Mitel MiCloud Connect (formerly ShoreTel) customers affected by last year's announcement that Mitel will no longer be selling cloud-based telecommunications platforms have to begin preparing to move. But moves take time, planning, and energy, and you've probably got a lot of questions.
Where can you turn for unbiased answers? Can your current Mitel Partner provide the best experience?
Now it's your turn to benefit from our expertise. Here are nine questions to ask your Mitel support partner about moving to the cloud:
#1: Will they present multiple cloud provider options or push just one?
Your partner should understand how your organization works and your UCaaS telecommunications needs. They should also be able to present more than one option that will suit your operations.
This is best done by having a Mitel Support Partner with trained, high-level engineers and solutions architects on staff to analyze your current system, make solid recommendations about what's working and what isn't, and prioritize functionality for your new platform.
But, many partners get comfortable with one vendor, so that's all they have to suggest to their customers. They're not thinking about what's good for your business; the focus is on the only platform they know, and they'll try to make it sound like it's a good fit for you even if it's not.
#2: How well do they know the various platforms? Are they vendor certified?
On the flip side, if your current Mitel partner represents too many options while not being an expert in any of them, that may not be such a great thing, either. They may be reselling whoever pays them the most commission at the moment.
A great partner focuses on what's best for you. They know the leading solutions well and have earned vendor certification, proving that they understand the breadth of functionality, features, and options each provides.
A certified partner can not only recommend appropriate choices but also help plan, strategize, train, and implement your new system.
#3: Do they provide cost comparisons and help set up evaluation demos?
When you shop for a car, you do your research. You check out several dealerships and online sellers for pricing and features, and then once you narrow down your supplier, you drive the vehicle before you buy to make sure it's worth the cost and has the functionality you're looking for.
The right UCaaS partner does all that for you (with your input, of course), setting up and attending live demonstrations with each vendor. And, if they're a great partner, they'll be sure to have the demos focused on your needs, having communicated that beforehand to the provider, so you don't waste valuable time going through functionality that doesn't matter to you.
They'll also give you a cost/feature comparison of the platforms so you can make a sound decision for your organization's current and future needs.
#4: Will they help with price negotiations?
If you haven't guessed by now, we believe your partner should be your telecom solution advocate. They are responsible for helping you with one of the most important business operation factors—communication and collaboration for your team and customers.
Will your partner go to bat for you on every aspect of your dealings with a vendor? Do they have the relationships and resources in place to negotiate terms and pricing?
If the answers to those questions aren't yes, you may need to change partners.
#5: Will they help with the strategy and planning?
Migration takes considerable strategy and planning to ensure proper deployment. Depending on the size of your business and your day-to-day operations, you may need to migrate multiple locations in stages, take a hybrid approach, or you might do everything in one sitting. The point is that every business is different, and so are the implementations.
A good partner is directly involved with evaluating your current needs, performing a deep discovery on your existing Mitel platform, and understanding how future technologies will be used across departments in your organization.
Then, they oversee the entire implementation process, or in our case, we perform it ourselves since we’re one of the few Mitel Platinum Partners that’s fully certified with multiple UCaaS vendors in the nation.
#6: What's their availability for moving me over?
When it's time to migrate to a new unified communications system, you'll have to get in line in a standard waiting queue. You could wait months, depending on the vendor's lead time.
If you have a trusted partner that can perform implementation for you, then migration can happen on your timeline. Our technical account management team (TAM) can handle every aspect of your implementation, plus we offer numerous other professional services when your needs change.
#7: Do they have in-house support to help with the migration?
Vendor support people don't know you; you're a ticket, the next customer in line to them. Relying solely on the vendor for your move could put you in a challenging position with little to no help if something goes wrong.
A few partners (like us) are certified to perform migrations on your behalf, working with a dedicated vendor rep to get you up and running smoothly.
In addition, does your partner's TAM team offer customized training so your staff is ready to use your new technology proficiently?
#8: Will they be there for you post-implementation?
After you've moved, what type of ongoing support and guidance does your partner provide? You may be interested in:
You may also want to ask if dedicated help is available on an ongoing basis. Does your partner have a TAM team member check in with you regularly to see if you need anything?
#9: Are they keeping up with market and industry trends?
Lastly, make sure your partner is a well-versed resource in all things UCaaS. Ask what they do to keep up with industry and market trends.
Do they have strong relationships with key vendor executives and staff? Do they sit on any vendor or industry boards? Do they have dedicated resources with any of the providers?
A valuable partner will have a solid footing in the industry, enabling them to help their clients understand cloud communications' current and future landscape.
Don't hesitate to contact us if you want to explore a partnership with us or have more questions. We're glad to help!
If you enjoyed this article you may also enjoy: