In this series we discuss the process of acquiring new technology for your contact centre, and provide some suggestions to ensure a successful project.
This article is the fourth in the series.
Selecting a Solution and Vendor
It is often not realised that selecting a solution and selecting a vendor are quite different. Consider buying a new car – the process is often to select the preferred vehicle first, then select the dealer based on a combination of the dealer’s personality, price, showroom appearance, locality or a variety of other reasons.
A similar solution exists when choosing new contact centre technology. There are numerous solutions that are likely to meet your needs to different degrees, and there are usually different dealers that can sell each of the solutions – sometimes a dealer can sell multiple solutions.
When you issue a tender to the market, a variety of things can happen:
- A vendor may select the solution they think will best suit you, or the solution that provides them with the most margin to present to you.
- You may get multiple vendors presenting the same solution.
- You may not be presented some solutions that are very suitable to your needs.
- You may be presented a solution that you like, by a vendor that you don’t like.
- You have to base your decision on what is presented to you – you have little visibility of how that vendor or solution has performed in the past.
All of this adds up to a very confusing situation, particularly as this kind of technology is usually quite expensive.
Wouldn’t it be great to have access to someone who has insight into the past performance of different dealers, and the degree of backing and support provided by the vendors? This would also reduce the risk associated with a significant project such as the replacement of a phone system.
What if they also had an understanding of the different solutions in the market, and could recommend a short list of suppliers and solutions to reduce the time required to evaluate the different offerings.
Using an external, independent advisor (such as Contact Centre Action) significantly increases the likelihood that you will select the right solution from the right vendor, and that solution will be installed with minimal problems in the shortest possible time. While not always obvious in the beginning this can save you many thousands of dollars over the course of the project.
Remember that, similar to a car purchase, the purchase of a phone system commences a relationship with a vendor that is likely to last five years or more. It is important to get that decision right in the first place.
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