Welcome to the resource center

This is first in a series of posts about the things to consider when about to make a technology purchase. Alternate Solutions has been thru hundreds of IT voice and data projects and typically, walks thru a discovery process with its clients.

These posts are designed to help IT managers/final decision makers steer clear of the common pitfalls and mistakes made by even some the more experienced systems designers. (Believe me, I’ve been there!)

The basic principals apply to just about any technology. Simply ask yourself some basic questions when entering and exiting the procurement process for purchasing a new phone system, purchasing a network infrastructure and/or building a client server network. Stay tuned for some useful tips.

Build a business case

[This post is part of "Things to Consider Before Purchase" blog series.]

Creating a team to help define the critical components is extremely helpful. This allows a fresh prospective amongst the team. Having a solid group of goal oriented team members is also critical. No dead weight or sacred cows here!

Once you have a team assembled building a business case for the purchase is important. This business case shapes the direction and keeps you on track. Imagine starting a new business with no business plan. You can imagine how quickly a project can get off track.

Know your internal users

[This post is part of "Things to Consider Before Purchase" blog series.]

Your internal users are the folks who will be using the product on a day to day basis – generally speaking your office staff. Understanding their collective abilities to comprehend various technologies must play a heavy role in the decision- making process.

Also consider the required functionality and its usability as it applies to the end-users. Nothing is worse than deploying a solution that should add tremendous efficiency where end-user can’t quite grasp how to use the technology and the spend becomes a tremendous waste of effort and money.

Do your homework

[This post is part of "Things to Consider Before Purchase" blog series.]

Now’s the time to dig in deep. If you are the key person driving the purchase you need to make sure you have strong case for this spend. In the beginning of the process it’s best take a high level approach meaning that you should not be looking at a granular level just yet. Getting too granular in the beginning of process tends to steer a project in the wrong direction right off the bat.

Now’s an excellent time to reach out to other industry professionals and colleagues to see what experiences they have had in similar initiatives. Doing your homework seems obvious but most people huddle-up with internal users and various business units before taking a high level look at a project –- do yourself a favor and do your homework first.