I was talking to the Managing Director of Eloquent Technologies last week when he told me about a recent bid that he had submitted for a hosted solution for a new client. They had submitted their proposal and were moving forward with finalisation of the contract when the client called up advising that they had received a much cheaper price and what could they do to better the quote.
He asked them for a copy of the rival quote as their pricing had been very keen and he was intrigued to see how this new proposal stacked up.
What he discovered was truly shocking. The so called “hosted” solution consisted of an HP server connected to the internet via a standard broadband line with no quality quarantine or SLA which for the type of applications that they were considering to run and the mission critical nature of their requirements made this proposal totally unsuitable.
This same scenario happens time and again with hosted telephony solutions, where unsuitable services or infrastructure for running a hosted telephone system is suggested to the client. However, because the quote is much cheaper, it means that the client will seriously consider the proposed solution or even select the service before asking any questions. The old adage “if it sounds too good to be true it probably is” rings out loud and clear.
So do your research, ask the detailed questions and if it sounds cheap ask “what do you do differently to other suppliers?” The cheapest solutions are not always the best and a cheap buy can very soon turn into an expensive buy with all the grief and headaches to match.