With the rapid adoption of voice in the cloud we are encountering some pretty horrific stories. I thought I’d share some of the traps over the next couple posts that our clients fell victim to before switching to CT-Pros offerings.
1. No Contract Commitment i.e. Month-to-Month
Sounds great, no long term contract, what’s not to like, right?
“The price was cheap and we were not locked into an agreement, it sounded like a no brainer because it carried little risk…”
The reality is, it carries SIGNIFICANT RISK, and the old standard “if it’s too good to be true, it typically is,” could not be truer in the cloud market today. The no contract offering is a common one and the sales presentation makes it sound painless. However, visualize the forest from the trees before you ink that “no brainer contract”...
Once you select your new provider you need to port your numbers. Although this is a routine task done within our industry it’s typically done on average every 3-6 years when changing your telecom providers. In the cloud, the company you are selecting is now your provider of not only the technology for your end users but they are also your new telecom provider for all your usage. Regardless of the organization you choose, that port comes with risk. Inevitability there is some sort of service disruption to go from one carrier to another. Then there is also the introduction of changes in the technology for your end-users that they now have to ramp-on.
- Who is coordinating this on your end to ensure everything is done right? How much time will that take? What is that cost to your business?
- What is the cost to your business to switch your technology out and to train your end-users on something new?
The Cost of Disruption
Assume now your 30-60 days into your new solution. You realize, unfortunately, the new solution was not the experience you intended for. How much disruption did you just experience last month to switch and how much did it cost i.e. time to your business to make the change? Now, add on the salt in the wound… Clients are complaining of choppy audio and end-users have lost all faith in your no brainier solution.
“No problem!” you say to yourself… “It’s month-to-month let’s cancel and evoke the month-to-month contract…”
Yes, that bead of sweat on your head is visible…
Now you’re potentially 4 months into an agreement that’s not delivering, considering you have to wait to move away to vet something better and deal with yet another port experience and adoption of yet again new technology. Not to mention while feeling the heat internally.
Yes, the sweat permeating through your shirt is now visible…
Now you’ve created loss combined with grief from internal staff and clients limping along.
Yes, now people are talking at the water cooler how terrible this choice was…
Now you realize you need to repeat the process again and present to the management team your first selection was not what you thought it was i.e. a no brainer.
Yes, now is about the time you should start putting out your resume...
The idea and beauty of cloud is it’s managed and you don’t need to spend the resources to manage it. In a nutshell that is why it’s being adopted so rapidly. However, if you chose the wrong carrier you’ve actually created a bigger mess and cost your business a considerable amount of money. The carriers offering these options know this and they are banking on the fact that you won’t change because of the overhead and pain to the business to do it again.
Food for thought:
From a financial perspective the companies offering these type of agreements do not make money if clients go month-to-month. It actually takes a considerable amount of months to show profitability per client for solution providers in the cloud. They have overhead and costs it’s not just software. They know this but consumers don’t. The reality is they are banking on you being stuck and the percentages are in their favor for this.
The trap here is simple, month-to-month is really long term because the cost to change more than once is absurd when you could have chosen a premium product and paid only a few bucks more a user. There are premium products out there beyond what we offer with ShoreTel. Our clients who have lived through this will advise you if you see a sales pitch offering month-to-month show them the door as quickly as you can!
If it sounds too good to be true it is…
About the Author:
Joe Rittenhouse is the President of Business Development and a managing partner of Converged Technology Professionals, Inc. His expertise is in business consulting/therapy specializing specifically in VOIP, Cloud Services, and Contact Centers. Joe’s experience in the IT demographic encompasses over two decades. Outside of work, Joe is a husband and father of four. Joe is also a self-proclaimed season tour veteran of the Grateful Dead.