Author : Nancy Gates

We Ask the Pros: 9 Top Trends in Unified Communications

By: Nancy Gates, Consultant Liaison Program Director

We asked six telecommunications consultants, each a member of ShoreTel’s Consultant Liaison Program Advisory Board, to call out what’s trending in UC today.  Here’s their assessment of what’s emerging today and tomorrow: 1) Better Client Understanding “Five years ago, folks didn’t think they needed unified communications,” says James O’Gorman, Principal of Communications Engineering. “But today […]

Consultants’ Play Unique Roles in Contact Centers

By: Nancy Gates, Consultant Liaison Program Director

Unified communications offers so many benefits to contact centers that deciding to deploy UC should be a “no brainer.” So says Stephen Leaden, founder and president of Leaden Associates. “Having instant messaging and chat functions to communicate with the supervisor, shortening the length of outbound call dialing, increasing the speed of answers – everything improves,” […]

Preparing to Implement UC Technology

By: Nancy Gates, Consultant Liaison Program Director

After months of discovery, presentations, demos and decision-making, a client has selected a unified communication solution and implementation team. Throughout the process, the client’s telecommunications consultant has run point, ensuring that requirements, logistics, assessments and information flowed smoothly across teams, departments, channel partners and geographies. It’s time for that engagement to pay off. “The value […]

Key Factors that Seal the Deal

By: Nancy Gates, Consultant Liaison Program Director

How do consultants determine the winning bid among their UC vendor choices? We asked four telecommunications industry experts how they measure the competition. Byron Battles, principal of the The Battles Group, LLC, says his assessment list includes four components: technology, vendor reputation, proposed implementation team and financials.

Key Factors that Contribute to a Succesful Solution Demonstration

By: Nancy Gates, Consultant Liaison Program Director

The discovery’s complete. RFPs have been issued, and answered, and the responses vetted. The consultant has made his or her recommendations, and along with the client, has narrowed the field of vendors that might be awarded a contract to solve the client’s business communications needs. The next step: solution demonstrations.The demo is often the “make […]

Make the Cut: Top 10 Tips for Answering an RFP

By: Nancy Gates, Consultant Liaison Program Director

What’s the best way to respond to a request for proposal (RFP)? It’s common for consultants to invite multiple channel partners to bid on a unified communications solution deployment. What are ways the CPs can improve their chance of success? Typically, the final decisions will be made by a buying committee made up of the […]

How Consultants Add Value During Discovery

By: Nancy Gates, Consultant Liaison Program Director

The ramifications of replacing a business phone system can’t be underestimated. Enterprise telephony systems are no longer “plain old telephone service.” Today’s unified communications solutions present a vast array of features, configurations and requirements. So how can a business be confident that its specific needs will be met by a particular product suite? A typical […]

Consultants and Channel Partners: Best Practices for Client Satisfaction

By: Nancy Gates, Consultant Liaison Program Director

A young financial services firm is opening a new branch every three months. The company needs a sophisticated yet flexible communications solution, but no one on staff has the time or experience to consider current options, much less try to roadmap future needs. A multinational direct sales company has an abandoned call rate of 80 […]

9 Ways Telecommunications Consultants Benefit Channel Partners

By: Nancy Gates, Consultant Liaison Program Director

Most unified communications companies sell their solutions through channel partners (CPs) and value added resellers (VARs). But these product specialists and system integrators are not always the direct link between an OEM’s solution and the client. And while clients sometimes chose to hire an independent telecommunications consultant to manage their UC deployment, channel partners haven’t […]

Consultants, ShoreTel Come Together at Enterprise Connect

By: Nancy Gates, Consultant Liaison Program Director

Our efforts to reach out to the independent technology consultant community at Enterprise Connect in Orlando, Fla. last week were a resounding success.  We offered mini-briefings and booth tours, and were kept busy with those pretty much throughout the show.  In fact, at one point, we had four consultant groups all touring the booth at […]

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