Many organizations, especially educational institutions, find that the slower pace at the end of the year makes this a good time to think about technology upgrades or migrations. One recommendation: Before making wholesale changes, consider working with a partner that will help engineer a successful outcome from the start.
Questions to Ask a Telecommunications Partner
Before choosing a telecommunications partner, ask about the level of service and how the prospective partner works with an organization, from upper management to end users. Because every organization is different, each project should be tailored to the organization and its users.
The gold standard is to do a deep dive into the needs of various stakeholders, typically through focus groups that explore the following areas:
- Which features and capabilities are musts?
- Which aren’t mandatory, but would be nice to have?
- What do they like and not like about the current system?
- What features and capabilities are on their wish lists?
In addition, it’s important to ask about day-to-day interactions.
- How much training and support will users receive?
- When a new employee joins the organization or new hardware is needed, how does the partner handle installations?
- Will the partner help implement APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) to integrate the Unified Communications system with the company’s business applications (e.g., CRM, ERP, etc.)?
- How does the partner assist with deploying advanced features, such as contact centers that use speech recognition and artificial intelligence (AI)?
- Who provides user support? Will calls be routed to an offshore contact center, or will U.S.-based engineers provide immediate assistance?
Try Before You Buy
Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for a proof-of-concept demonstration in the form of a pilot project or trial run. While not all features can be implemented as a test, a good service provider will allow organizations to test-drive the proposed technology in their normal, day-to-day environment to confirm that it functions as needed. This no-obligation, free test should include the actual hardware and software that will be used in the final system, ensuring that the proposed solution will work seamlessly with the company’s existing operations and add the necessary capabilities.
While testing the system, there’s one more question to ask: Is the prospective partner consistently adding new capabilities and technology to future-proof your investment?
The Buzz about Mitel
Earlier this fall, Mitel completed its acquisition of Unify, which followed a previous strategic partnership agreement to help clients seamlessly expand and transfer systems. The addition of Unify now makes Mitel the world’s second-largest unified communications company. Reportedly, Mitel now has 75 million users in 100 countries.
The acquisition will increase Mitel’s ability to offer more options and greater flexibility to customers throughout the life of their communications needs. In particular, the combined company will deliver greater value to organizations in many vertical markets, such as healthcare, public sector, hospitality, financial services, etc.
VOIP Networks and Mitel
VOIP Networks is an exclusive Mitel Platinum Partner, and our relationship with Mitel stretches back nearly four decades, when most communication systems were on-premises. The benefit for end users is that VOIP Networks has a deep understanding of Mitel’s hardware and technology, helping clients to take advantage of all their system’s capabilities.
Like Mitel, VOIP Networks is growing and adding additional expertise, noteworthy in an industry where some major players are announcing layoffs. Our growth is driven by a client-first approach that not only includes no-obligation proof-of-concept testing but also white-glove service and U.S.-based support 24/7/365.
To learn more, please contact us at 800.494.0000 or Email Us.