If you’re looking to buy telecom hardware for next year’s projects you’ve probably noticed that your vendors are very busy. That’s because fourth quarter is when a lot of companies are looking to buy telecom hardware. Whether there’s budget to spend or Band-Aids to apply, IT and finance departments are increasing their spend this time of year and vendors are closing their books while still trying to fulfil orders prior to the holidays with a smaller set of staff. Here’s how you can streamline your telecom purchase.
- Know exactly what you need – Nowadays consumers are doing a ton of research prior to actually committing to the purchase. Researching online is more important than ever. Customers approach vendors with exact items including part numbers they’re looking to purchase. This makes it a lot easier to buy telecom hardware. The information is available at your fingertips. Whether you’re looking for reviews, white papers, case studies, training videos, or emulators it’s all available for you, pre-purchase, online to help you make a better decision. After all, nobody wants to deal with returns. Check out this TP Link Switch Emulator and RingCentral training & guide video page.
- Know when you’re going to need it – Fourth quarter and end of month is a crucial time for hardware manufacturers and vendors. Forecasting is extremely important to the life of a sales person and if you want a friend for life, you’ll want to accurately predict when you’re going to need and buy telecom hardware. It will get you the best pricing, as well as, ensure you don’t have to haggle for expired promotions and rebates for old hardware. Sure, you can buy a wireless access point or switch anywhere online but this is more about buying a bunch of gear at once for a major overhaul. The promotions you get in December won’t be there in January. You’ll find yourself in January trying to find a someone to honor last year’s quote. For sales folks, December and January are filled with year-end and annual kick-off meetings, holiday parties, and award dinners. That said, getting someone in management to okay an ICB (Individual Case Basis) pricing for an old quote is not a guarantee. Here’s an example of a Polycom Video Trade-In program expiring on December 22nd, 2017.
- Have a structured plan in place – If you’re purchasing a bunch of hardware, there’s likely other pieces of the puzzle like network connectivity, SIP trunks, or data center space. You’ll likely be decommissioning old hardware and you’ll want to have a plan in place. A good sales person will ask you about that, not only to try and help you with your project but also to gauge the timeframe of a project. If you’re looking to buy telecom hardware but haven’t figured out what you’re going to do with your old gear your project is most likely in the information gathering phase and not implementation. Here’s a quick guide on how to effectively plan to decommission your PBX. The same philosophy is applicable to switches, routers, wireless access points, and more.
- Financing options – Today’s financial environment is rather unique with a multitude of options to support the purchase of your telecommunications hardware. Credit is still cheap with interest rates stuck at what is a historical low. Most customers research and secure their finance option whether lease, purchase, finance, or rent prior to making a purchase. Think of buying a home, your realtor is going to ask if you’ve been pre-approved or have the liquid cash before driving you around the neighborhood looking at houses on a Saturday afternoon. If you’re looking to buy telecom hardware you’ve certainly discussed finance options along with amortization and depreciation of your equipment with your accounting team. Polycom, Panasonic, com all have various payment options available as do most equipment manufacturers. NEC has an informative page on Loans vs Leases that you may want to peruse before requesting quotes.
Our blog posts are geared towards customers, from a sales and implementation perspective, to provide tips to make the process go smoothly. The dance that takes place between sales folks and IT staff has changed drastically over the last twenty years.
Pricing is generally available via Google or Amazon. You can even submit RFPs to Amazon and get quantity discounts. Check out our Amazon store for an example. Cisco and HP are competing with companies like Ubiquiti, Ruckus, and TP-Link in spaces where they once had supremacy. Buyers pay a premium for their hardware manufacturer’s brand equity. Training and licensing fees also reflect those brand names but functionality doesn’t necessarily justify the price increase.
In sum, there is work to do when looking to buy telecom equipment but if you get your ducks in a row by doing research and developing a collaborative plan, your chances of staying within budget and on time are greatly increased.