You have issued an RFP for a new IP Phone System/UC solution and received responses back from various vendors.
The next step is to closely review the proposals from each one. If you need details on how to create an RFP read our earlier blog post on Tips for creating Request for Proposal (RFP) for a new Unified Communications System.
The best practice is to use a weighted ranking system to score each vendor based on your long list of requirements. You should document all the criteria and features you are looking for in your system and give a weightage to each based on its importance to your business needs. First, rank each requirement based on the vendor’s answer to your checklist items.
Here is a sample weighted worksheet you can use as a basis for creating your own checklist for vendor evaluation.
Sample Pre-Demo Checklist
The next step is to ask to see a demo and request a sample set-up to test the solution in your office so you can revise the score based on actual experience. Once you have seen a demo or tested the solution, revise your weighted worksheet to reflect your actual experience.
Revised sample weighted worksheet for vendor evaluation, with scores
As you can see, selecting the right Phone System/UC for your business is no easy task. But it always pays to be thorough with your evaluation to minimize buyer’s remorse.