Is a VoIP phone system the right choice for my company? What functional and cost advantages would we realize? Can our network support a VoIP system? Is VoIP secure and stable? Should we implement a new system in phases or all at once? How does VoIP compare to traditional PBX systems?
Is a Cloud based VoIP phone system right for my situation? You can essentially outsource your PBX and Unified Communications services to the Cloud, minimizing CAPEX costs and support costs, but with some loss of control and generally greater cost in the long-term. We'll help you make that complex analysis and decision.
How do we define what type of a VoIP or traditional PBX system or solution that we need / want? Are there features that will help us to be more efficient, more responsive? How does the system integrate with voice mail, unified messaging, interactive voice response? What about call centers? What back-up and redundancy capability is available? Should we include WiFi portable phones in our solution? What role do mobile devices play in the enterprise communications solution? What is the CAPEX cost? What is the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership)?
How do we find the right system and installation vendor? What are the differences between Alcatel, Avaya, Cisco, Mitel, Unify, et al? Who installs it? If you wish to oursource your phone system to a Cloud provider, which ones are best aligned with your needs? What competencies does the installer need? What competencies do we need internally? How do we get the best deal?
Implications of phone system decisions:
The good news is that there are a vast range of manufacturers, equipment, installation VARs and a huge range of features and options available. The bad news is that defining the right solution and selecting the right vendors is very time consuming and bad decisions can lead to a phone system that doesn’t work properly (a very conspicuous problem!) and can cost twice as much as it should. Companies rarely replace phone systems more than once every ten to twenty years. Rarely does internal staff have the experience or skill set necessary to define and acquire a new system.
The Gateway Group Approach To Finding The Best Solution For You:
We put Ready, Aim Fire in the right order!
Our analysis process starts without presuming a specific solution. We analyze your current system, review equipment and carrier contracts, test network capacity, interview users and support staff. Our analysis will provide you with very clear options for improving/replacing your current phone system. Cost analysis and projections based on current actual costs will assist with the financial aspects of your decision making. Features, benefits, tradeoffs, scalability options and operational descriptions will provide you with the factors relative to operational considerations. We can also survey best practices in your industry / competitive environment to provide external situation factors for your considerations.
If you decide to proceed, the Gateway Group will help you to define your telecom system requirements, including detailed features, capacity, voice mail, analysis and reporting capability, ancillary features and maintenance requirements. We'll guide you through the options of outsourcing to the Cloud. We help define any network, power or physical upgrades required to support the new system. We put your system requirements and specifications directly into an RFP that will be used for equipment / vendor selection. The RFP is generally equipment agnostic, but contains adequate detail to become the basis for a contract with the selected vendor.
Gateway Group’s methodical vendor selection process will assure that you have excellent and comparable choices. We create an RFP that is broad enough to accommodate a range of equipment and vendor solutions, but specific enough to compare proposals and proposed budgets. In some cases, we add a RFI (request for information) process before the RFP is distributed to identify a suitable range of qualified vendors. This step can save time by pre-screening unqualified vendors and can save money by identifying additional vendors that might propose a more cost effective solution. In one case, this process identified qualified VAR’s in addition to the nominal group of VARS that worked in the area, which resulted in the receipt of a superior proposal/solution which was selected and saved the client over 30% on a million dollar plus project.
A major telecom installation project can be complex. Even with a “turn-key” equipment VAR, close coordination is typically required with the telephone and interconnect companies, your IT, telecom and training departments and sub contractors. The Gateway Group can assist you by coordinating the installation of your selected system. Our experience and tight project management processes make sure that you get what you specified and contracted for. We use a Web based group work site and Web collaboration tools and weekly project phone-cyber meetings to make sure everyone has the same information and that everything is being properly coordinated.