When it comes to VoIP solutions, there are a number of key staff members who should be involved in the strategy team for a specific purchase - particularly one which involves various computer and telephony equipment. With numerous VoIP vendors vying for attention in the market, a strategy for such purchases often requires a substantial amount of research. As a result, organizations should look to involve various members of HR, IT, and financial operations, as well as a wide selection of staff members who will be utilizing the particular product to be procured.
A synthesis of all of these disparate entities is needed to produce an effective strategy, to eventually purchase a suitable VoIP system. We go into detail about the above-mentioned business units, to shed light on why staff from these departments need to constitute your overall VoIP strategy team - not just for initial purchase, but for long-term scalability as well.
Representatives from the department of financial operations provide key input during the formulation of strategy for a particular organization-wide VoIP solution, as they are the ones to determine exactly how much funds may be dedicated to the various costs associated with the purchase. Costs to be considered outside of the immediate purchase itself include those for training, additional hardware and software, as well as for system upgrades.
Additionally, this department will determine projections for ROI, capital outlay, and other important financial implications that enable organizations to know what their limits are for the purchase. In essence, the analysis conducted by the financial operations team needs to determine whether the advantages of VoIP outweigh the investments made by the company, both tangible and intangible.
It is crucial for an organization’s IT department to research concerns related to integration of a prospective purchase with previous and current system components that will be expected to work with the particular product. The IT team will need to identify existing capabilities and limits in terms of technology, and gauge potential upgrades in areas of hardware or software that will be needed for successful implementation of the product. Additionally, IT personnel need to be well-versed in the operation of the particular product, so they will be able to install, maintain, and use it if needed.
With holistic communication systems such as Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) offering much more than VoIP, the topic of integrations is as crucial as it is complex. That is why your company’s IT staff needs to be at the forefront of comparing VoIP solutions, and selecting one which they can be compatible with.
The HR department will be largely responsible for any training associated with the new purchase, particularly that which exceeds any offered by the VoIP provider. Furthermore, the HR department can contribute to the strategy team by researching particular features or capabilities of the proposed solution, and should also assist in determining any logistical practicalities that will have to be employed to use the new product.
During the product demo stage, ask prospective VoIP vendors exactly what they will offer during training, and for how long. Many top VoIP companies offer training for an additional fee, so this is something that should be addressed too, well beforehand.
Naturally, end users will be expected to be a part of the strategy team since they’ll have the majority of hands-on use with the impending purchase. The influence of end users is valuable in determining which capabilities or features are required for the product. Additionally, staff members can work with HR personnel in researching how VoIP can impact daily business workflows, to subsequently determine which features can increase efficiency and eliminate silos across the workplace.
This analysis can be highly valuable for the final strategy, as vendors referring to this assessment will precisely be able to identify which proprietary capabilities can satisfy the needs/problems outlined herein. As vendor prospects revert with a pitch on a customized solution, your team can decide whether this will be a hit or a miss. Continue to review and shortlist vendors this way, and you will be left with one (or a few) worthy contenders who can truly deliver a bespoke VoIP solution that is well attuned to the individual needs of your business.