4 Ways a RFQ Fails To Deliver The Right UC Solution

Posted on February 08, 2016

Old Phones

We communicate more than ever, so why do we use an archaic process to acquire the environment that will drive communications for an organisation for up to a decade? Companies that rely upon traditional Request for Quotations (RFQs) are putting themselves at risk of not getting the right solution.

The UC market has moved forward tremendously in the past few years, and departments that last dealt with a PABX acquisition a decade ago aren't always in the best position to determine what the next generation of workers will require from their communications platform.

It's critical that organisations think beyond a tender and engage early on in the piece. Organisations run the risk of not unlocking the benefits of Unified Communications if they don't.

Here's 4 reasons why RFQs can fail and strategies to avoid them...

1. Standard RFQ templates can produce compliant responses

How can you expect to gain insight for the purchase of a complex technology platform by using a procurement template which was last used to evaluate your photocopy paper supplier? Suppliers often look to provide compliant responses so as not to be excluded from 'the process'. This can lead to solutions being proposed that do not fit or address your business requirements.

Invest the time with your staff and procurement people. UC environments are complex and require careful planning to get the best outcome.

2. Simply scoping to replace what you had and the new Millenials

Significant advances in cost and functionality mean that any company going to market and not considering what the users of their business require are risking a potential procurement failure. Innovative commercial models such as consumption based usage and modern delivery models such as cloud based UC are concepts that can be missed in an 'apples for apples' type RFQ process.

Talk to your users, all staff types including the technology hungry new millennials, and then engage with the right providers and vendors to match the business expectations with the deliverables.

3. Overscoping what you really need

Be realistic. On the flip side of not specifying enough, going well over and above of what you really need can exhaust precious time. Simply because you have heard of a technology option or industry buzz word does not necessarily mean that the technology is right for your organisation.

4. Not allowing for adequate clarification by Provider

Fail to give a supplier the right information and most likely you'll get a response that doesn't quite meet your needs.

Even better is to get a preferred Provider involved in a workshop. If you don't know them very well, it's a great way to understand if they 'talk the talk', or 'walk the walk' before committing to them. If they don't measure up, move on.

A Better Approach

Engage with your suppliers more deeply before committing to a process driven solution. A collaborative workshop between key stakeholders and innovative suppliers will produce an understanding of your business, business users (including the new millennials) and the best technology approach to supply and deliver for your business.

The best approach may not always be to deploy new services from Day 1 but to build a pilot driven roadmap for your business' UC deployment.

So, what's the moral? Keep the process open as much as possible. It is necessary to follow process but make sure you keep in mind that process can't always deliver the best result for your business.