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Article : Acquiring Contact Centre Technology Part Two - The Tender or Proposal Process

#ContactCenterWorld

There are effectively two different processes to use when going to market for a new technology solution. The first is a Request for Tender (RFT) and the second is a Request for Proposal (RFP). An RFT can be used by anyone, but is mostly used by Government departments and large corporations. An RFP is more frequently used by smaller organisations.

So what is the difference?

An RFT is more formal with very prescriptive processes and extensive compliance requirements relating to the response. An RFP is less formal and allows more collaboration between prospective vendors and the purchaser in evaluating the different solutions.

An RFT is used where it is necessary for a company to be able to demonstrate its processes were fair and objective, and did not unfairly advantage or disadvantage any one supplier. Because it is more prescriptive there is less opportunity for the purchaser to ask additional questions or seek clarification of responses, and less opportunity for the vendor to provide additional information that may assist in their response.

Ring2 Dashboards & Wallboards Free TrialAn RFP allows less formal interaction between vendor and purchaser, which facilitates the exchange of information and allows purchasers to explore functionality that might be most relevant to them. It often results in a better, more appropriate solution for the purchaser but can make claims of favouritism harder to defend.

Another key consideration is deciding which vendors to send the RFT or RFP to. Some companies have a policy of always using an open tender – this often means the existence of an RFT/RFP is advertised in the newspaper and the documents are available to anyone to lodge a response. This will often result in a large number of responses that require evaluation, including the same solution from multiple vendors or resellers. However, it is a better alternative if you are not sure which vendors are in the market or which solutions are available.

Some companies use a Request for Information (RFI) step to do a very high level cull of prospective vendors, then follow up with an RFP or RFT. There is little benefit in doing this because the requirements are specified at a high level with little granularity (otherwise it would be an RFT or RFP – not an RFI). This effectively means that most vendors will be able to meet those high level requirements, resulting in very few vendors being eliminated at this stage (remember – the differences between solutions is often in the detail). The other differential is price – and an RFI really doesn’t give vendors enough information to provide even a budgetary estimate on price. Because of this there is a real danger of a strong vendor being eliminated at this point because they have been honest (or provided a worst-case scenario) in relation to price. Another vendor may have provided a very low price just to get to the next stage.

The other alternative is to put out a ‘closed’ tender – only send the tender to a small number of vendors to respond to. This requires an understanding of the vendors and solutions in the market but usually results in a lot less work to evaluate the responses.

Consider engaging professional assistance that is independent and had no commercial links to any technology vendor. Engage someone who has a view of the solutions and vendors in the market, and can advise which are likely to be able to meet your requirements.

www.ccaction.com.au


About Steve Pels:
Director of Operations at Contact Center Action

About Contact Centre Action:
Company LogoThe services provided by Contact Centre Action, and the experience we have is unique in the market today. In operation since 2003, we can provide the total solution to your contact centre consulting and recruitment needs. We have ‘hands on’ operational experience in training, operating and managing contact centres. We don’t just teach and understand the theories, we have practical experience in managing staff in this often high-pressure environment. This experience includes recruiting, customer service, metrics and measurements, staff retention, process improvement, cost reduction, contact centre relocation and centralisation. We have independent knowledge of a variety of technologies from multiple vendors, including ACD, IVR, workforce management, call recording, CTI, speech recognition, biometric verification, quality management, performance management, customer surveys, outbound diallers and speech analytics – in both on-premise and hosted environments. We are totally independent. We do not sell technical solutions, neither do we have any commercial relationships with any
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Today's Tip of the Day - Consider Your Center As A Production Line

Read today's tip or listen to it on podcast.

Published: Wednesday, June 8, 2016

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2020 Buyers Guide Computer Telephony Integration

 
1.) 
Call Center Studio

Call Center Studio
Call Center Studio is the world’s first call center built on Google and is one of the most secure and stable systems with some of the industry’s best reporting. It is one of the most full-featured enterprise grade systems (with the most calling features, one of the best call distribution, outbound dialing features and integrations—including IVR, AI Speech Recognition, blended inbound/outbound calling and includes Google’s new Dialogflow and Speech API. Call Center Studio is the absolute easiest to use (with a 10 minute setup), and is the price performance leader with lower equipment cost and less setup time.
PH: +1 512-872-7565

2.) 
ComSys S.A.

CLink for CRM and Call Center Integration
CLink by Comsys is a middleware that connects in real-time the CRM and the contact center applications. CLink enhances the CRM with interaction management capabilities from the contact center that allow agents to work more productively across all communication channels.
Comsys is a provider of οmnichannel customer engagement solutions that assist companies around the world in delivering unique customer experiences. For the last 15 years, Comsys designs and implements complex projects for clients from the outsourcing, financial services, telecommunications, and retail sectors. Comsys enjoys strategic partnerships with technology vendors like Cisco®, Aspect Software®, and Microsoft® for the delivery of innovative interaction management and contact center optimization solutions.
PH: +302109241486

3.) 
IntraNext Systems

IntraNext Systems develops agent efficiency tools and data security software solutions for medium-to-large contact centers. Our Event Intelligence® Platform solutions include SmartCTI™, iGuard®, and SmartSIP™. SmartSIP is based on our patented SIP layer technology and provides a DTMF masking solution for VoIP environments.
PH: 888.638.6398

4.) 
Megacall

CRM integration
CRM
We know how important it is for a business to obtain data from its customers and to manage them effectively, so we help small to large companies by integrating their CRM with the Virtual Switchboard.

This type of integration will simplify the work of your team and improve the management performance of the contact list and its information.
PH: +34 952 667 511

5.) 
NovelVox

NovelVox CTI Connector
NextGen Cisco Finesse, Genesys & Avaya Embedded CTI Connectors for Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, ServiceNow, Zendesk & more.
PH: (+1) 301 202 3672
 
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