?
While the most frequent answer is to replace an obsolete phone system there are actually several factors that could affect your final decision.
Outdated Technology. Perhaps adequate service, support and parts are difficult to obtain for your current equipment.
Available Features. If your current system is simply lacking the features that contribute to improving productivity and enhancing customer service, it may be time for a new solution.
Monthly Telephone Bill. Once a system is deployed, your costliest telecommunications expense may be the monthly telephone bill. Proper planning and coordination with your new system can often lead to lowering monthly costs.
VoIP. These days, with everyone relocating business services to the cloud, it might make sense for your company to consider a virtual PBX.
Expansion. If your company is in a state of growth, you may have outgrown your current system.
Relocation. When moving to a different location, it might be a good time to replace your technology instead of sinking money into moving an old system.
Do you have a date for completion? Often, the buying decision gets delayed in deference to handling day to day business operations. The result could be a system failure that makes the decision a more urgent priority and unduly hastens the decision process.
What parameters are important to you? These days, most phone systems offer the same features. It’s more a matter of whether you would prefer to purchase it as a product or a service. Regardless, there are still plenty of considerations to keep in mind, such as:
– Up Front Price
– Total Cost of Ownership
– Vendor Location & Reputation
– Brand Recognition
Defining and weighing these parameters narrows your focus saving both you and potential vendors lots of time
Do you have a budget in mind? It can be hard to be transparent with this information. You may fear that it will be used against you when it comes to making the purchase. However, having a budget in place beforehand can often save you time when it comes to looking for solutions within your price range. Also, vendors know that most customers are looking at multiple solutions and a solution with an inflated price won’t be considered.
If you don’t have enough information to create a budget, contact several vendors and tell them that you are looking to create a budget. Make sure to ask for a range of pricing. Most providers will share round numbers and you’ll get the sense of costs. Bear in mind that most everybody will be quoting their low end solution in hopes of remaining in the game when you become an active buyer.
Do you have any preferences? Would you prefer an on-site Premise PBX or a cloud-based virtual PBX? Both have their advantages.
Have you already considered any solutions?
Do you have a preferred provider? Often, customer loyalty rests with the equipment manufacturer, the product brand or the local value-added reseller. Do you care about the brand name, or are you open to considering all providers?
Is There an Implementation Time Frame?
If you’re working against a hard deadline, it may affect the time you have to explore potential vendors or compare different technologies and therefore change your evaluation process.
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