To follow on from our feature on collaboration our mysterious caller has sought advice from our reseller friends as to the options available to his small business. Collaborative tools are needed so that internal meetings can happen, even when key members of staff are out of the office. The ability to share and edit documents and conduct a video conference, all at the same time, would be a great efficiency saver for our mystery caller. Should he just go for one of the many apps available and download it straight to his smartphone and tablets or is a more robust unified communications solution appropriate? We are constantly seeing reports about collaborative tools being used in the enterprise, many of these solutions are now geared towards the SMB. Are these tools affordable and is anyone actually selling them?
I had to include this one. I got through to an operator who did her best to digest what I was asking for. She had a quick ask around the office and I was swiftly told they didn’t deal with collaborative type solutions. When I asked about Unified Communications in general I got the same response. I thought it was a bit strange as their website clearly states they provide UC solutions! Oh well, onto the next one!
D R Communications
Finally, someone that knew what I was talking about. I was starting to think I had made the word ‘collaboration’ up. Darren had some basic knowledge about collaboration but as the operator I wouldn’t expect much more. He set up a call back for me. I got a call back on my mobile the next day, unfortunately I was unable to take the call but the day after they followed up when I was back in the office. Good persistence. Simon rang me and immediately asked me what I wanted to achieve from the collaboration tools. Instead of immediately trying to flog me something we went through the entire communications infrastructure of the office, how old it was, and the suppliers etc. Simon was quite knowledgeable and talked me through a possible wider strategy that would upgrade our ICT with a IP UC solution which would future proof the business and give us the collaboration tools I was after. Simon took me through Office 365 and also mentioned Lync and said these were possible solutions we could use. He also suggested getting all the mobile phones under one contract may be a good idea because it would help control costs. I did ask about the apps available in the app store, like WebEX and similar, but he admitted he didn’t know much about them. He offered for me to speak to one of his colleagues that would be able to give me further advice on those types of solutions. Simon said we really needed to sit down to get the whole picture of the business and discuss the best possible ways to move forwards with our technology.
He took me through the bigger picture rather than the direct solution, good sell.
Lack of knowledge on alternative options which may be viable.
Helpfulness –4/5 Manner –4/5
Knowledge – 3/5 Understanding – 4/5
Sales Technique – 5/5 Clarity –3/5
Definitely one of the better calls I have had. I liked the fact that Simon didn’t just focus on the problem but took a more holistic approach to what I might need which encompassed mobiles, fixed lines, IT and the rest of office ICT. Simon was, by his own admission, a salesman and although his knowledge was good it didn’t have the breath that would have propelled his score into the stratosphere. In all, a good call.
I initially spoke to a Matt at Meeting Zone who took me through a few basic questions and mentioned that they are partnered with Cisco’s WebEx but they also have their own software called Glance. He then transferred me to a colleague that was more aligned with the vertical sector we operate in. Verity called me back and immediately identified a few options that might appeal to a small organisation. Verity was extremely polite and friendly too. She did mention Lync but said it would probably not be right for us as it can be expensive and would require a full deployment which may not be required if the rest of our services were still functioning just fine. Verity took me through WebEx and explained it was very feature rich and would probably be the best fit for a small business. It could also be deployed within ten days from when they have the yes from our end. Verity described a recent deal which she had done with a creative agency that would have had similar requirements to my own business. The WebEx solution was perfect for the review and approval process that roaming salesmen may need to take advantage of. It is also extremely scalable and is purchased on an opex basis. Verity had excellent knowledge but really said we needed to sit down and discuss in more detail.
Fantastic knowledge, friendly and gave great advice
Not a lot of mention of the wider spectrum of services and products
Helpfulness –4/5 Manner –4/5
Knowledge – 4/5 Understanding – 4/5
Sales Technique – 4/5 Clarity –4/5
Superb score! Verity was excellent across all aspects of the call and really knew here stuff. She didn’t step outside of the brief at all but the bits she did concentrate on were great. From a company called MeetingZone I would expect nothing less! The best thing about this call was Verity explained it wasn’t any cheaper going to Cisco directly to purchase and as a reseller they would provide training and support which we would’nt receive if I went direct. I am really pleased she mentioned this point and it highlights how in tune she is with the current mentality and perception of consumers.
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