December 03, 2020
How to Switch Collaboration Vendors
With the pandemic causing many organizations to reconsider their collaboration platform, here are some resources to assist in the process.
OK, be honest: Raise your hand if some version of the above crossed your mind in the past 9-10 months. I hear you loud and clear — you are frustrated with your collaboration provider.
For some businesses, it’s a budget issue; costs go up or you’re struggling to navigate a move from CAPEX to OPEX. For others, it’s the pace of change ― software upgrades are pushed out by the vendor, but now you have to upgrade your hardware. Something has changed with your collaboration platform that makes you unhappy. And while it is true that IT is the business of managing change and risk, that does not lessen your frustration.
I’ve been there too. I have spent most of my professional history in the role of an IT customer, so I have experienced the aggravations that come with managing and being accountable for corporate, foundational infrastructure. In my case it was the voice infrastructure.
Common Collaboration Vendor Challenges
So where is this frustration coming from, and why now?
In conversations with my customers, many have experienced frustration over one of the following scenarios:
- Vendor announcements that always seem to release just after the budget is submitted or finalized (There goes my budget. I already submitted my budget and now it’s all changed, again.)
- Training is needed for new tools that have been pushed out by the vendor (Where will I find the budget for new training?)
- Voice costs go up, again, and we only have dial-tone and voicemail (It’s the same simple technology that’s been around for years.)
Weighing Your Collaboration Options
Maybe you’ve experienced one of the above scenarios yourself. If you have and you want to address it, you’re in luck because you have options to consider.
Option 1: On-premises solution. Enterprise vendors include Avaya, Cisco, Digium and Mitel.
Option 2: Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS)/Cloud Voice/ Cloud PBX. The same vendors Avaya, Cisco, Digium and Mitel offer a cloud option, but there is also a growing list of “born in the cloud” vendors to consider as well, including 8×8, EvolveIP, GoToConnect, Microsoft Teams, RingCentral and Zoom Phone.
Collaboration Assessment Resources
Switching your collaboration platform provider is not a decision to be taken lightly. To start, I suggest you do some homework on what issues you want to address, where your current system is failing you, and what your organization will need in its future collaboration needs. I also suggest the following steps and resources:
- Request a Collaboration Workshop. Learn how CDW can help you find the right cloud collaboration tools for your organizations.
- Lay the groundwork for the successful adoption of your new collaboration technology by your end users.
- Get a better understanding of how UCaaS will impact your organization.
- Start a Request for Information (RFI) process to start validating your needs and wants, within your budget.
If you are not a CDW customer yet, visit: cdw.com/content/contact-us/sales.aspx.
If you are already a CDW customer, you can call your CDW account manager, who will schedule a meeting with your CDW Collaboration inside solution architect (ISA).