The ideal process before embarking on the journey to attain different solution quotations from various vendors is to document your requirements. This Business Needs Analysis process can be done by a Consultancy organisation or one of your telecoms partners.

The following information is typically required to quote on a new PBX solution for a small to medium-sized businesses.

Here’s how we can help you on your journey:

The lines/trunks

  • The number of trunk lines/trunk ports required?
  • Networking to other sites required? If yes, detail to be shared?
  • Any number of services currently in use, i.e. SmartAccess (086/0800)?

Desired Technology Foundation

  • Traditional PBX (Hybrid with cards) on dedicated voice infrastructure?
  • VoIP PBX on separate or converged LAN network?
  • VoIP PBX on a proprietary server or virtualised server?

The number of extensions required:

  • IP / Digital / Analogue / Fax, etc?
  • The number of switchboard operators/switchboard consoles in use – PC / non-PC?
  • The number of standard instruments?
  • The number of executive instruments?
  • The number of cordless instruments?

Applications required

  • Contact Centre (which would have its own Business Needs Analysis)?
  • Conferencing (Video / Web / Audio)?
  • Mobility (Smart device / Laptop for Remote workers)?
  • Telephone Management System?
  • Voice Logging / Recording (which would have its own Business Needs Analysis)?

Peripheral / functionality required

  • Auto Attendant (press 1 for sales, 2 for technical, etc)?
  • Headsets (wired / wireless and monaural/binaural)?
  • Voicemail per user?
  • Hot Desking?
  • Music on Hold?
  • Other: Call Barring, Call Groups, Pin codes, Night Service, etc?

Service Options:

  • Ad-hoc support?
  • Service and Maintenance Agreement?
  • Software Assurance (if applicable)?

Purchase options:

  • Outright Capital purchase?
  • Financed Rental?
  • Managed Service?

For some businesses, the PBX and Application requirement is best positioned as an RFP (Request for Proposal) with the specification advertised for interested bidders to submit their proposals.

It is important to have an experienced Telecoms representative as part of the adjudication panel to ensure that all proposals are indeed apples for apple comparison, and also to ensure that the next telecoms investment is one that will take the business forward for many years to come.