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5 Considerations for Purchasing a UCaaS/CCaaS Solution

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As I noted in part one of this series, planning for a new ACD, CCaaS, or CCaaS/UCaaS combination requires a lot of upfront work, beginning with a needs assessment. Beyond the basics, like understanding business drivers, determining the project scope, and defining requirements, as I covered previously, come a number of other key considerations. Here are five to keep in mind:
 
  1. Network Readiness – Nearly all enterprises have an environment that can accommodate a VoIP system today, but yours may or may not be ready for a cloud-based solution. Is the network engineered to support multiple cloud provider routes? Do you have the proper bandwidth and network configuration to get the best performance with voice (a sensitive application) on your network? Most importantly, do you have an SD-WAN network in place with active-active/always-on functionality with multiple network routes from each location?
  2. Relevant Contracts – When will your voice and data network contracts expire? How about the support contract for your existing system? Do you have any other current contracts for current cloud-based solutions, like an IVR or other component in scope to replace? Consider the timing of your project, contract penalties, and potential exit strategies you could negotiate with these vendors if needed.
  3. Cost Savings – Do you expect to eliminate the costs of voice or SIP trunks, as well as maintenance and cloud costs for other existing services that you’ll be replacing? Doing so could be a significant cost justification for your project or have an impact on your return on investment (ROI) for this solution.
  4. Strategy – If you’re looking for a best-in-class solution for each category (IVR, ACD, UC, text, AI/chatbot, etc.,) determine if a single-source solution makes more sense. Does your business require a hybrid solution that includes both a single source for most of the components and a best-in-class solution for a few, depending on what you find? Having a solid strategy in place is necessary for your organization and worth having at least one discussion about it along the way.
  5. Expertise – Do you have the internal expertise to complete this project in-house? If you do, then great! However, most IT shops have much bigger priorities like network security, core systems, end-user needs, compliance and regulatory concerns, evaluation of new technology, etc., and telecom isn’t always high up on the list. Since these systems are only purchased once every five to 10 years, the experience of going through the process, knowing the current technology and applications, current vendors in the space, etc., can be a stretch for many IT departments. If this is the case for your organization, you might want to get help from an independent expert. If you decide to find a consultant to help you with this process, be sure they don’t sell any of these products or services. Even if they represent multiple products and services, their incentive may be more about getting the highest prices and longest contract terms versus serving your best interests. Ensure you’re getting the services of an independent consultant that is truly acting on your behalf, and not its own.
 
Look for solution acquisition and vendor evaluation in part three of this three-part series, and don't forget to join us at Enterprise Connect this September to learn more about UCaaS, CCaaS, and contact center trends. Register now using the promo code NJAL200 to save $200!

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