3 Tips for Buying a Phone System on an Education Budget
Anyone who thinks it’s tough to buy technology like phone systems for large businesses should try buying for educational institutions. The rules are stricter. The budgets are smaller. The processes are longer. And the stakeholders are many.
It’s a careful balancing act between upgrading technology throughout a school or a district while staying within the narrow confines of publicly funded budgets and highly defined purchasing processes. We all want schools to be well equipped to support learning, but school districts still have a fiscal responsibility to residents of their districts to keep costs under control.
The good news is that you’re not the only school district to face these IT procurement challenges—and there are groups who have come up with solutions to tip the balance in your favor. The first is the National Joint Powers Alliance (NJPA).
1. Simplifying purchasing with the NJPA
NJPA is a municipal contracting agency that operates a national cooperative of providers and dealers to provide government agencies, educational institutions and nonprofit organizations with purchasing solutions that meet the requirement for an open bidding process—while still offering affordable, quality products and solutions.
With the help of the NJPA, you can procure an affordable and effective phone system at an attractive price point.
To take advantage of the NJPA process, you must be an NJPA member. Don’t worry. Membership is free and doesn’t entail any obligations or liabilities. Plus, purchases you make through the NJPA process have no minimum contract requirements or commitments.
Additional benefits of membership include:
- Satisfy your bid requirements
- Bid/Contract collection process completed on your behalf
- Secured aggressive and competitive pricing from dealers
- Exceptional product and equipment offerings from industry leading vendors
- Option to choose the equipment, product and services that you need
- Significant time and cost savings
2. Securing the best pricing with eRate
If this were an infomercial, this is the part where we’d say, “But wait, there’s more!” Not only can the NJPA process help shorten and simplify procurement—Mitel and NJPA work within the eRate funding program to offer schools the most affordable communication systems.
The eRate program offers $2.3 billion in telecommunications discounts each year to schools, with discounts ranging from 20 to 90 percent.
The eRate funding program aids schools in the purchase of new technology by prioritizing funding in two categories:
- Telecommunications and internet access
- Internal connections and basic maintenance
The NJPA works hand in hand with the eRate funding program to help your school district acquire a new phone system quickly and efficiently. The result is upgraded technology for your district that can be acquired without sacrificing other areas of your budget.
3. Procuring the best phone system for the budget
With all this help from organizations to simplify the phone system buying process and save your school district money, you might be wondering what kind quality of phone system you’ll be getting. The answer is a quality system with all the latest features—recognized by analysts and used by some of the largest school districts in the country.
That’s right. It’s a Mitel phone system. If you’re familiar with the NJPA’s vendor selection process, you know it’s a rigorous one. And the NJPA has awarded Mitel as their exclusive provider of telecommunications, wireless and related equipment and services to eligible organizations.
If the word of the NJPA isn’t good enough for you on its own, consider your peers—Mitel phone systems are in use in six of the top 20 school systems in the United States, including two of the top three districts. Scores of other districts across the country are enjoying the benefits of Mitel systems, too.
And if you prefer relying on the opinions of the experts, you’re in luck. The telecommunication industry’s top analysts have recognized Mitel phone systems again and again. Here are just a few of those recognitions.
- June 2014: Gartner recognized Mitel as a Challenger in Contact Center Infrastructure
- Aug 2014: Gartner recognized Mitel as a Leader in Enterprise UC
- Sept 2014: Gartner recognized Mitel as a Visionary in UCaaS
- Oct 2014: Gartner recognized Mitel as a Challenger in Corporate Telephony
- September 2014: Mitel earned the Frost & Sullivan 2014 Leadership Award for our Cloud Communications and Business Communications Portfolio
Make it easy on yourself
If you’ve ever put out a bid, you know the technology buying process can be lengthy and difficult with mixed results. But working with the NJPA, eRate and Mitel, you can get a top quality phone system for your school district in less time for less money with fewer headaches. We know you work hard. It’s time you gave yourself a break, and we can help.
Contact us today and we’ll put you in touch with our NJPA specialists to help you understand all of your options.