The Essential Questions You Should be Asking

The two things that will doubtless strike you as you begin to evaluate system alternatives are:

  1. Everyone seems to have the answers, and...
  2. No two answers are exactly the same. 

If you've already called multiple vendors, ask yourself if almost everyone seems to be saying, "Here's my solution. Now, what's your problem?"

Similarly, if you've received preliminary pricing and everything seems to cost too much, have you already asked yourself, "All those companies who've gone out of business are doubtless trying to sell everything they can on eBay or Craigslist.  So why is everyone I contact only trying to sell me something new

Just as everything looks like a nail to a hammer, every vendor with something to sell has to convince you that they have the only right answer. Otherwise, you might not buy from them.  Always remember, vendors have their solutions set in stone long before they ever learn about your problems.  This is true for VoIP systems, cloud systems, virtually all systems.

As we say repeatedly, but cannot repeat often enough, every vendor has a specific product evolution and migration strategy that is theirs and theirs alone.  Even if their products are a perfect fit for your needs today, those products will change and become obsolete according to the vendor's needs, not its customers.  And since any product's evolution will inevitably diverge from your company's own evolution, the probability that any vendor's strategic direction and destination wil be the same as yours is exactly zero.

So, since vendors already have the answers to their questions, what should you be asking them (and yourself) instead?


The Essential Telecom Questions

  • I know I've outgrown my system and I'm being told I have to change it completely.  Do I really have to ? Why? What are all my actual choices?
  • Even if my system is technologically obsolete by today's standards, it still works. Do all of my employees absolutely need the latest technology? Can all of them even handle the latest technology?
  • If I want to continue using my existing system, at least in part (and I'm not saying I do), aren't there ways to accomplish it?
  • Can't I just add capacity and technology where it's appropriate without sacrificing anything in terms of the features I already know how to use?
  • Lots of companies outgrow systems and these days many others go out of business . Why can't I just buy a used system? Why don't companies seem to offer them?
  • Why don't vendors willingly offer the ability to keep part of my system and add a little that's new, but not too much, and certainly not replace everything?
  • And will my IT staff even consider partial-replacement alternatives? (Answer: Only if they're as comfortable with traditional telephony as they are with network-based IP telecommunications. And these days, most IT departments aren't because they expect a continual supply of new gadgets, whether cost-justified or not.)

Teleconvergence, as you've doubtless read many times by now, doesn't favor any particular technology, vendor, or solution. But we don't automatically preclude or exclude them, either.

We understand traditional and IP-PBXs and hosted services. We also have a very, very specific way of looking at our clients' needs.  You can learn more about your options by reading this page's companion article, Your Real Telecom Options.

In terms of how we go about our work, please evaluate our methodology at your convenience, especially The Teleconvergence Approach to System Selection.  You can always find it under the Methodologies Tab.

You can also always determine where you are and where you might like to read next by looking at the sitemap to the left.