For those of you who manage
Government, education and nonprofit agencies typically have two options when it comes to purchasing a phone system and satisfying their competitive solicitation requirement:
Each generation has its own memory of being called down to the school office. Some experienced a knock at the door by the school secretary. Others remember the request broadcast over a PA system or announced by the teacher after a call on the classroom telephone. It's a familiar scene. The request was typically followed by taunting oohs and ahhs from the rest of the class and a sinking feeling of uncertainty as you wondered what awaited at the office.
It can be difficult for any organization to keep pace with rapidly changing technology, especially considering the expense typically associated with doing so.
Not-for-profit organizations are met with budgetary and process challenges that make investing in the technology they need difficult. But, with the help of cooperative contracts from Sourcewell, these entities can simplify their purchase process and meet budget requirements when it's time to purchase new or upgrade their existing technology.
One of the toughest balancing acts for decision makers in the education field is the task of upgrading technology throughout the district, while staying within budget and meeting the purchasing process requirements. School districts have strict guidelines when it comes to updating and upgrading equipment, but when the time comes to choose a phone system, there are solutions that make it much simpler for schools to acquire the technology necessary to remain effective.
All across the nation, school districts continually face budget cuts, leading to financial hurdles. The push to make their dollars go further can be a difficult task, especially with the ever-present need to stay up-to-date with current technologies. So how does a district stay current, reduce spending, and maintain quality products and services? One solution is Sourcewell cooperative contracts.
The purchasing process for government, education and healthcare organizations is not always easy or efficient. It often involves the complexities of the RFP process, followed by the equally challenging bidding process. Then, if everything moves forward without issues (which is somewhat rare), you might be looking at up to nine months before anyone starts installing the new phone system.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just pick out a phone system that meets your needs, one that is reliable and competitively priced and buy it? Maybe you can.
Unfamiliar with Sourcewell contracts? You aren’t alone. For a long time, the benefits of these contracts were a best-kept secret of educational, nonprofit and government agencies. If you've ever wondered how these groups afford quality phone systems and up-to-date business technologies, the answer is Sourcewell contracts. In fact, many organizations are much closer to their ideal phone system than they think.
The original intent for the Request for Proposal (RFP) process made sense. As part of the procurement process for state agencies, schools and non-profits, RFPs provided a clear way to find out what your organization needed, what was available from vendors and who could provide the best service at the best price.
As the RFP process became more established, it got to be cumbersome. In response to this, an organization known as Sourcewell set out to simplify the process and eliminate the need for RFPs. With Sourcewell, cooperative contracts do most of the upfront work agencies and schools need before they purchase goods and services. When you look at a product or service on the Sourcewell list, you'll know you're getting a good price upfront and be assured the quality has already been vetted by a process that meets your organization’s policy requirements.
Not convinced that cooperative contracts are right for you? Below I've outlined some pros and cons of the RFP process and working with Sourcewell. Let’s take a look at both processes to see how they stack up...
The best phone system for an organization is not necessarily the one with the latest features, but rather, one that matches the organization's operational needs. Selecting the right phone system is all about examining and prioritizing communication requirements first; then finding a phone system capable of meeting those needs and fitting within your budget. As a technology leader, Mitel offers reliable phone systems of varying sizes and capabilities able to meet diverse communication needs.