Do you need a new phone system for your business? Before you run out and buy a top of the line product from a well-known vendor, take a few minutes to look at your options. Resellers often have partnered with the vendor you’re looking at, offers the same products, and can do so at a more attractive price point than the vendor.
Buying a phone system from a local reseller is often the best choice for most businesses. Certified resellers are licensed, have proven expertise, and have manufacturer support available to them. Because they are local, they can respond more quickly to urgent issues that require a site visit. Note: many national resellers have local offices, so if you’re more comfortable going with a “name” reseller, you’ll be able to find one.
Be sure to make sure the reseller has manufacturer support. If upgrades are released or problems crop up, this is going to be critical to your business needs.
Polycom is an example of a national company that has local resellers all across the country. Polycom is a well-known company in the industry and is highly regarded for its technology. It offers telephony and voice solutions for small and medium sized business customers. Working with its partners, it can offer hosted solutions, managed solutions, and premise-based solutions. These can all be scaled easily as your business grows. The systems require little to no IT support, and basically function in a “once installed, you’re good to go” mode. The solutions are completely standards based and priced competitively for today’s market.
AT&T is another example of a large company that has local resellers in your area. Instead of dealing with AT&T directly when looking for a phone system, you’re better off working with the reseller in your area. Many times, the reseller can get you a better price on a service than what AT&T can offer you directly. This is one of the perks that AT&T has given their resellers. Besides that, the reseller can offer you a complete setup that doesn’t necessarily have to be 100% AT&T branded. In other words, you can purchase the service from AT&T, but other hardware and such can be different third party options. Be careful when dealing with AT&T, though, as it’s usually a love/hate relationship with them. Some people swear by AT&T, others can’t stand AT&T. When dealing with AT&T, a reseller is definitely your best option if any issues arise. Your reseller can handle your problems pretty quickly, while AT&T tends to drag its feet at times. The reseller usually works with other vendors as well, so they might be able to give you comparable service to what AT&T has through a different vendor.
Like AT&T and Polycom, XO has offices across the country. Many local resellers partner with XO and sell their products. The situation is very similar to that of AT&T: you’ll probably get a better deal working with a reseller as opposed to working directly with XO. Many of the other benefits of working with a reseller (local presence, can be onsite quickly, etc.) apply to working with XO resellers. Like AT&T, XO has a similar love/hate relationship with its present customers and former customers. Make sure you investigate the vendors you desire before beginning to work with resellers. That way, if the resellers offer alternatives, you’ll be prepared to make those choices.
Without knowing where you live, it’s difficult to offer up resellers beyond those that are in some way affiliated with companies like Polycom, AT&T, and XO, just to name a few. Other big name companies in the telephony business (Cisco, Verizon, Mitel) partner with resellers as well. In the San Francisco Bay Area, a Google search of phone system resellers returns a long list of companies. Wherever you might live, doing a search of what is available in your area is your best option. If you have a professional network that you communicate in, use that as well. You’d be surprised how many people have an opinion on phone systems and vendors. Use that to your advantage to make the best choice for your business.
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