Traditional phone system purchase versus a managed phone system offerings:
We’ve posted a few blogs this month regarding the traditional model of purchasing technology and services versus a more forward thinking model – managed. Generally, the following points apply:
Traditional Phone System Purchase and Support:
A significant capital outlay in always depreciating technology
Front-loaded services – most of the value-added services are bundled into the initial project
Limited ongoing support offerings – based on Time and Material or an annual support contract that covers a limited number of services
Technology users become less familiar with the system features over time, minimizing the technology’s Return of Investment (ROI) and efficiencies originally sold as system benefits
The system becomes less optimally configured for the organization over time – primarily due to a lack of vendor education on new technology and a “nickel and dime” effect where the vendor charges the customer for all programming changes. Eventually the business has to mold to the business phone system as opposed to the phone system being used as a tool to further support the businesses objectives.
The system becomes outdated prematurely. Again, due to a lack of vendor involvement, the system soon becomes multiple versions behind on software, has unsupported hardware, and becomes unsupported altogether. Failed hardware becomes harder to find – increasing the vulnerability of the organization to a system outage. Because the organization originally spent a considerable amount on capital, it must squeeze every penny out of the phone system over ten to fifteen years.
Complete lack of vendor involvement: For the vendor, the business model is flawed. They must continue to sell phone systems to other customers – continually seeking that bag of cash to fund their cash-intensive organization. Their interest in continuing to provide value-added services to their account base dwindles.
The end result – an adversarial relationship with the vendor (if they’re even around), an antiquated, business phone system that nobody knows how to use (back to hold and transfer), a phone system that is costly to maintain, and complete inflexibility for the system to meet the organizational objectives.
The next step, pay a vendor another bag of cash and do it all over again.
Sound too familiar?
Another approach – a managed business phone system / communication tools
No capital outlay – the monthly fee is an operational expense, not a bag of cash dropped on a depreciating asset. The customer can now reinvest that money into things that more directly affect the bottom line like marketing or inventory.
Fixed, budgeted monthly fee – covers all initial installation and training of the phone system
The customer doesn’t own the phone system, the vendor does. The customer prefers to pay for an outsourced, expert service monthly. This philosophy is a “pay for service” as opposed to an “own hardware” approach.
Fixed, budgeted, monthly fee – covers all ongoing user training, programming changes, hardware and software.
Technology refresh options – The customer can upgrade, replace, or expand the phone system at anytime, often keeping the budgeted monthly payment the same.
Ongoing vendor consultation – The vendor / customer relationship is a partnership. The vendor continues to educate the customer on industry technology enhancements and phone system / communication technology features that could enhance the customers’ business
The end result – A happy vendor; a happy, educated customer; a supported, technologically-current, phone system with updated programming that meets the ongoing business objectives; happy, efficient users whom are taking advantage of the system benefits –
All for a fixed budgeted monthly fee. No unforeseen, costly expenses.
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